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The two RV Gypsies in
Mesilla, New Mexico
April 15, 2009
Below you will find photos and some history of the historic Village of Mesilla - and Billy The Kid. At the bottom of this page is a sub-menu to see photos of White Sands and The Space Mural - not to be missed.
The Historic Village of Mesilla -("Little Tableland") is the best-known & most visited historical community in Southern New Mexico
History bookThe village of Mesilla was incorporated in 1848, after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo moved the U.S.-Mexico border south of the village of Doña Ana, placing it in the United States. A small group of citizens, unhappy at being part of the United States, decided to move south of the border. They settled in Mesilla at this time. By 1850, Mesilla was an established colony. By this time, its people were under constant threat of attack from the Apache. By 1851, the attacks caused the United States to take action to protect its people just to the north of the border, in the Mesilla Valley. They did this by creating Fort Fillmore. As a result of the fort, the United States declared the Mesilla Valley region part of the United States. Mexico also claimed this strip of land, causing it to become known as "No Mans Land." This boundary dispute, which was officially caused by a map error, was resolved in 1853, with the Gadsden Purchase. Mesilla became a part of the United States, as well as the southern part of New Mexico and Arizona.

The area attracted such figures as Pancho Villa, Billy the Kid, and Pat Garrett. The village was also the crossroads of two major stagecoach lines, Butterfield Stagecoach and the Santa Fe Trail. The village of Mesilla was the most important city of the region until 1881.

Today, many of Mesilla's population of nearly 2,200 residents are direct descendents of Mesilla's early settlers. As such, they have retained many of the "hearty folk" qualities of the original founders. Mesilla has a rich and diverse heritage with the integration of Indian, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo-American cultures.
adobe structure
Perhaps the greatest import of the past history is the physical character of the community itself. The traditional adobe structures and architectural features modified through time because of style and technology still remain as a reminder of the long and significant history of the town.
Mesilla is the land of Billy The Kid
Billy the Kid sign
Billy the Kid door sign
Billy The Kid Gift Shop is located in the old courthouse, one of the most historic buildings on the plaza. An old adobe building has the original 18-inch walls made of mud bricks, so it is always cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The historical building was built early in Mesilla's history. It is said to have housed the state capital when Mesilla was the capital of the Arizona Territory. Local tales also tell of men working out the details of the Gadsden Purchase in this old building. After the civil war, the county used the building as the county courthouse and jail until 1882. It was here that Billy the Kid was tried and sentenced to hang on April 13, 1881. He was taken back to the courthouse in Lincoln where he escaped. Later he met death at the hands of Pat Garrett. Some say the ghost of Billy the Kid still lives in this building. At one time this building held a courthouse, jail, and school at the same time. It is said that the children would be let out of school before a hanging so they would not see it. In 1905 the Florencio C. Lopez family bought the property and opened a bar and a billiard hall until 1913. Today it is owned by a local Mesilla family and operates as a gift store.
la Posta sign
la Posta sign
la Posta bldg
la Posta bldg
La Posta sign
San Albino Mission

Basilica History

San Albino is one of the oldest missions in the Mesilla Valley. It was established by order of the Mexican government in 1851. In 1906, the present building was constructed on the foundation of the original adobe church. The bells of San Albino date to the early 1870s.

The two RV Gypsies got pricked in a batch of cacti.
the two RV Gypsies in a cacti patch
Lee - one of the two RV Gypsies in a cacti patch
a cacti patch
Antiques & Lee - or is Lee the antique ? LOLLee the antique
OTHER GREAT STUFF IN NEW MEXICO
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Thank you for viewing the photos of the two RV Gypsies in Las Cruces. Please continue to explore the other photo sections in the menu below.
White Sands
The Space Mural
Las Cruces, NM
Mesilla, NM
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go to the next adventure of the two RV GypsiesAFTER you have viewed all 4 of the above photo sections, please continue on for photos in Arizona.