Fierro, named after the Spanish word for iron, is one of the oldest mining districts in the Southwest. Historical records in the nearby Silver City museum show that Fierro mines were producing as early as 1858. According to local legend, Confederate soldiers raided the camp in the 1860s and made off with tons of copper ingots to be used in munitions plants in the South.
The Church of St. Anthony's came later, built by miners in 1916 in the heart of the small but thriving community. But bit by bit, that town has disappeared.
While Fierro is a ghost town now, two places remain used: the church (with its grotto behind), and, ironically enough, the cemetery, which covers four acres and is lovingly maintained these days. Aside from regular services, a celebration and mass is still held each year on June 13th, the Feast of St. Anthony, and many of those for whom Fierro remains important meet to reminisce and once again walk the quiet streets of the old place.
The LA Times published a story about St. Anthony's, which you can read here.