Grants, the "City Of Spirit"
Travelers on Route 66 looking for a place to get lunch between Albuquerque and Gallup would likely find themselves in Grants, New Mexico. Grants is the county seat of Cibola County and has a population of about 9000 people.
To drive through Grants is to see a city in decline. Many Route 66 era businesses now sit abandoned. With the decline of mining and railroad industries, the most successful businesses in Grants now seem to be the WalMart Supercenter, McDonald's, and the gas stations and hotels near the freeway.
A fading spot on the map
According to the New Mexico Office of the State Historian, the town of Cubero was established by Mexican settlers in or about 1834. Remember that New Mexico did not become a state until 1912. Today, Cubero is a census designated place located on historic Route 66 about 27 miles east of Grants. It is also on the route of the Santa Fe Railroad's first transcontinental line through the southwestern United States. I only saw about three people while I was there but the official population as of July 1, 2019 was 287.
To be fair, Cubero is not the ghost town that my photos make it seem. It's just that I go looking for the old, abandoned and creepy stuff and tend to avoid things like the General Store with modern cars parked out front. Cubero is also right next door to Budville, which is famous for different reasons but is also more of a legit ghost town.
Funny thing, the whole reason I went to Budville and Cubero is because I was looking for a couple of old churches that I thought were in Cubero.
Fate comes knocking on Route 66
It's funny how things turn out.
Budville, New Mexico was the site of a notorious double murder that remains unsolved to this day and the Budville Trading Co. was the scene of the crime.
The town of Budville is named after Howard Neal "Bud" Rice. In 1928 he and his wife, Flossie, opened the general store (Budville Trading Post). Together they also operated a gas station, garage, grocery store, post office and wrecker service. While this might seem like enough for a normal person, it wasn't enough for Bud so, in additional to all that, he also sold bus tickets, owned the local State Motor Vehicle Concession and got himself elected Justice Of The Peace. As such, Bud proclaimed himself the "Law West of the Rio Puerco" and did not hesitate to push his weight around whenever it suited him to do so.
A Wind In The Hills
On this day it was soooo windy. Wind that rips the car door out of your hand and chokes you when you open your mouth to speak. Wind that makes your eyes crusty. You know... New Mexico wind.
Santo Nino Cemetery in Carnuel, is located off I-40 (Route 66) in the canyon that separates Albuquerque from the east mountains. It includes 259 grave sites, some dating back to the 1800's. I don't believe this cemetery is still in use but it is certainly still watched over by the local residents of Carnuel.
Should you decide to visit Santo Nino Cemetery, arrive quietly, tread lightly, take your photos (and nothing else) and head on down the hill to get some pizza.
As a matter of practicality, do spirits get blown around by the wind?
Click here to view my other posts about cemeteries.
A Treasure From The Archives
Included in my recently discovered treasure trove of lost images was this trip to Cuervo, New Mexico in September of 2005. The photos were unedited so, to match the look of my more recent ghost town work, I transferred the images to my phone and edited them with Snapseed. I'm pretty sure I shot these with a first generation Canon Digital Rebel and the 18-55mm kit lens that came with it.
I am DeAnna Vincent, fine art and portrait photographer in Los Lunas, New Mexico. These are the photos from my everyday adventures.