Mesilla ("Little Tableland") is the best-known and most visited historical community in Southern New Mexico. Since its' beginning,
around 1848, Mesilla has had a major influence on the economic, cultural, historical, and political life of the Mesilla Valley. From the Gadsden Purchase, to the Civil War, to the
Butterfield Stage Coach Trail, to the trial of Billy the Kid, to being a lively social center in the 1880s--Mesilla has been a prominent part of the rich history of the Southwest.
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. 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.