Yeso, Taiban, Tolar — all in De Baca County along Route 60

Tolar, NM
Tolar, NM

The first little dot on the map of Route 60 when you enter DeBaca County from the west is Yeso. It’s described in one book as "an impressive ruin of numerous well-constructed stone houses." Its beginning was involved with the establishment of the railroad. Though it survived a drought between 1909 and 1912 and the 1919 flu epidemic, the Great Depression and the Second World War caused its demise.

Twenty-two miles from Yeso is Fort Sumner, but if you continue through it for 19 more miles there is another tiny dot of history, Taiban. The townsite was laid out in 1906 by the Atcheson, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, naming it for Taiban Creek. Although it still has a post office, its population is minuscule. Its one moment of fame was when Pat Garrett captured Billy the Kid at nearby Stinking Springs and took him to Las Vegas in irons.

Tolar is four miles from Taiban. It grew from a tent city in 1905 by supplying sand and gravel for the railroad construction, but met its tragic end when a passing munitions train exploded in 1944, leveling the town. Incredibly only one man was killed.

About Phyllis Eileen Banks