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Visit the Land of Billy The Kid

Dancers on the Mesilla Plaza
Old Mesilla, NM invite you to step back in time to one of the oldest and most unique settlements of southern New Mexico.  Located off I-10, it is nestled in the Mesilla Valley on the banks of the Rio Grande.  Mesilla has been a part of the Kingdom of Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederacy, and finally the United States of America.  Mesilla has a rich history filled with prehistoric cultures,  Spanish explorers, Apache raids, the civil war, and the wild west.  Pancho Villa and Billy the Kid walked the streets.  The famous trial of Billy the Kid was held here and the Democrats and Republicans had a bloody showdown on the plaza.   It was the Confederate capital of Arizona and New Mexico during the Civil War. The Gadsden Purchase finally brought Mesilla into the United States.  Many residents are direct descendants of the original settlers.  Today Mesilla is a part of living history.  Great care has been given to preserve the original adobe buildings and the beautiful plaza. People from all over the world stop to experience the history, art, architecture, quaint shopping, and unique dinning that Mesilla has to offer.

Organ Mountains
These majestic mountains rise out of the desert to the east of Mesilla, Photo by Chris Rogers

Organ Mountains
The majestic Organ Mountains rise out of the desert east of Mesilla.  They resemble a giant organ with organ pipes extending into the air.  These sheer shafts of granite rise up more than 9,000 feet from the desert floor.  The highest elevation is the Organ Needle at 9,012 feet.   They have been called the stately guardians of the Mesilla Valley.  

The New Mexico Flag

THE FLAG OF NEW MEXICO is a unique flag with a red zia on a field of Spanish gold.  The zia is the symbol of the sun that shines over the state. The four sets of four bars are set at right angles to each other.  The center two bars are longer than the outside bars. The first bar represents the four winds or the four directions; north, south, east, and west.  The second bar represents the four stages of life; childhood, youth, adulthood, and the senior years. The third bar represents the four parts of the day; morning, noon, evening, and night.  The last bar represents the four seasons; spring, summer, winter, and fall.  The bars are joined by a circle of life which has no beginning and no end.  

For more information, click on this picture

Come and visit us in a quaint Southwestern town filled with history.  If you can not come vist, feel secure in ordering on line with us.  While we can not possibly exhibit everything that we carry, we have tried to pick out a few of the more popular items.

Billy the Kid Gift Shop
Click on the picture for more information

located at 2385 Calle Guadalupe on the Plaza.  575-523-5562 billythekid@mesilla.com

located on the Plaza next to Billy the Kid Gift Shop,575-523-5562 coffee@mesilla.com

                THE TOWN OF MESILLA has always been one of the most colorful and historical towns in southwestern New Mexico.  Travelers have enjoyed this beautiful place for years.  In early times the Indian and Conquistadors used it as a camping place.  It was an overnight stop in the days of the stagecoach.   The economy of Mesilla boomed until 1881 when the railroad wanted to go through Mesilla.  The people decided not to allow the "Iron Horse" to pass through their property.  Instead the people of Las Cruces decided to let it come through their town.  At this point Las Cruces began to grow and Mesilla remained a small village.  When this happened the county seat was moved from Mesilla to Las Cruces.  Today a variety of visitors from many places enjoy strolling through this beautiful, peaceful town.  Come visit and enjoy this quaint monument to the past.

Mesilla Plaza

THE HISTORIC OLD MESILLA PLAZA The Mesilla Plaza originally was given to the Mesilla Colony Grant Board which owned it for many years.  Now the plaza with its gazebo is registered as a national monument. As the center of the community, it has witnessed many events.  The strongly religious community of Mesilla revolves around San Albino, the Catholic church on the plaza.  It has witnessed the wild side of the town.  Lawlessness and bloodshed went unchecked in the early days.  Many outlaws and rustlers walked the streets.  Politics often caused bloodshed in those days.  In 1871, both Democrats and Republicans decided to parade on the plaza.  As each had a band, it was called the bloody "Battle of the Bands."  This political fight left nine dead and many wounded.  Today people of the town enjoy concerts and fiestas on the plaza. Enjoy an ice cream , cold drink or a coffee from El Platero or Wild West Express-O while you sit and enjoy the sights and sounds of the beautiful Mesilla Plaza.


All Months Friday and Sunday Arts, crafts, and seasonal produce market
Fridays   11 a.m.-4 p.m. Plaza
Sundays 12 p.m.-4 p.m. Plaza
Feb. 8 Cupid's Chase 5K Run
7 a.m.- 11 a.m.  Plaza
Feb. 16th Race for CARE 5k
8a.m.-11a.m. Plaza
April 12th-Otimist Club of Las Cruces 5K
8a.m.-noon Plaza 
May 3-4  Cinco de Mayo Fiesta
Saturday noon-10 p.m.; Sunday, noon-7 p.m. Plaza
May 21 Ride of Silence
6:00 p.m. Plaza
June 15th  Raft the Rio River Race and Festival
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
From Picacho Bridge to Mesilla Bridge
July 4 Fireworks Display
9 p.m. Avenida de Mercado at Calle de Mercado
Sept. 13-14 Diez y Seis de Septiembre Fiesta
Parade (Saturday 11 a.m.) Avenida de Mesilla Fiesta (Saturday, noon-10 p.m.
; Sunday, noon-7p.m.) Plaza
Sept.-Nov.(Sundays) Mariachi Sundays
 4p.m.-6p.m. Plaza (Dates tentative) Plaza
Oct. 4-5  Mesilla Jazz Happening
Saturday, 12-7 p.m.; Sunday, 12-5 p.m. Plaza
Oct. 11-Los Leones de Mesilla Car Show
10 a.m.-3 p.m. Town Hall Parking Lot
Oct. 31 Dia de los Muertos Plaza
      Friday 2-7
      Saturday 12-7 Procession at 6 p.m.
      Sunday 12-5 p.m. Plaza

 Nov. 11 Veterans Day Ceremony
11 a.m. Parque de los Veteranos
Nov. 17 
El Tratado de la Mesilla Reenactment 
2 p.m. Plaza
Dec. 12-Lighting of the Christmas Tree & Music
Shopping Late in Mesilla
Music 6-6:30 p.m. Plaza
Dec. 24 
Luminarias and Music
5:30-7:30 p.m. Plaza

 For additional information about any event, please email us at info@mesilla.com


Henry Mc Carty, alias Henry Antrium, alias William H. Bonney alias Billy the Kid, lived a very short life , but made his place in history.  
Billy the Kid and many outlaws contributed to the wild side of Mesilla.  He was often seen in the bars or dances in town.  In 1881 Billy the Kid was tried in the building which is now the Billy the Kid gift shop on the southeast corner of the plaza.  He was sentenced to hang for the murder of Sheriff Brady. He was taken to Lincoln, New Mexico where on April 28th he escaped killing two deputies.  Finally on July 14th, Sheriff Pat Garrett shot him in the Fort Sumner ranch home of Billy's friend Pete Maxwell.  Be certain not to miss the Courthouse Building in Mesilla.  People say he still haunts this historic building on the southeast corner of the plaza.