rehoboth mission cemetery

by Kaylah Stroup
white crosses, cemetery, new mexico

After Roswell, Jeff and I drove up to Tucumcari, New Mexico. The original plan included us dipping in to Texas but we realized it would make for a super long drive to the next night’s hotel so we nixed that and decided just to leisurely cruise parts of Old Rt. 66 on our way to Gallup.

While he drove I browsed Roadside America, Roadtrippers, and good old google for spots to stop along the way. I really wanted to check out a cemetery. Despite three trips to the desert I’ve only managed to make it to one cemetery out there. I ended up stumbling across a photo of one with a bunch of white crosses on a website listing the “most haunted places in New Mexico.” I was intrigued but couldn’t seem to find anything out about the photo so I kept on hunting for other spots. I ended up finding Rehoboth Mission Cemetery and even though it wasn’t the one I saw pictured earlier it did have a whole bunch of white crosses, and even more exciting was that it was right outside of the town our hotel for the night was in.

To get to the cemetery you have to drive through school property, and then up a little hill on a tight, winding dirt road that maybe you shouldn’t be taking a rental car, especially a crappy rental car, on. We came to a sign that said the cemetery closed a few hours earlier but I was determined to get up there. I mean, we already made it most the way up the creepy road. Why not just go all the way?

new mexico, cemetery
Rehoboth Mission Cemetery, new mexico

As soon as I got out of the car I was already in love with Rehoboth Cemetery. I have never in my life seen a cemetery with such character. Flowers litter the graves of recent burials! Most cemeteries in Ohio don’t even allow flowers! There was an article about the cemetery on the school’s website that started with “Most white folks would say the cemetery at Rehoboth is not a well-kept place…” and as much as I hate that generalization, I guess I would agree. It’s interesting how a cemetery can look so overgrown but so clearly be maintained and taken care of. It’s exactly the kind of cemetery I’d like to be buried …if I wanted to be buried.

It was incredibly peaceful there, yet I had a slightly unsettling feeling like I wasn’t alone. It’s hard to describe exactly what it was like but it’s safe to say it was one of my favorite cemetery experiences. Numerous times throughout my short visit I would see something out of the corner of my eye only to realize it was flowers dancing in the breeze. This cemetery felt alive!

new mexico cemetery

If you were to ask me what popped into my head when picturing a cemetery in New Mexico, this is exactly it, even before I ever saw it in person. I’m so glad we pressed on and found this beautiful little spot. Also, sorry for trespassing! 😉

I’ve got two recommendations for you! Grab lunch at Kix on 66 if you’re in Tucumcari and if you find yourself looking for a hotel in Gallup – SpringHill Suites by Marriott is AMAZING. Not only is it super new, it even smelled like building materials, but the rooms have such a neat layout. Oh, and the breakfast buffet is tops!


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