The Arrow Motel – Espanola, NM

I photographed the Arrow Motel in Espanola, New Mexico a couple of years ago. Since then, a man died behind the building, and the motel has been demolished. It’s so strange to me, how attached I feel to these places, many which I have only been to once.  To me this was so much more than an old, rundown motel, or an eye sore for the community. It was a restful place for countless weary travelers. It was a dream for a family who owned it – a business, an income, a way to support their families. The Arrow Motel was a piece of history.


An unidentified man passed away behind the Arrow Motel, in the abandoned trailer behind the decaying motel, which once stood on Riverside Drive. When firefighters arrived, the flames had already engulfed the entire trailer, reaching at least 40 feet.


Taking them more than 45 minutes to get the flames down, the building was entirely too hot and unsound for anyone to enter. The trailer burned to its entirety, leaving nothing but ash, and an old air conditioner. The body was found face down in the back of the building, in what looked to have once been the restroom. The Motel, and the laundromat were both damaged beyond repair, as the roof collapsed making them even more unsound. Two years prior, there had been a fire 20 feet away that killed a squatter trying to keep warm.

The laundromat, liquor store, and Arrow Motel were both so structurally unstable after the 2017 fire, the fire department was initially unable to investigate the cause of the fire.


Two years prior, there was another trailer fire, which was also fatal in 2014. While trying to keep warm, he accidentally started the fire.

The sign was my favorite part about the motel. Old neon signs were the best, and the pigeon just added to the interest.




The photo below was the only shot I captured of this blue chair, and of course it turned out blurry! I hate it when that happens. I don’t always post blurry pics, but sometimes if it happens to be the only one I captured…I make exceptions..


Per the city, The Arrow Motel was finally demolished by three contractors, in January of last year after going back and forth with the family: LINK.

The family had been ordered to demolish the buildings, but did not have the funds to do so.

Outside of Espanola, we came upon a neglected old house nestled behind a grove of trees changing for the season. I couldn’t resist stopping to take a few pictures of her.


New Mexico is so much unlike any other state you have ever seen.



Trish Eklund is the owner and creator of Abandoned, Forgotten, & Decayed, and Family Fusion Community, an online resource for blended families of all types. Abandoned Nebraska: Echoes of Our Past, Trish’s first book, is now available. Trish’s photography has been featured on RAW artists, Only in Nebraska, Snapshot Nebraska, Visit Nebraska, Abando Globe, ListVerse, Grime Scene Investigators, Nature Takes Over, Raw Abandoned, and Pocket Abandoned.  Trish has an essay in in the anthology, Hey, Who’s In My House? Stepkids Speak Out by Erin Mantz Her writing has been featured on The MightyHuffington Post Plus,  Making Midlife Matter, The Five Moms, and Her View From Home. She has written four young adult novels and is currently working on her first adult novel.

Photo of Trish by Don Shepard of Don Shepard Photography: Link.


Categories: Abandoned Buildings, Abandoned Motel, Abandoned Omaha, Arrow Motel, Demolished, Espanola, New Mexico, Trish EklundTags: , , , , , ,


  1. Roy brewer

    I stayed there with my family several times in the late 60s and early 70s I went back in 2015 or 16 and it was still there I see it’s been torn down do you know what year it was built? I was surprised at the number eight on room number eight was still upside down!

  2. Nissa Valdez

    Thank you for this post. My aunt and her husband built The Arrow Motel and lived there with their family. It was a beautiful place. I don’t live in Espanola but I visit each year. After my aunt died I watched the building decay. Then it was gone but the sign remained. The next time i went that was gone too.

    • trishwriter

      Nissa, That’s amazing that your aunt and her husband built The Arrow! I wish I could have seen it in its prime! Thanks so much for sharing with me!

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