Saturday, March 8, 2008

Las Cruces and Mesilla

After leaving Fort Davis we headed for Phoenix,( actually Surprise), Where some old friends and fellow teachers winter. As it was too far to drive in a day, we stopped for a couple nights in Las Cruces. We had passed through Las Cruces before and Renita wanted to check it out.
The next day we went to the town of Mesilla and it's famous plaza. Why is it famous?
Cause that's where Billy the kid was tried and sentenced to be hung. He had killed the sheriff in Lincoln,(See the comment below for a more accurate description), during a robbery.(No bullet holes visible).
Anyway Mesilla is a typical southwestern town that has been turned into a tourist trap, with silver stores and lots of stuff that looks neat but some was made in Vietnam! For example there were some really neat bamboo curtains with Our Lady Of Guadalupe painted on them. One would think they were from Mexico but the boxes had made in Vietnam printed on them. The only things that seemed to be from the southwest were some beautiful pottery,(the shopkeepers should label the authenticity and place of origin). (Renita loved the shopping and that's cool even though I got bored and started to get impatient)
There is one thing that's especially neat. The church of San Albino, which is located at the north end of the plaza. It was built in 1908 and had a beautiful wooden altar. The church historian informed us that the great great grandson, of the original altar artist, showed uo unannounced and had polished the altar wood. The simplicity of the inside gave the church a unique charm. She also informed us that the congregation is seeking basilica status due to the history of the church.
(I did see a new bird, a gambrel's quail, as I walked the dog in the rv park, so that was neat. Gambel's have a feature plume on top of there head). Clear skies


joe said...

Howdy Folks,
Please be aware that some your Billy the Kid info are less than accurate.

This happens sometimes on a road trip when perhaps sometimes talking to locals, some who borrow Billy the Kid history for their town.

This also confuses the "Legend of Billy the Kid" from the real history. I personally find the history even more fascinating.

(If George Washington slepted in all the places that claim him... he would have needed to sleep through the Revolutionary War!!!

Your right, Billy was tried in Messilla but for killing Sheriff Brady in Lincoln (not Mesilla) and he was sentenced to hang in Lincoln (not Mesilla)!

By the way, did you know this trial would have never happened if Govenor Lew Wallace had delivered on the promised pardon for Billy. He must have been too busy writting "Ben Hur"!

I'm glad to see you discovered some interesting behind the scenes facts about the old church.

Best Regards,

MarkandRenita said...

Thanks for the correction! I don't want to misinform anyone. Clear skies