community on spur railroad in the south-west part of the county.
A nearby extinct volcano is called crater of Aden. Since the railroads
chose names from many disconnected sources, this may be named after
the seaport town of Aden, in Arabia.
office from 1894-1898 and 1905-1924
All that remains of the town of Aden is a sign.
Post Office on SP RR, 20 mi SW of Las Cruces. Possibly named for
the Afton River in Scotland, as a number of Scotsmen settled here
in the early days. Post Office 1924-1941.
Office 1907-1919. See Sunland Park.
"narrows" in Spanish. Located 2 miles East of Hatch, NM.
US 80 and 85, 20 mi N of El Paso; in the heart of the cotton-growing
area of the Mesilla Valley along the Texas border. When the AT &
SF RR built its line in 1881, the station was placed on the Texas
side and named La Tuna. A Spanish American woman named Sabrina had
a chapel ont he NM side dedicated to San Antonio, and when a town
was started she rejecte the name L Tuna and insisted upon Anthony.
Previously the location on the NM side was called Half Way House.
Another version states that a Catholic priest came through the mountain
pass to establish a church here and found that the outline of a
face on the mountain was called st. Anthony's Nose. There is a promontory
on the Hudson River named Anthony's Nose, but commemorating the
nose of Anthony D. Hooges. Post Office 1884 - .
US 80, 19 miles SE of Las Cruces; former town of Cottonwood, on
route of Butterfield Overland Mail. Berino is said to be an Indian
word meaning "ford". Post Office 1902 - .
area below Mesilla Park is in the old Brazito Grant. The schoolhouse
and the farm community still bear the name. Referred to as early
as 1776 as Huerto de Los Brazitos. Extends 8 miles along the Rio
Grande S of Las Cruces. Made to Juan Antonio Garcia in 1822 or 1823
and confirmed by the U.S. Congress on 7/22/1854.
for "little arm" or "tributary". General Stephen
W. Kearny, commanding the Army of the West, occupied Santa Fe on
August 18, 1846. On September 25, he set out for California, leaving
Col. Alexander W. Doniphan in charge of New Mexico, with orders
to march southward to assist in the conquest of Chihuahua as soon
as Col. Sterling Price arrived to take command in Santa Fe. Colonel
Donipan and his Missouri Volunteers moved south to Brazito, and
on Christmas afternoon 1846, the only battle of the Mexican War
to be fought in New Mexico took place. The Mexican forces consisted
of 1200 men led by General Trias. The Americans were victorious
and moved on to occupy El Paso without a struggle on Dec. 28. On
Feb. 8, 1847, they began their advance on the city of Chihuahua.
mile N of point where NM, TX and Mexico join. At one time there
was a brick plant here.
AT & SF RR 3 miles N of El Paso, 2 miles N of Brick.
NM 28, W of the Rio Grande, 18 miles S of Las Cruces. Reported to
be an Indian word meaning "deep ford"; and also as a corruption
of the Spanish word for brush that grew in this section. On E side
of the river is the settlement called Berino. Post Office 1880-1882,
1893 - .
on SP RR, 25 miles SW of Las Cruces, 7 miles east of county line.
settlement 5 miles N of las Cruces on NM 28, 15 miles W of Organ
Mtns. Mentioned in reorts of Governor Otermin, as he left NM after
trying to recapture Santa Fe in 1682. On Feb 4, members of his party
wrote, "We marched on the 4th to another place which they call
Dona Ana, where the senor governor and captain general prepared
to go in person to a sierra which is in sight about six leagues
away, call Los Organos". A legendary woman, Dona Ana Robledo
was reported to have lived here in the seventeenth century and to
have been outstanding for her charity and good deeds. There are
also legends of the daughter of a Spanish or Mexican army officer
who was captured by the Apaches and never seen again. A letter from
a Spanish officer tothe Viceroy states that the Apaches in the region
of Los Organos (the Organ Mtns) had killed three Spaniards and raided
the sheep ranch of Dona Ana Maria Nina de Cordova. In 1839, the
Governor of Chihuahua issued a grant known as El Ancon de Dona Ana
(The Dona Ana Bend Colony) to Don Jose Maria Costales and a hundred
and sixteen colonists. American military forces came in contact
with the community in 1846. In 1853 there was an additional grant
of land from the Governor of Chihuahua. In 1854 Mexico sold this
added territory to the U.S. in the Gadsden Purchase. Post Office
1854, intermittently to present. The village of Dona Ana was the
original county seat. In 1853 the county offices were moved to Las
Post Office (historical)
Office 1888-1911, mail to La Mesa. See Vado.
for "little spring". Near Anthony.
community on US 80, 4 miles W of Las Cruces. Post Office 1926 -
Selden was established in 1865 in an effort to bring peace to the
south central region of present day New Mexico. Built on the banks
of the Rio Grande, this adobe fort housed units of the U.S. Infantry
and Cavalry. Their intent was to protect settlers and travelers
in the Mesilla Valley from desperados and Apache Indians. Several
of the units stationed at the fort were black troopers, referred
to as Buffalo Soldiers. A young Douglas Mac Arthur called the fort
home while his father was post commander in the late 1880s.
1890 criminals and raiding parties were no longer considered a
threat as hostilities eventually lessened and the fort was no
longer needed. Like many small forts in the Southwest the government
decommissioned the fort and it was abandoned in 1891.
the stark adobe brick walls of the frontier past evoke a feeling
of personal connection to the past. Now a New Mexico State Monument,
a visitor center offers exhibits on frontier and military life.
US 85, 10 miles NW of Hatch. Post Office 1896 - .
AT & SF RR 11 miles NE of Hatch. Named for a pasture grass called
grama by the Spanish.
Office 1896-1898; mail to Mesilla.
was originally settled as Santa Barbara in 1851, however Apache
raids drove the farmers away until 1853 when the nearby Fort Thorn
was established. When Fort Thorn closed in 1860, the town had
to be abandoned again. It was not until 1875 that it was re-occupied
and at that time it was re-named for Indian fighter Edward Hatch,
who was then commander of the New Mexico Military District from
enjoys the distinction of being the home of "The World's
Best chili pepper", according to a report by the BBC World
News. Hatch chile is best prepared by roasting over an open flame.
Each year during chile season, dozens of chile vendors can be
found lining the streets of Hatch roasting the local chile.
Hatch Chile Festival is an annual event that occurs each Labor
Day. This event attracts people world wide to a place known as
the chile capital of the world. The small town has accommodated
up to 30,000 people for this event. This small farming community
is known world wide for raising very good chile. Other crops such
as onions, cotton, and corn are also raised there. Irrigation
of local farms is accomplished by water wells as well as irrigation
ditches which divert water from the Rio Grande and two lakes approximately
20 miles north of Hatch named Caballo (Spanish for "horse")
and Elephant Butte Reservoir (named after a rock formation in
the middle of the lake that looks similar to an elephant).
is 40 miles north of Las Cruces, New Mexico on Interstate 25,
and 34 miles south of Spaceport America, a new purpose-built spaceport
being built by the New Mexico Spaceport Authority with State and
trading point on NM 28, 10 miles NW of Las Cruces. Named for the
Hill family, a member of which, a Las Cruces dentist, was at one
time a candidate for governor. Post Office 1914-1937.
stop 1 mile S of NM 26, on AT & SF RR, 9 miles west of Hatch.
Kent was general manager of the Dona Dora mines about 1909. First
Postmaster, Garard W. Kent. Post Office 1904-1911; mail to Organ.
SP RR, 20 miles SW of Las Cruces and 5 miles NW of Afton.
community on NM 28, 6 miles S of Las Cruces. Named for nearby lava
flow called Black Mesa. Founded 1854-1857 by Spanish Americans,
and a few Anglo-American pioneers. In the nine years, 1845-1854,
this part of the Rio Grande Valley remained in Mexico until the
Gadsden Purchase became effective on Nov. 16, 1854. Settlement was
desirable here because it was a higher tract of land and free from
overflow by frequent floods that submerged nearly all other parts
of the valley. First Post Office named Victoria, but locally called
La Mesa. Post Office 1908 - .
NM 28, 29 miles SW of Las Cruces. Post Office 1909-1957.
SP RR, 25 miles NW of El Paso, TX. Post Office 1905-1921.
Cruces, also known as "The City of the Crosses", is the
county seat of Doña Ana County, New Mexico, United States.
The population was 74,267 as of the 2000 Census, and was estimated
at 93,570 as of July 1, 2009, making it the second largest city
in the state.
Cruces is the economic and geographic center of the fertile Mesilla
Valley, which is the agricultural region on the flood plain of
the Rio Grande which extends from Hatch, New Mexico to the west
side of El Paso, Texas. Las Cruces is also the home of New Mexico
State University (NMSU), New Mexico's only land grant university.
The city's major employer is the federal government on nearby
White Sands Test Facility and White Sands Missile Range. Recently
the city has been home to many of the retired from across the
country. The majestic Organ Mountains, ten miles (16 km) to the
east, are dominant in the city's landscape, along with the Doña
Ana Mountains, Robledo Mountains, and Picacho Peak.
area where Las Cruces rose was previously inhabited by the Manso
people, with the Mescalero Apache living nearby.:19 The area
was later colonized by the Spanish beginning in 1598, when Juan
de Oñate claimed all territory north of the Rio Grande
for New Spain and later became the first governor of the Spanish
territory of New Mexico.:2021
area remained under New Spains control until September 28,
1821 when the first Mexican Empire claimed ownership. The area
was also claimed by the Republic of Texas during this time until
the end of the Mexican-American War in 184648. The Treaty
of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848 established the United States as
owner of this territory and Las Cruces was founded in 1849 when
the US Army laid out the town plans.:36,40
became the leading settlement of the area, with more than 2,000
residents in 1860, more than twice what Las Cruces had.:48
When the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway reached the area
, the landowners of Mesilla refused to sell it the rights-of-way,
and instead residents of Las Cruces donated the rights-of-way
and land for a depot in Las Cruces.:58 The first train reached
Las Cruces in 1881.:62 Las Cruces was not affected as strongly
by the train as some other villages, as it was not a terminus
or a crossroads, but the population did grow to 2,300 in the 1880s.
Las Cruces was incorporated as a town in 1907.:135:63
Garrett is best known for his involvement in the Lincoln County
War, but he also worked in Las Cruces on a famous case, the disappearance
of Albert Jennings Fountain in 1896.:68
of Las Cruces has been attributed to the university, government
jobs and recent retirees. New Mexico State University was founded
in 1888. And as it has grown as Las Cruces has grown. The establishment
of White Sands Missile Range in 1944 and White Sands Test Facility
in 1963 have both been integral to growth because Las Cruces is
the nearest city to each and provide many high paying, stable
government jobs. In recent years the influx of retirees from out
of state has increased Las Cruces population.
the 1960s Las Cruces undertook a large urban renewal project,
intended to convert the old downtown into a modern city center.:115
As part of this, St. Genevieve's Catholic Church, built in 1859,
was torn down to make way for a Downtown Pedestrian Mall.:44,75,115
The original covered walkways are now being removed in favor of
a more traditional main street thoroughfare.
origin of the city's name is unknown. In Spanish "Las Cruces"
means "the crosses". (Some have claimed an alternative
meaning of "the crossroads" but this is grammatically
implausible, as "cruce", the singular form of crossroad,
is masculine and the phrase would be "Los Cruces".)
Point on US 85, 14 miles N of Las Cruces. First Postmaster was Adolphe
Lea. Post Office 1866 intermittently to 1898.
SP RR, 12 miles NW of El Paso, TX and 4 miles N of the TX border.
for "soapweeds". On Refugio Grant, 2 miles SE of Gadsden;
washed away by floods, 1876, 1884, and abandoned after 1886.
for "badlands". 2 miles N of the Mexican border on SP
RR, 22 miles E of Columbus.
on SP RR 2 miles N of Texas border and 12 miles W of El Paso.
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.
Two battles were fought at or in the town during the Civil War.
Mesilla served as the capital of the Confederate Territory of Arizona
in 1861-1862 and was known as the "hub", or main city
for the entire region. Recaptured by the Volunteers of the California
Column, it then became the headquarters of the Military District
of Arizona until 1864.
During the "Wild West" era, Mesilla was known for its
cantinas and festivals. The area attracted such figures as Billy
the Kid, Pat Garrett and Pancho Villa. 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.
1881, the Santa Fe Railway was ready to build through the Gadsden
Purchase region of the country. Mesilla was naturally seen as
the city the railroad would run through. However, the people of
Mesilla asked for too much money for the land rights, and a land
owner in nearby Las Cruces, New Mexico, a much smaller village
than Mesilla, stepped in and offered free land. The city of Mesilla
has not grown much since, and Las Cruces has grown to a population
of an estimated 86,268 people (2008)  and is currently the
second largest city in New Mexico.
Mesilla Historic District, which includes Mesilla Plaza, was declared
a National Historic Landmark in 1961.
2008, the Roman Catholic parish church of San Albino was raised
to the status of minor basilica by the Holy See.
Civil Colony Grant Tract
obtained after the Mexican War by Spanish Americans who petitioned
the Mexican Government for land then in the province of Chihuahua.
Grant was approved in 1853, but when the Gadsden Purchase was signed
in the same year, the territory became part of the United States.
village adjoining University Park at Lax Cruces on US 80. Named
for nearby La Mesilla. With the routing of AT & SF RR through
Las Cruces in 1881, the town of La Mesilla lots prestige and all
public offices were removed to Las Cruces 3 miles away, which then
became the count seat. Six years later a group of citizens formed
two land companies; the second was called the Mesilla Park Tract,
taking its name from Mesilla Valley. Then the New Mexico College
of Agricultural and Mechanic Arts (now New Mexico State University)
came into existence in 1889, the small village grew considerably.
Post office 1892 - .
for "desert shrub" and from Nahuatl "mizquitl. Farming
and ranching community on US 80, 12 miles S of Las Cruces on AT
& SF RR. Established in 1881 and named by railroad executives
for the many mesquite bushes here. Post Office, 1913 - .
Office 1901-1903. Mail to Las Cruces.
de Dios (historical)
for "Name of God". 21 miles S of Las Cruces. Destroyed
by a flood in 1884.
for "water well" 1 mile N of Texas border, on SP RR, 25
miles W of El Paso, Texas. The word comes from the Arabic and denotes
a kind of water wheel used in N Africa and S Spain to raise the
flow of water from a ditch or well for irrigation. In NM the word
was applied to a dug well as early as mid-seventeenth century
Senora de Guadalupe
community on US 70, 14 miles NE of Las Cruces, in foothills of Organ
Mtns, for which it was named. In 1908 famed sheriff Pat Garrett
was shot to death on the road leading from this old mining camp
to Las Cruces. Millions in lead, copper, and silver have been earned
here, but very little in gold. The mines are now half-filled with
water, but the US Bureau of Reclamation officials say it would be
too large a job to lower the water table sufficiently to drain or
pump out all the water. Post Office 1881, intermittenly to present.
for "top," "peak" or "summit". Village
6 miles NW of Las Cruces. Named for the mountains. Once a stoping
place for the Butterfield Overland Mail.
for "lead". 46 miles NE of Las Cruces. A big mill and
smelter were built here and abandoned immediately when the lead
mine played out. Post Office 1902, mail to Las Cruces.
for "colt". Community 3 miles N of Texas border on SP
RR, 36 miles W of El paso. Named for two mountain ranges in SW part
of county. Post Office 1908-1914. East Potrillo and West Potrillo
are separated by Mt. Riley.
for "prompt". On SP RR 25 miles SW of Las Cruces and 8
miles NW of Afton.
known as Fort Selden Springs; also Randall Station. Community centered
around a health resort, 1 mile NE of US 85, on AT & SF RR, 18
miles N of Las Cruces. Named for the radium reported in the springs,
which are said to have been known by the Indians in pre-Spanish
times, and were used by the soldiers at Fort Selden. Post Office
1926 - .
for "corner" or "box canyon". On NM 40 and AT
& SF RR, 5 miles East of Hatch. Named because it is in a corner
formed by two nearby mountains. Marks the South end of the dreaded
Jornada del Muerto. Early day travelers, immigrants and animals
died of thirst while trying to cross the desert. Its South end is
also the beginning of the old Chihuahua Trail. Post Office 183 -
Point on US 85, 3 miles SE of Hatch. Post Office 1904-1927.
SP RR, 20 miles SW of Las Cruces, and 5 miles SE of Afton.
community on US 85, 5 miles NW of Hatch. Named in 1908 when a group
of New Englanders from Salem MA settled here. Previously called
Plaza. Post Office 1908 -.
Office 1876-1888. Mail to Organ
for "Saint James". Mountain about 10 miles SE of Hatch.
Campground site of the early Spanish Explorers, at the beginning
of Jornada del Muerto. Formerly called Tonuco. A settlement by this
name appears on the Mapa de los EUM (1828).
Point on NM 28, 5 miles S of Las Cruces, 5 miles S of Las Cruces.
Post Office 152 - .Formerly called Telles.
for St. Therese. Village adjoining Hatch. Also called Placitas.
10 miles S of Las Cruces.+-
colony founded in 1885 by Dr. John B. Newbrough of New York City,
8 miles N of Las Cruces. Name taken from the cult's religious book
"Oahspe" Some 900 acres were purchased by the Faithists,
but after the death of their leader in 1891 the property was abandoned
or otherwise disposed of. The locality is still known by that name.
Link leads to a partial article on Shalam and the "Baby Community".
SP RR 16 miles NW of El Paso, and 8 miles W of US 80. Post Office
1894-1897, mail to El Paso 1918-1943.
5 miles NW of El Paso on SP RR. Formerly Anapra. In 1960, the community
changed the name to Sunland Park for the ract track which operates
a winter horse-racing meet here. Post Office 1962 - .
miles East of US 85, on AT& SF RR, 12 miles SE of Hatch. See
for "turtles". Mexicanized Tiwa Indian Pueblo 4 miles
SE of Las Cruces and 1 mile SE of Mesilla Park on US 80 and 85.
The village is divided into two parts, San Juan and Guadalupe. Legend
places its founding in 1680 or 1682, when Tiwa Indians accompanied
Governor Otermin south from the Pueblo of Isleta near Albuquerque.
The aged and ill Indians who could go no further, the "slow
ones" or "turtles", stopped here and founded the
village. A second theory is that the town was named for a mountain
which resembles a turtle. The Indians also call their village Nuestra
Senora de Guadalupe.
surrounding New Mexico State University, 2 miles SE of Las Cruces
and 1 mile East of US 80 and 85. Called State College until 4/1/1959.
Post Office 1959 - .
for "ford". Farming community of many names on US 80,
15 miles SE of Las Cruces. First known as Herron after the first
Anglo settlers, two brothers. Later changed to Earlham for a town
in Ohio or Illinois [webmaster's note: this is probably Iowa] from
which that family came. Later yet called Center Valley by one of
the postmasters. Present name may be for a ford or river crossing.
Post Office 1911 intermittenly to present.
SP RR, 20 miles NE of El Paso.
Sands Missile Range
25 miles NE of Las Cruces; established July 9, 1945, by Department
of Defense; operated by Department of Army for used of all branches
of service and NASA. Encompasses 4,000 square miles. Formerly White
Sands Proving Ground: Changed to White Sands Missile Range on May
1, 1958. Contains the White Sands National Monument