Ghost Towns, Steins, New Mexico
Steins Railroad Ghost Town
I stopped at Steins over the weekend and took the tour. Steins is the last exit before you enter Arizona. I took the tour of Steins with Melissa the owner and caretaker. I was able to explore the old houses built in 1890s with all the belongings that were abandoned in the 40s when the town shut down. This place has it all, just as it was in the early 1900s. The temps were just under 110, but worth the stop. The information was very informative and thorough. If you are driving through New Mexico on a weekend, this ghost town is a must see.
Steins was a mining and railroad town was named for Capt. Enoch Stein, a U. S. Army officer who participated in the Apache Wars. First called Doubtful Canyon because of threats from Indians, the town survived because of the railroad, with its post office open from 1888 through 1944. The first stagecoach passed nearby in 1857, en route between San Antonio, Texas, and San Diego, California. In 1858, the Butterfield Overland State started running here, along the route commonly called the Butterfield Road. The town was established in 1860 when the Southern Pacific Railroad arrived.
Steins at its high point in 1919, the surrounding area supported more than 1,000 residents. By this time, the town also had a boarding house, two bordellos, a dance hall, more stores, two more saloons, and a hotel. But, for those early pioneers, life was tough in the desert region, as there was no source of water and had to be brought into the area on the train, selling as high as $1.00 per barrel.
But, for Steins, prosperity would be short lived. In 1925, the rock quarry closed putting dozens of men out of work and at the end of World War II, the Southern Pacific Railroad discontinued its stop in Steins, giving the town notice that it would no longer deliver water and the station would be closed. In time Steins was completely abandoned. The post office was discontinued in 1944. Some time later, a fire destroyed many of the deserted buildings.