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Ghosts West of Tucumcari - Page 3

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Cuervo, New Mexico


Between 1901 and 1903, the Southern Pacific pushed through Cuervo and a town was born. Named after nearby Cuervo Hill, Cuervo is Spanish for "crow, which are abundant in the area.


Around 1910, the land surrounding Cuervo was opened to cattle ranching which created a land boom and the town began to grow. When Route 66 came through, the new highway created the additional trade of gas stations and hotels.

At its peak, Cuervo boasted two schools, two churches, two hotels and two doctors, along with numerous other businesses. In the 1930's, Cuervo reportedly had a population of almost 300. By the mid 1940's; however, it had already fallen to less than 150.



Catholic Church in Cuervo, New Mexico

The Catholic Church in Cuervo was built during World War I and though while still standing, no longer offers services. Kathy Weiser-Alexander, July, 2013.This image available for photo prints & editorial downloads HERE!


Baptist Church in Cuervo, New Mexico

The Baptist Church sits on the north side of I-40, July, 2013, Kathy Weiser. This image available for photo prints & editorial downloads HERE!

When I-40 came along, parts of Cuervo were literally buried as the superhighway cut a swath through the residential section of the town. Dependent upon those travelers of the Mother Road, the town immediately began to die. Today the area still supports around 50 people, who primarily live on the south side of I-40 and on outlying ranches.


The beautiful Catholic Church, which still stands on the south side of I-40 was built during World War I. Here, there is also one of the remaining schools, which was constructed sometime in the 1930's and closed in 1958. Other old residents and outbuildings also remain.


On the north side of I-40, where old Route 66 runs, there is an old abandoned gas station made from an old railroad car. Also here, is the falling down relic of the once popular Baptist Church, along with a ghost farm and other abandoned buildings. The old combination post office/grocery store sits at the end of the road.




From Cuervo, the old Mother Road makes its way to Santa Rosa.

Along this 17 mile stretch, keep your eyes open for the old Frontier Museum on the south side of I-40. This museum complex and western-themed tourist trap was open in the early 1950s for a short time. Here, children once rode horses, adults grabbed a beer, and the whole family sat down at the Frontier Cafe. Today only the faded remains, littered with debris, speak of the great old days on Route 66.



Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated October, 2013.



Frontier Museum

1950s vintage postcard of the Frontier Museum



fading remains of the Frontier Museum

The fading remains of the Frontier Museum,

January, 2005, Kathy Weiser.


Montoya-Newkirk-Cuervo Slideshow:



All images available for photo prints & editorial downloads HERE!


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