Time stood still for Steins, New Mexico in the middle of the Forties. Once a thriving coal dept for the Southern Pacific Railroad, the increased use of diesel to power transport saw the small town – population just 1,000 – left to slowly decay.
Now, long after the residents of Steins packed their bags and left for a more prosperous life elsewhere, this American ghost town, is open for tourists.
The saloons, general stores and bordello, left brimming with belongings that have gathered dust for 70 years are now artefacts.
The recent history of Steins is just as fascinating. Rattlesnake farmer Larry Link bought the town in the late eighties after becoming obsessed with the old mercantile stores, outhouses and stagecoaches.
Link’s vision was to clear the overgrown tumbleweed and grass that had grown through the main street of Steins to allow people access to the eerie buildings of the ghost town.
‘He didn’t want to entertain people,’ said Melissa Lamoree, Link’s granddaughter, who took over the family business from 68-year-old Link in June of last year when he was murdered outside his house.
Evidently, the people of Steins were pushed into a hurry to leave as the forgotten pianos in the bar and the still-made beds testify to.
Everything on display in Steins has been left by the Link’s as they found it, with every abandoned lantern, spice jar and typewriter telling its own story to each person who visits.
Interestingly, visitors to Steins note the number of glass jars kept inside every property that still stands.