Many decades have passed since this stone house had a roof, doors and windows. Even in the relatively arid climate of the High Plains, wood slowly rots away, leaving behind only the masonry. Given its state of decay, this probably was an early 1900s (or before) construction, perhaps never occupied by anyone still living today. It very likely was abandoned during or soon after the Dust Bowl that ravaged this northeastern corner of New Mexico, near the Santa Fe Trail’s Cimarron Cutoff. A fallen dead tree at right rear may have expired after it lost its best source of water: drainage off the roof that collapsed into the house.