Right off the bat, you've got the Steins/Steens controversy.  Some say the town's namesake spelled his name with two e's, making the town's name actually Steens.  Others say it was spelled with an  i and an e, so if pronounced correctly, the name should rhyme with "pines." Both sides claim evidence to back up their argument.  I'll let them battle it out, and spend my time instead enjoying one of New Mexico's best ghost towns. 
  • COUNTY Hidalgo 
  • LOCATION:  Exit 3 off I-10, 19 miles west of Lordsburg 
  • POST OFFICE:  1888-1905 as Steins Pass, 1905-1944 as Steins
  • NAME ORIGIN:  Named for Enoch Steen (aka Stein), a U.S. Army Officer 
  • RATING: 
  • GNIS Info & Map 
  •      The town has been purchased by Larry and Linda Link, who are more than willing to take time out from their efforts to lead tours of the buildings and chat about the town's history.  They have plans to rebuild the hotel, which now exists only as a foundation. They have also hosted get-togethers for former occupants, from whom they have been able to piece together a growing record of the town's history. 

          In the 1880's, Steins was established as a station on the Southern Pacific railroad. Horse thieves and other unsavory types, including Black Jack Ketchum, terrorized the town and robbed the train. Steins lasted until World War II, then began to die. 

         Visitors are welcome to walk around the area for free. A tour of several buildings is available for a small fee, and is well worth the price. Inside the adobe buildings are the remnants of a different way of life.  Some objects, like the books on the shelves, have not yet been organized.  Among the buildings on the tour is a section house, a tack shop, a community kitchen and the outside of a building that was known as "Girdies Garter" (use your imagination). It makes for an intriguing step back in time. 

         Regardless of which side you come down on in the Steins/Steens controversy (the Links, by the way, are very pro-Steins), be sure to visit.  When you're there, say hello to Bob the mule, and if you're lucky, you may get to see the adopted javelinas, Porky and Petunia, along about dinnertime.

    (there are no larger pictures for these thumbnails, sorry)

    Steins is Exit 3 off Interstate 10.

    Antlers hang from
    the door of the Tack