Posts tagged “Crosses

Cripple Creek Hand Carved Cross

 

Cemetery Cross

Karen Rivera 2012
Cripple Creek, Colorado

Scattered on a barren, windswept hilltop, outside of town and hidden from the casinos that have taken over the entire town, handmade crosses mark the graves of the miners who died far away from home.


San Raphael ~ Patron Saint of Travelers and Singles


San Raphael

Patron Saint of Travelers
Acrylic on raw alderwood
Karen Rivera 2005


Hidden Grave with Flowers ~ Nambe, New Mexico

Nambe Cemetery
Nambe Pueblo, New Mexico
Karen Rivera
January 2011

I shoot a lot of cemetaries. For heart-rending, technicolor boisterous displays, you just can’t beat a New Mexican cemetary on Easter, Day of the Dead or Christmas. I’ve made it to my favorite, the Nambe Church cemetary in Nambe, every Boxing Day for most of the last 20 years. I follow that up with New Year’s Day in Acoma. It seems to make the perfect emotional double-header.

I found this small, weathered cross tucked away in a far corner surrounded by tumbleweeds and scruffy dead plants. The new flowers shows that this lonely hidden grave hadn’t been forgotten.


Small Abode Wall Church – Easter at Sanctuario

Small Easter Wall Church at Sanctuario
Chimayo, New Mexico
Karen Rivera 2007


Savior and Lamb ~ Adobe Mural on the High Road to Taos

Our Savior and Lamb at Roadside Market
Mural on the High Road to Taos
Karen Rivera


San Franciso Church ~ New Mexico Ghost Town Village Church


San Franciso Church ~ 1976

Golden, New Mexico
Karen Rivera

Golden, New Mexico, on the Turquoise Trail,  is having  a bit of a renaissance these days. It’s still a ghost town but the few houses have been restored and the old Mercantile is open in the summer for the tourists. Built in 1830, he San Francisco Church off Highway 14, doesn’t look much different than when I was shooting black and whites in the mid-70’s. Restored in 1960 by Fray Angelico Chavez while he was the padre of St. Joseph’s Church in Los Cerrillos, the graveyard has mostly escaped the vandalism common to New Mexico’s abandoned mining towns.

 

 


Grace Morales, 1893 ~ Graveyard Crosses

Grace Morales, 1893 ~ Graveyard Crosses
Illustration
Karen Rivera 2010


San Antonio Church ~ Punta de Agua, New Mexico


Punta de Agua

Highway 55, Southern New Mexico
Karen Rivera

The small villages along Highway 55 have always held a special place in my hard-scrabble New Mexican heart. Using the few resources available in the barren, harsh acres early settlers recycled the ever-present rocks into homes, walls, and churches.

In Punta de Agua, the rough-cut stone San Antonio Church stands as a monument to an earlier example of sustainable and green building.

If you’d like to walk through Punta de Agua at street level, click here to go to Google Maps, then click satellite.

 


San Ysidro Church with Silver Cupola and Cross

Church at San Ysidro, New Mexico

Old Adobe Church
San Ysidro, New Mexico
Karen Rivera Spring 2010

The village of San Ysidro, originally a farming settlement, was named after Saint Isidore the Farmer in 1699. San Ysidro holds an annual Fiesta in his honor each year in mid-May.


St. Joseph’s Church ~ Los Cerrillos, New Mexico


Courtyard, Saint Joseph’s Church
Los Cerrillos, New Mexico

Los Cerrillos has always seemed to me to be the perfect example of a  New Mexico boom town. Once the unofficial  capitial of the state,  it’s now a modern day ghost town on South 14, a few miles north of Madrid.

After the arrival of the Santa Fe Railroad in 1880,  shipping the gold, silver, lead, zinc and turquoise from the 3,000 miners in the area no longer had to be shipped by wagon. Los Cerrillos grew to feature 21 saloons, 5 brothels, 4 hotels, several dance halls and a real honest-to-goodness Opera House. The construction of Saint Joseph’s Church on Main Street confirmed that civilization had truly arrived.

Casa Grande Trading Post, Cerrillos Turquoise Mining Museum, & Petting Zoo

Today, the washboard streets and dusty storefronts are a mostly undisturbed  reminder of  Old West meets celluloid. 13 films have been shot in and around Los Cerrillos, including the 1972 John Wayne movie The Cowboys shot just outside of town. A remnant of the production of Young Guns lingers on a two-story stucco wall.  The real Wortley Hotel (Motto: No Guest Gunned Down in Over a 100 Years) is in Lincoln, not Los Cerrillos.

Los Cerrillos porch ceiling

On weekends, Mary’s Saloon and the Casa Grande Trading Post, Cerrillos Turqoise Mining Museum, & Petting Zoo swarm with tourists from the City Different stopping off on the Turquoise Trail. Several seasonal businesses open up with the return of the tourists, adding whimsical touches.

Several artists call Los Cerrillos home. Metal sculptures and eclectic murals are scattered though the tiny town. A few of the gritty, sandblasted storefronts now make it possible to walk under the stars as you stay out of the sun.

My connection with Los Cerrillos was very short-lived. My job working weekends  at the Tiffany Saloon and Melodrama ended when, as usual, my confidence in British mechanics was misplaced and my 1961 Morris Mini-Cooper needed a new engine.

 

The Tiffany Saloon and Melodrama burned down in 1977 but you can still find traces of it, and other long-lost buildings, by looking for the metal yellow signs all over town.

Karen Rivera 2010


Our Lady of Pike’s Peak ~ Summer Thunderstorm

Our Lady of Guadalupe
Tilework
Pike’s Peak, Colorado
July 2011
Karen Rivera