Photos, unless otherwise noted, are from our family album, Courtesy of Judy Schweitzer and/or Jess Lines.
Las Cruces, Historic Old West Town
On a trip to Las Cruces, we were introduced to Old Mesilla, New Mexico, (Mes-si-yah),) a charming, historic part of the town located on Avenida de Mesilla. The town originally belonged to Mexico until the signing of the Gadsden Purchase, on December 30, 1853, when it became part of the United States.
The Basilica of St. Albino, shown here, is the heart of the community, in Mesilla Plaza square on the corner of Calle Principal and Santiago. The church was founded in 1852 and built of adobe. A much needed renovation was completed in May of 2014. The church is the dominant building in the square, with other shops, restaurants, and businesses at her feet. Strolling along, you get the distinct feeling of how it must have been in the days of the old west.
Wild and Wooly Days of the Old West
For a time, the village of Mesilla was a major stop for the Butterfield Stagecoach, and the town bustled with activity. Billy the Kid stood trial in the town courtroom in 1881, and was sentenced to hang for the murder of Sheriff Brady. History records that he escaped in April, but his freedom was short-lived, as he was gunned down by Pat Garrett in July. These days, Mesilla is a quiet, peaceful place only disturbed by tourists, who discover it when visiting Las Cruces. And it’s quite a discovery, for they find the quaintness of the old world mixed with the new in shops, restaurants, and the people who live and work there. For me, I loved the charm and ambiance of the historical buildings. And of course, the wonderful food!
All photos on this page, are part of our family album, courtesy of Judy Schweitzer, taken on the spot in Mesilla, NM, unless otherwise noted.
Visit Old Mesilla in Las Cruces
If you’re thinking of taking a trip to Las Cruces, here is a book that may help guide you. Las Cruces itself has many attractions, but for me, Old Mesilla was the best part. If you go, be sure it’s is on your list of places to visit while there. And be sure to partake of the local cuisine. New Mexico is known for its cuisine using chiles, and this city’s restaurants include the finest Hatch chiles in their food.
Wonderful Food at La Posta de Mesilla
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express on Valley Street. By fortunate coincidence, we were also close to Old Town Mesilla for shopping, sightseeing and wonderful Mexican food from La Posta de Mesilla. The restaurant is listed on the National Historic Register and is quite a colorful, open and airy space, in business since 1939.
Great Food and the BEST Margarita Ever!
The building was originally built for and occupied by the Butterfield Stage Coach Company. But now, in this cool, comforting atmosphere, I relaxed and ate beef enchiladas, served with rice and beans, a shrimp cocktail with jumbo shrimp and avocados, and an icy Patron margarita that tasted better than any I’ve ever had. Do yourself a favor when you’re in the area, and be sure to stop in at La Posta for lunch, dinner or whenever. The food is marvelous!