Although the history of the area began around 1857 when the Birch Stage Line route took the stagecoaches by Stein's Peak, the town of Steins was not established until the 1880s. It began as a town to support the building of the Southern Pacific Railroad through Steins Pass. Steins was named after Captain Enoch Stein a US Army Officer who was the first white man to sign a treaty with the Mimbres Apache. During the towns heyday, from 1905 to 1945, it boasted three saloons, two bordellos, a boarding house, a general store, and had about 1300 residents. The brochure for the town calls it a living history museum and boasts a collection of old clothing, bottles, furniture, and other historic items. Steins has a good reputation as a worthwhile place to stop. Unfortunately, when I went by there in late August 2008 it had a fence around it and closed signs. I just learned the site is being restored and willreopen at an undetermined later date. I will keep you advised. Normally, Steins was open everyday except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Admission was $2.50 for adults and free for kids under 12.
Steins Ghost Town
Pronounced "steens," this former mining and railroad town was named for Capt. Enoch Stein, a U. S. Army officer who participated in the Apache Wars. First called Doubtful Canyon because of threats from Indians, the town survived because of the railroad, with its post office open from 1888 through 1944.
The first stagecoach passed nearby in 1857, en route between San Antonio, Texas, and San Diego, California.
In 1858, the Butterfield Overland State started running here, along the route commonly called the Butterfield Road. The town was established in 1860 when the Southern Pacific Railroad arrived.
Today, the remains of Steins are open to the public. You'll find about a dozen buildings here, and a few decaying adobe structures. Fans of ghost towns usually rate Steins as one of the better ghost towns in the area.
IF YOU LIKE MY POST PLEASE GIVE POSITIVE FEEDBACK
To visit the cemetery.......and even tho the town is closed at this time, it is still interesting to stop there and look at the town. It has a nice wide turn around and parking. There are NO facilities of any kind, unless the business re-opens, and it is private property so camping is not allowed as far as I know. But to stop for a few minuites, and have a cool drink (bring your own!) And watch for the trains to go by!!!
Fondest memory: I was a railroad brat living at Steins. The Reeds Hotel/Store was still open at that time. I remember Mrs Reed selling my mother crayons and a Red Chief Tablet and she gave me a pencil. There was a long glass top/front cabinet that held all sorts of interesting items. I remember that the ceilings of that part of the store was very tall. I believe that she also sold a few things like candy and some grocery items. We lived in railroad quarters which were built out of railroad ties, one room. Emmit Davis family lived there, and I played with his daughter. A rancher at Steins, John Guess had a town house next to the tracks, on the road going out of Steins (north) but winter lived at his ranch north of Steins. That was John Guess and his wife, Onie (Barrett) Belshe Guess. They were family friends for years. John's father, Henry Guess and an infant of John and Onie's are buried there at the Steins cemetery.
At one time, we could drive down the railroad tracks on a dirt road, all the way east to where my grandparents had a Shell Service Station called White's Camp, for many years and on into Lordsburg.My dad thought that was the old stage route. My dad remembered when Steins was a railroad stop and had a depot.
I remember a Mr. Reyes who sold tamales from their old truck. He would always stop at White's Camp for gas, and sell us those delicious tamales! White's Camp was 9 miles west of Lordsburg. There used to be a railroad stop a mile further on, called GARY. We lived there too.
One thing that you don't hear much about is that the water was bad at Steins. It had to be hauled in by those who lived there, or by the train. It was called "gyp" water by my dad.
There used to be a big cross on one of the mountains there at Steins, and we used to know we were close to being at White's Camp when we spotted that. I can't put into words just why Steins is special to me, it will always be!!!