CATRON COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – Southwest of Datil, a man’s nearly life-long dream is coming alive as he builds an entire American Western town from scratch. He hopes that soon, people will come visit it.
It’s hidden amongst the peaks of Catron County, tucked away on Larry Iams’ property. He calls it “The Town of Gabriella,” named after his granddaughter who died at infancy.
Gabriella harkens to an era long gone — about 1860 to 1905, to be exact.
“I love the American Western History,” Iams said. “I’ve been doing like gunfight reenactments since 1995.”
There’s a hotel with historically accurate wallpaper, a barber shop with a chair from Tombstone, a bank, and a general store.
Also, he added, “You can’t have a cowboy town without a saloon,” Iams laughed.
He guesses he’s spent more than $60,000 and used more than 400 pounds of nails to create this town, by hand, with the help of a friend. And they’re not done yet.
Iams hopes to have Gabriella finished as soon as possible, because he has big goals for what’s next.
“All kinds of activities,” he said. “We’re going to have like family reunions, we’re going to have the chuck wagon dinners.”
He envisions a venue for weddings, birthday parties and of course, gun fight reenactments. He even hopes that people could one day book a room in the “Horse Peak Hotel.”
Too ambitious? At nearly 70 years old, Iams disagrees.
“You can do anything that you want to do if you stick to your dream,” he said.
A friend of the Iams family has created a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for the final touches to finish Gabriella.