Melissa Lamoree will be the guest speaker at the Westerners’ meeting to be held on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. at the Silver City Cross Point Church Fellowship Hall.  It is located at 11600 Highway 180 East. Come join us for a delicious meal and Melissa’s presentation “Steins, New Mexico:  A Virtual Tour.” She tells a unique and fascinating story; so don’t miss this one!

Melissa Lamoree was born in Mesa, Arizona, graduated from Glendale High School, and attended Glendale Community College. She is the oldest grandchild of Larry and Linda Link; owners of Steins, New Mexico. At age 9, she fondly recollects shadowing her grandparents on tours of Steins. In 2002, at age 20, she moved to Steins, New Mexico to help her grandparents with the ghost town. These days, the tours are listed on the Steins Ghost Town’s Facebook page where Melissa conducts 1-2 per month along with an annual Halloween Trick or Treat Gala. Currently she lives with her husband and children in Morenci, Arizona. Her grandmother Linda continues to live at Steins where Melissa visits as often as her busy schedule allows.

“Steins is a ghost town in Stein's Pass of Hidalgo County, New Mexico. It was originally called Stein's Pass after the nearby pass through the Peloncillo Mountains (Hidalgo County). The pass was named after United States Army Major Enoch Steen, who camped nearby in 1856, as he explored the recently acquired Gadsden Purchase. The town can trace its origin to a small stop on the Birch Stage Line that was established in 1857. Properly founded in 1880, the town was named after United States Army Major Enoch Steen (whose name was sometimes spelled as "Steins"), who was killed by members of an Apache tribe in 1873. The town began to prosper when mineral deposits like gold, silver, and copper were discovered in the nearby Peloncillo Mountains. Further success was brought when the Southern Pacific Railroad established a rail line in 1878, and a local quarry was opened up. Steins had no natural source of water, so all water had to be brought in by train. In 1905 a rock-crushing plant was built to produce track ballast for the railroad.

In 1944, toward the end of World War II, the railway ceased operations at the Steins quarry and gave notice it would no longer subsidize water deliveries. The railway offered the inhabitants of Steins free transport elsewhere with what they could carry; most of the population accepted this offer, leaving their houses and many of their possessions behind. The post office in the town closed at that time, and eventually Steins was completely abandoned; a later fire destroyed a good majority of what was left behind. In 1988, Larry and Linda Link purchased the locale and began offering ghost town tours. In 2011, however, Larry Link was murdered and tours ceased.”  (Wikipedia) To this day, Mr. Link’s murder remains an unsolved case. To honor her grandfather’s vision and legacy, Melissa began conducting tours there at what she calls her “most favorite place on earth”.

“It is unusual in the old West ghost towns in having been a railroad rather than a mining town. Steins Pass has been mistaken by some people for the pass at Doubtful Canyon near Steins Peak, a location to the northwest in the same mountain range, which was the location of a Butterfield Overland Mail station and the site of the Battle of Doubtful Canyon.”  (Wikipedia)

“Westerners is an international group dedicated to sharing and preserving the history of the American West. Westerners was founded in 1944 and has over 60 corrals (or chapters) in the US, and 20 corrals abroad, with over 4,000 members around the globe. Corrals generally meet for camaraderie and interesting programs on all aspects of Western history.  Anyone who loves the lore and history of the American West can join. Members range from local history buffs and readers and viewers of Western movies, to professional historians, educators, writers, and artists of all kinds.”

Our local chapter meets on the third Tuesday of every other month throughout the year, except for December, when the meeting is held on the second Tuesday.  Dinner is served at the meeting, and the cost is $12.00 per person for members and $15 for non-members. The public is invited to attend the meeting and everyone planning on attending should make reservations with Mary Margaret Soule at 538-2888 on or before Sunday, June 16, 2019.   

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