Lemitar, New Mexico is a census designated place in Socorro County. The town lies along NM 408 and is easily seen from I-25. I would always notice it from the car window on the way to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.
La Sagrada Familia Catholic Church
La Sagrada Familia Catholic Church is located at 57 Olive Street in Lemitar, New Mexico. What you see today is the new church that was rebuilt and dedicated in 2015. The original church on the site was established in 1835. Throughout the 1900's, the original church was renovated many times. Around 1900 the original adobe building was given a pitched metal roof and clear glass windows. In 1950, Conrad Hilton (from San Antonio, New Mexico) made a monetary contribution which, when combined with donations from parishioners, paid for stained glass windows and a wooden floor. The bell towers were added in 1963 and the church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
In 2010, under the stress of one renovation too many, the entire west wall collapsed. Following this incident, the building was deemed unrepairable and was totally rebuilt. The current church was reopened in 2015.
La Sagrada Familia Catholic Cemetery
La Sagrada Familia Catholic Cemetery in Lemitar, New Mexico is located on the west side of I-25, right off exit 156. The guardrail from the interstate is visible in the above photo. This cemetery was established around 1900 but legend has it that there are remnants of an older cemetery a little farther up the road. I was not aware of that location at the time these photos were shot. Seems to me like there's a reason for a return trip!
Abandoned house in Lemitar, New Mexico
Lemitar, New Mexico is considered to be a census designated place, which is basically defined as an unincorporated community with no local government or legal boundaries. It's fair to say that Lemitar has never exactly been a booming metropolis.
Between 1850 and 1860, the population of Lemitar was around 400. The population swelled to 800 between 1870 and 1885. In 2010, census data reported a population of 300. At the time of my visit in September of 2020, it would've been very difficult to guess whether the population has grown or declined. I didn't see another person.
This abandoned house has managed to make itself a little bit famous. I've seen several photos of it while looking for information about Lemitar on the interwebs. It's an old house that has clearly been uninhabited by the civilized for quite awhile, which is not to say "totally uninhabited". Structures like this are often inhabited by people with drug addictions and pet racoons. Word to wise, always conduct a thorough search of the exterior, looking for signs of life, before entering a structure like this. Never, ever go alone. Between the mold, feces, and probable meth fumes, I can tell you that the air quality inside this house is very, very poor and I felt a little sick for awhile after leaving. If you choose to visit this house, take my word for it and just look around the outside where it's safe.
Tech Specs and Informational Sources
These photos were shot on September 27, 2020 with a Canon EOS 80D. In my research, I found a really great article about the history of Lemitar and I highly recommend giving it a read. http://socorro-history.org/HISTORY/PH_History/201008_lemitar.pdf
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I am DeAnna Vincent, fine art and portrait photographer in Los Lunas, New Mexico. These are the photos from my everyday adventures.