Hotel Mesa, Yeso, New Mexico
Yeso is about the only sign of civilization in the vast space between Ft. Sumner and Vaughn, New Mexico. There is a U.S. Post Office (in a trailer) and, perhaps, a couple of occupied dwellings, but most of the population left years ago when it became evident that farming here wasn't really economically feasible. While I would still call it a ghost town, it is not a really old one and many abandoned buildings such as this old hotel remain standing.
If farmers weren't such optimists there probably would have never been a Yeso. The 350 people that were here in 1940 certainly didn't come here for an easy life or the scenery. This is a harsh place. Even its name, which is Spanish for gypsum, makes me think of unproductive land and bad tasting water. The buildings here represent the hopes and aspirations of people that were willing to work long hours and endure hardships. I like to think that a photograph documenting them is like a small memorial to that spirit.
It was typical West Texas / Eastern New Mexico weather when we were there -- hot, dry and very windy. I took a chance and waited for a slight break in the wind make this image.
All Text and Images © Joe Miller, 2007