The La Lama Cemetery was established in the late 1800s by the original settlers in this community. It has seen generations of folks burying and visiting their loved ones to this day. Throughout the year descendants, primarily from Questa, can be seen visiting those departed – restoring and attending to new and timeworn graves and occasionally interring recently departed relatives.
Over the last century the cemetery has seen its share of challenges from age, fire, wind, drought, vandalism, and mountain extremes. In 1996 the Hondo Columbine fire swept in from the south burning multiple Lama residences as well as burning historic wooden grave markers in the cemetery. It left all the standing trees in the cemetery damaged. Many of these extremely large ponderosas survived. However, over the years since the trees have been subject to continued harsh conditions resulting in some of them toppling over. One large ponderosa pine in particular had fallen down directly on a number of graves while collapsing the surrounding fences.
Members of the Ortega family including Questa Mayor John Ortega and current Lama residents, some descendents of those buried in the cemetery gave their go ahead to have Lama community groups lend a hand. Campers from the Sangre de Cristo Youth Ranch located in Lama, in cooperation with the La Lama Neighborhood Association, pitched in to rework the fences around the cemetery and remove multiple downed trees. Logs were removed, slash was neatly spread in surrounding areas and a general cleanup was conducted. A new entry point through the fence was created on the north side for those visitors entering on foot. It was hot and sometimes muddy work given the monsoon rains coming in daily. Thanks to all who participated and helped organize the two-day community service event.