Thursday, August 11, 2016

Former residents’ annual reunion returns life to Pinos Wells

Wind rattles the rusted metal roof of a half-collapsed adobe house, grasses wave in the small churchyard and the crude lettering on a weathered gravestone reveals it belongs to a young child, telling the exact lifespan in months and days. Pinos Wells had a short lifespan, too. The Torrance County ranching community southeast of Estancia once had its own post office, a school, stores and a hotel that offered food, water and lodging to travelers from White Oaks bound for Santa Fe. It was there, in the years shortly before New Mexico gained statehood, that a high-profile politician was shot to death, reported the Albuquerque Journal ( ). Like many other New Mexico ghost towns, the population of Pinos Wells, never more than a few hundred, gradually fell victim to drought, the Depression and the lure of city jobs. But on a recent weekend, as it has for decades, the village sprang to life when more than 100 former residents, their children, grandchildren and friends flocked home to celebrate the Fiestas de San José, for whom the church is named....m0re

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