TODD's reflections...: Impressions of HACHITA, NM

Hachita, New Mexico

Initial Impressions

History

1875       Beginnings of this town were based on the commencement of mining
1884       Population of 300
1890       Reduction of mining (silver) and population
1900       Railway constructed that connected Benson, AZ to El Paso TX.
This supported the cattle ranching and mining industry (turquoise/silver/lead)
1920       High point of the town with a population of 770
1934       Railroad began to be less used
1963       Railroad tracks pulled up
1965       Schools closed. Children have gone to Lordsburg ever since
1970       Town population down to 35
2017       Town population is about 60. Listed as one of 400 ghost towns in NM

Appearance

At this time the town is defined by 8 unpaved streets, 17 blocks, about 120 lots and 90 buildings of which more than 80% may be abandoned or significantly demolished (windows broken out, roofs collapsed and the surrounding grounds filled with debris and over grown).

Activity

There are 2 government positions in town, a postmistress (Bella Flores) and a water system operator (Ron Bowan). A few men are said to work on area ranches. In the past 6 months a convenience store and a gasoline station have been established. The appearance is of a ghost town that has yet not been designated. Its 28 active water connections are the last evidence that life is there. Indeed most of the inhabitants are seniors, content with the remoteness, and living on without contact with the outside world an hour away at Deming to the north east and Lordsburg to the north west.

Support Services

There is no government, no police, no medical services or even EMTs. The new elaborate water system at a horrendous cost of $45,000/connection will not create sufficient pressure for fire hydrants, sends 35% of the water to waste and the monthly service charge of $68 for the initial 4000 gallons is more than double the national average. Water usage averages 7200 gallons/connection. The donated community center is unused and in decay.

Town Needs

  1. Most urgent need in this town is to have an EMT trained person to apply immediate aid until an ambulance may come for those who fall seriously ill.
  2. An ambulance to make the hour long run to the hospital in Deming. A recently repaired ambulance is being held in Silver City until a place can be created to garage it, to protect it from damage (animals ate the wires from the fire wall in the past) in this town.
  3. Creation of a meals program at the community center for the seniors who are most handicapped.
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