Abandoned in the mid-1670's, the Abo ruins sat undisturbed for nearly two hundred years until they were rediscovered by Major J.H. Carleton on a stormy evening in 1853. If you've spent any time in New Mexico, you know exactly what Carleton meant when he wrote that, "the cold wind... appeared to roar and howl through the roofless pile like an angry demon."
Similar to the other Salinas Pueblos, Abo was already a thriving community prior to the Spanish showing up and forcing the inhabitants to build giant churches. The church at Abo was completed in the late 1620's.
According to the brochure, Gran Quivira was the largest of the Salinas Pueblos but Abo must run a close second because it too is massive in size. While the church at Quarai takes your breath away, I believe that it and the entire site are quite a bit smaller than Abo. Along with the church, the Abo site has expansive excavated ruins and numerous mounds of earth that are obviously un-excavated ruins.
Eventually a perfect storm of problems including drought, famine, and the Apache raids forced the inhabitants of the Abo to leave their home and assimilate into neighboring communities along the Rio Grande. By 1678, Abo was abandoned.
To see my posts from the other Salinas Pueblo Mission Ruins, click here.
Ruins From A More Recent Time
As soon as you turn off the highway onto the road that goes to Abo, there are two little abandoned houses. Thinking that perhaps it had been a ranger station, I only photographed the smaller one because it was more easily accessible.
To my surprise, when I posted the photos on Facebook, someone I went to college with said the houses belonged to his grandparents and that the little one was his grandmother's art workshop. He even had a photo of the family standing out front in the 1980's. How cool is that?
It's a small, small world.
All photos shot with Motorola Moto X4 and edited with Snapseed.
I am DeAnna Vincent, fine art and portrait photographer in Los Lunas, New Mexico. These are the photos from my everyday adventures.