Abandoned America: Cuervo, NM

The town of Cuervo, New Mexico, began in 1901 when the railroad came thorough. The town started to grow when the surrounding land was opened to cattle ranching in 1910. Then Route 66 came, and the town’s population peaked in the 1940s at over 300.

And then the Interstate literally came through town: right through the middle of it, ripping up roads and tearing down houses. Cuervo couldn’t survive that. It’s a ghost town now; a few people still live here, though it’s not clear why.

Ghost towns don’t get much better than this. There are a couple of what appear to be occupied trailers, but most of the town is very old buildings in various states of decay. You’ll find a church, a school, and many houses. You’ll find an outhouse, a basketball court, and some old cars. It’s possible that this is the best ghost town in the country that is both genuine and easily accessible.

I don’t know what the current ownership status is of the town, nor how the few inhabitants feel about random people exploring. Caution is the best approach.