Here are a few things that everyone who lives in Old Mesilla knows. If you have visited there more than a few times, you probably know too.

Old Mesilla is one of the oldest settlements in the Borderland yet sits in one of the youngest states. New Mexico was a "territory" until 1912 when it became the 47th state in the union.

Today, Mesilla sits quietly but, back in the day, it was a hustling, bustling place that saw plenty of action ... good and bad.

Visitors now don't really have to worry much about getting caught up in a gunfight but life in Old Mesilla in the 1800's could often be violent.

Photo, Chad Brummet/YouTube
Photo, Chad Brummet/YouTube
  1. In addition to the typical, shootouts and raids common to to the era, Old Mesilla also saw 2 Civil War battles and was a Confederate Capitol for about a year.
  2. Billy The Kid was tried in Old Mesilla, in the building that is now a gift shop and sentenced to hang. It is said that the judge ordered he be hung until he was "dead, dead, dead". To which Billy replied that he judge could go to "hell, hell, hell".  He escaped from jail before the hangman got to him.
  3. La Posta was once a major stop for the Butterfield Stagecoach Line.
  4. San Albino Church was granted minor basilica status in 2008.
  5. La Posta is now a restaurant. It's also, like most of Old Mesilla, haunted AF.

Hopefully these little tidbits will get you to visit Old Mesilla to learn more. It is truly a (semi) hidden gem of the Southwest.

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