Mesilla, New Mexico
Early History
Founding of Mesilla
Gadsden Purchase
Civil War Period
Lively Social Center
The Rio Grande
The Railroad
Political History
The Plaza
Early History

history of Mesilla, New MexicoIn the sixteenth century nomadic Indians, such as the Mansos, occupied the Mesilla Valley.  Indian Pueblos were located to the north and west. Apaches and other tribes regularly passed through the area and camped in Mesilla. In 1540, Coronado traveled through New Mexico and since he did not find the cities of gold and jewels he had expected, little interest was shown in the state for the next 40 years. Juan de Onate and others came to New Mexico in 1598. From El Paso, they followed the Rio Grande north to conquer the Pueblos and explore for gold and silver. Onate's route became a link between the Spanish settlements of El Paso and Santa Fe and became known as El Camino Real, or the Chihuahua-Santa Fe Trail. It is recorded that Onate stopped in the vicinity of Mesilla on his journey north, but no settlement was established here for over 200 years. After being conquered by the Spaniards and living under Spanish rule, the Pueblo Indians revolted in 1692. Diego de Vargas, traveling north on El Camino Real, organized a successful reconquest soon thereafter. He and his men also passed in the vicinity of Mesilla. New Mexico remained under Spanish rule until 1821, when Mexico achieved her independence from Spain. From this time onward trading along the Chihuahua-Santa Fe Trail flourished and the Rio Grande Valley became both a politically and commercially valuable territory. 

Mesilla, New Mexico, USA
Mesilla, New Mexico

[Home] [Events Calendar] [Entertainment] [Shopping] [Food & Lodging]

[History of Mesilla] [Museums & Tours] [Town Offices] [Info Request]


Web site construction and Web hosting by Art Schobey Interactive - Las Cruces, NM