Sunset Canal Dam – Lordsburg NM


"When Franklin D. Roosevelt took presidential office in 1933, the Great Depression was in its fourth year. He was elected partly because he promised relief for the common man. He enacted the New Deal programs and the Works Progress Administration, which was later called Works Project Administration. The program put unemployed men to work in all areas of the county to build strength and self-respect in the working class. The projects, both in the process of putting people to work and in the resulting buildings, greatly impacted the suffering nation and especially the Southwest, which was also in a severe drought.

In its eight years, more than $11 billion was spent on WPA projects that developed and sustained public roads, 125,000 buildings, airports, dams, sewers, parks, bridges, and city halls. Art and writing projects received seven percent of the budget and created beautiful national treasures. Over eight million Americans who had been jobless were put to work.

By 1935, over one-half of all NM residents were enrolled in one or more New Deal program (population was then 425,000). They worked for the WPA, Civil Works Administration, Public Works Administration, Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), National Youth Administration, and the Rural Electric Administration. The WPA also furnished teachers, doctors and nurses, actors and musicians, artists, and writers.

Other WPA buildings in Hidalgo County are:

Lordsburg City Hall

Hidalgo County Fairgrounds

Animas School

Sunset Canal Dam

Port of Entry

Wilson School

Rodeo School

Virden High School"

-Hidalgo County

Source notes

Hidalgo County website

Banks, Phyllis Eileen. "WPA Projects in Southern New Mexico - Windows to our Past," Jan. 6, 2003.

"New Deal Sites in New Mexico," Atlas of Historic New Mexico Maps, New Mexico Humanities Council.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Lordsburg, NM

Location notes:

Coordinates: 32.682500, -108.980830

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