Lordsburg, New Mexico

Lordsburg goes as far back to the 1880s, when the Southern Pacific Railroad was building a new line.

Lordsburg started off as a Railroad camp, the original camp grew with an influx of railroad workers, freighters, miners, cowboys, ranchers, gamblers, and merchants. 

As Lordsburg changed from a Railroad camp to a small town, businesses like bars barbershops, mercantiles, and so on. Pretty soon the Butterfield stage Line started coming through.,

Lordsburg continued to be important in freight. Not only the SP Railroad, but

the Butterfield Stage Route went through Apache Pass which is west of Lordsburg, and came across the San Simon Valley. They had three passes to choose from in coming to or leaving Lordsburg, Steins Pass, Granite Gap, and one other pass just north of Steins, New Mexico. Each time they chose a different pass to go through to help avoid Native American raids, or bandits. The stage line had up to 250 coaches, 1000 horses, 500 mules, and about 800 employees. The Butterfield Stage Route avoided the more inclement weather farther north and ran through Steins Pass, Benson, Tucson, Yuma, and to San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Lordsburg made its name as the stop at the junctions of Hwys 70 and 80, major roads in the state. It was located on the “Broadway of America Highway” and in 1964, Lordsburg boasted 21 motels, 20 cafes, and 31 service stations— the biggest gas-food-and-lodging stop between Arizona and Texas.

Later, I-10, the fourth-longest Interstate Highway in the US (and the most southern) was established. It replaced US 80, established in 1926, renamed I-10 in 1989. It stretched from the Pacific Ocean at Santa Monica, California to the Atlantic Ocean at Jacksonville, Florida. While it seemed like a boon for Lordsburg, travelers were eager to get to other destinations and whizzed right by. As cars got faster, more fuel-efficient, and speed limits increased, Lordsburg began to decline. Motel Drive was listed by the Society of Commercial Archeologists as one of the top ten  Most Endangered Roadside Places in the US.

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