One reason people love living in the Mesilla Valley is because of its rich history. You won’t find a better example than historic Old Mesilla, just south of Las Cruces, which offers a totally different vibe.
Las Cruces and Mesilla were both once part of Mexico, but when the Gadsden Purchase was signed in 1853, a large area of the Southwest became part of the United States. Although the border moved, Mesilla retained the charm of a Mexican village, centered around the plaza, and anchored by the Basilica of San Albino. Visitors are welcome to enter the basilica to appreciate the religious art inside.
In Mesilla, you walk in the footsteps of history. Billy the Kid was jailed here, and icons of the Old West strolled these streets. For example, in the mid-1880s when General Douglas MacArthur was a boy, his father was the commander at nearby Fort Selden, and they visited Mesilla. Of course, the man who shot and killed Billy the Kid, Sheriff Pat Garrett, was no stranger to the streets of Mesilla either.
Today, you’ll find shops with fine jewelry and clothing, gift shops, and great places to dine, and can enjoy festivals and other events on the plaza. Jazz festivals, diez y seis de septiembre, Dia de los Muertos, and other celebrations are held on the Mesilla Plaza, some honoring the town’s past as a Mexican village.
What is now La Posta, a popular restaurant, was once the Corn Exchange Hotel where the Butterfield Stage Line stopped and was a bit of a “mini-mall” with each room serving a different function. Walk through the restaurant today to see signage indicating which room was the schoolhouse, which was the blacksmith shop or tannery, and more. Be sure to say “hello” to the parrots on your way in!
You can enjoy a fine meal at the Double Eagle, famed for both its steaks and its bar offerings. This building, too, is rich with history . . . and is said to be haunted!
Got your pups with you? Be sure to stop by Andele’s Dog House patio grill for delicious food and a pet-friendly patio.
Keep wandering around the plaza and surrounding streets to find a wide range of shops, restaurants, and bars. Enjoy a meal or a margarita, then pick up some pecans, jewelry, clothing, books, or gifts. Pretty much any place you visit is housed in a building with a fascinating history.
The homes in the Mesilla area also reflect the history of the region. One fine example on the plaza is the property of the J. Paul Taylor family, which is now a New Mexico Historic Property and can be toured only on special occasions as former New Mexico State Representative and educator J. Paul still lives onsite. The oldest parts of the rambling home and storefront were built in the 1850s and the Taylors made their first purchase of the property 100 years later.
Nearby Mesilla Park is another special area of homes that are unlike those you’ll find in other parts of the Mesilla Valley. Take a drive through the walkable tree-lined streets to discover neighborhoods with a totally different feel.
If you’re looking for a special Mesilla home — perhaps one made of adobe! — with character and history, reach out to Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate – Steinborn & Associates. They’ve been helping buyers make the Mesilla Valley their home for over 53 years. Locally owned, nationally known.
Posted by LasCruces.com