• story by Oliver Pinckney • photos by Mallory Stewart and Paul Slocumb •

Driving into Terlingua, it’s difficult not to notice the desert disappearing underneath new buildings and businesses.  The ghosts seem to have given up on their ghost town.  But just off Ivey Road, the Terlingua Cemetery reminds tourists and locals alike that the border between town and ghost town—and the border between life and death—is never far away.

As a final resting place for many early-twentieth-century miners, the Cemetery if filled with small rock piles supporting faded, unmarked crosses.  Like the lone corner of a nearby adobe ruin, the miners’ fragile gravesites foreshadow the inevitable disappearance of all human structures—a tremendous loss which this desert graveyard turns into a beautiful display.

The journey from Alpine to Terlingua Cemetery begins by heading south on State Highway 118.