El Fidel Hotel

An Infamous History

El Fidel Hotel

Originally built as the El Fidel Hotel in 1923, a recent partial renovation of one of the commercial spaces in Otra Vez revealed evidence of an earlier foundation, that of the Santa Fe County Jail, whose most infamous inmate was Billy the Kid. The Kid spent three miserable months in the windowless, one room adobe jail in the winter of 1880-1881. He was transferred to the Lincoln County Jail, and as memorialized in movies, books and music, made a daring escape, only to be shot down by Sheriff Pat Garret on July 14, 1881.

Sheriff Pat Garrett

Patrick Floyd “Pat” Garrett (June 5, 1850-February 29, 1908) is best known for killing Billy the Kid while he was serving as sheriff in Lincoln County, New Mexico.  Born in Cusseta, Alabama, and raised on Louisiana plantation, Garrett moved to New Mexico around 1878. He married Juanita Guitierrez in 1879, but she died within the year. The following year he married her sister Apolinaria and the couple had nine children.

Billy the Kid

Billy the Kid (ca. 1859-1861-July 14, 1881) was born William Henry McCarty, Jr., but also went by William H. Bonney and William Antrim. He was a gunman and outlaw that participated in the Lincoln County War. Legend says he killed twenty-one men, but it is believed the number is actually around eight or nine. He killed his first man at around 16 or 17 years old. He is known for his cunning and skill with firearms. Relatively unknown most of his life, he quickly reached legend status when New Mexico’s governor, Lew Wallace, place a price on his head. After that his exploits were written about in newspapers across the country.