The history and mystery of ghost towns continue to fascinate us, and one such settlement is the Arabella-Las Tablas in New Mexico. Founded by Spanish families in the late 19th century, the town was initially called Las Tablas but was renamed Arabella in 1901 in honor of a settler’s daughter. With the post office operating until 1923, the town saw a few decades of activity before it became abandoned and now only remains as a ghost town.
Today, Arabella-Las Tablas is a site of interest for history buffs and adventure seekers who want to explore the remains of the settlement. The town’s past is steeped in legends and myths, with tales of Billy the Kid’s presence in the town, adding to its intrigue. Despite its remote and inaccessible location, the town’s history and mystery continue to attract visitors who want to discover its past and unravel its secrets.
This article delves into the history and origins of Arabella-Las Tablas, its location and accessibility, and the legends and myths that surround it.
- Arabella-Las Tablas is a ghost town located in New Mexico that Spanish families founded in the late 19th century.
- The town’s post office operated until 1923, and it became abandoned, now only remaining as a ghost town.
- Visitors must be prepared for a challenging journey to explore the ruins, located approximately 20 miles from the town, and the roads leading to it are rough and unpaved.
- Despite its remote and inaccessible location, the town’s history and mystery continue to attract visitors who want to discover its past and unravel its secrets.
History and Origins
The history and origins of Arabella-Las Tablas can be traced back to the late 1870s or early 1880s when three Spanish families initially settled it. The settlement was named Las Tablas, possibly referring to the timber used for building.
In 1886, Andy Richardson opened a general store in Las Tablas, and when he became postmaster in 1901, he changed the name to Arabella in honor of a settler’s daughter. Arabella operated as a post office until 1923, after which it was abandoned and became a ghost town.
The Spanish settlers who founded Arabella-Las Tablas were part of the wave of European migration that swept across the Americas in the late 19th century. The settlement’s name change from Las Tablas to Arabella highlights the importance of post offices in the American West, as they were often the only means of communication and served as a vital link between isolated communities.
The history of Arabella-Las Tablas reflects the struggles and triumphs of the people who sought to establish a new life in the American West.
Location and Accessibility
Located on private property and shrouded in mystery, the remnants of a settlement founded by Spanish families in the late 19th century or early 1880s can only be found by using a metal detector, making it a hidden gem for history enthusiasts.
Arabella-Las Tablas is not easily accessible, and it is essential to obtain permission from the ranch owners before exploring the ruins. The settlement location was passed down by old-timers who worked on the ranch from the late 19th century to the 1930s. Despite its remote location, the ruins are part of the historic Block Ranch, and they offer a glimpse into the area’s past.
To visit the ruins of Arabella-Las Tablas, it is necessary to be prepared for a challenging journey. The site is located approximately 20 miles from the Arabella/Las Tablas town, and the roads leading to it are rough and unpaved. Visitors must also bring their equipment to detect the remains, as they cannot be seen with the naked eye.
The remote location of the ruins and the difficulty in accessing them only add to the allure of this ghost town, making it a unique destination for those interested in exploring the past.
Legends and Myths
Legends and myths surrounding the settlement founded by Spanish families in the late 19th century or early 1880s have contributed to the mystique of Arabella-Las Tablas.
One of the most popular legends is about Billy the Kid’s escape and the role of the Las Tablas settlement in it.
According to the legend, after his final escape from Lincoln, NM, Billy the Kid got his shackles removed by a Mexican friend at the Las Tablas settlement.
This story has added to the intrigue of the settlement and the area, as there are no historical records that confirm or deny the legend.
Apart from the Billy the Kid legend, there are other myths and supernatural occurrences associated with Arabella-Las Tablas.
Some locals believe that the ghosts of former residents haunt the settlement and the surrounding area.
Visitors have reported hearing strange noises and seeing apparitions, adding to the eerie ambiance of the ruins.
However, there is no scientific or historical evidence to support these claims, and they remain as part of the folklore surrounding the ghost town.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can visitors access the remains of the Las Tablas settlement, or are they located on private property?
The remains of the Las Tablas settlement, with historical significance dating back to the late 19th century, are located on private property. Exploring ruins of the settlement is only possible through the use of a metal detector.
Are there any structures or buildings still standing in Arabella/Las Tablas?
No structures or buildings remain standing in Arabella/Las Tablas. However, exploring ruins in the area offers historical significance, as Spanish families founded the settlement in the late 1800s and was the site where Billy the Kid’s shackles were removed.
How did the settlement come to be abandoned and when did it happen?
Like many ghost towns, Arabella-Las Tablas was abandoned due to declining population, lack of economic opportunities, and environmental challenges. The exact date of abandonment is unclear, but it likely occurred in the early 20th century. Possible reasons for the decline include droughts, floods, and shifting to larger towns and cities. Archaeological research could shed light on the settlement’s demise.
Is there any evidence of Billy the Kid’s presence in Las Tablas?
There is no conclusive evidence of Billy the Kid’s presence in Las Tablas, and the legend remains a part of local folklore and Wild West myths. The historical accuracy of the story is uncertain and subject to debate.
Are there any nearby attractions or activities for visitors to enjoy while in the area?
Visitors to the Arabella-Las Tablas area can enjoy nearby activities such as hiking, camping, and fishing in the surrounding wilderness. Accommodation options include nearby hotels and lodges.