The Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe Railroad created an internal company, the Santa Fe Townsite Company, to organize and develop town- sites as track construction extended far into the west. The Santa Fe needed water for their locomotives, and housing and other businesses to support construction crews as they moved deeper into the isolated terrain. Yeso grew up out of the New Mexico prairie, as the railroad built a new and less mountainous route across the Belen Cut.
This documentary explores the life of Yeso as the railroad expanded opera- tions, and families flocked to the town for jobs, homes, and a new future. Soon Yeso boasted a hotel, school, church, and a host of businesses and houses across the flat ground around the depot. The future looked bright for a time, but changes from steam to diesel on the Santa Fe, and the limitations of the land eventually led to decline as people and businesses abandoned Yeso for other places. The schools closed in the 1960s and spelled the end for Yeso. This is the story of the emergence of a boomtown on the isolated New Mexico prairie, and how changes in the 20th century left Yeso a crum- bling ghost town where only the wind remembers a once prosperous past.
Length 58 minutes