Columbus, NM and Puerto Palomas, Mexico!
Jan 26, 2012
|It's cold out here in the desert in winter! It froze last night, but now that the sun is up the temperature has rocketed up to 40F we're toasty warm! And, the sky is a most beautiful brilliant blue, and the sun is warm. No wind today!
We are off to the Museum in Columbus, to see all about the history of Columbus and Pancho Villa and General Pershing. This is an old railway town, a very important link for transportation in the south west, but the big name you hear in Columbus is Pancho Villa.
Our Museum docent is Annette, a retired school teacher who has lived in Columbus for quite a while after retiring from her job a few years ago in Minnesota. She and her husband live here now and love the desert. She was a wealth of information, and the museum is very well stocked thanks to donations and some swaps with other museums.
The Story of Pancho Villa
Mexican revolutionary. Born Doroteo Arango on June 5, 1878, in Río Grande, Mexico. Villa helped out on his parents' farm. After his father's death, he became head of the household and shot a man who was harassing one of his sisters. He fled, but was caught and imprisoned. Villa escaped again and later became a bandit.
While living as a fugitive, Villa joined Francisco Madero's successful uprising against the Mexican dictator, Porfirio Díaz. Because of his skills as a fighter and a leader he was made a colonel. Another rebellion removed Madero from power in 1912 and Villa was almost executed for his efforts to defend the former government. He fled to the United States for a time, but he later returned to Mexico and formed his own military force known as Division del Norte (Division of the North). He joined forces with other revolutionaries Venustiano Carranza and Emiliano Zapata to overthrow Victoriano Huerta. The different forces were not wholly successful at working together, and Villa and Carranza became rivals. For a number of years, he was involved in a series of clashes with other Mexican military groups and even fought with U.S. troops from 1916 to 1917. In 1920, Villa reached an agreement with Adolfo de la Huerta, the Mexican leader, which pardoned him for his actions in return for Villa putting an end to his independent military activities. Three years later, he was assassinated on June 20, 1923.
Pancho Villa's history with Columbus, New Mexico was not a happy one. The story goes that he brought a huge army up here to get his money back from one of the local merchants who regularly sold him guns and ammunition. Pancho had given him around $2000 dollars for merchandise that did not get delivered so he came up here from Mexico to either get his money back or get his guns. The army was intercepted here in Columbus by General Pershing and chased all the way back deep into Mexico after losing many of his soldiers during the battle here in Columbus. Several buildings were burned and a few Americans were killed, some military, some civilian.
So, our little visit to the Columbus Museum has given us a great insight into the life and times of the residents in the early 1900's.
Our docent, Annette, also told us about a great little place in Peurto Palomas, Chihuahua, which is a mile away from Columbus, just across the Mexican border. The place is called the Pink Store. It is a huge store selling pottery, clothing, textiles and along with this there is an excellent restaurant.
We have to go pick up our passports then plunge in!
We parked the truck on the USA side, walked through the crossing and found the Pink Store. Annette also told us that if you shop, a young lady will bring you a Margarita! Well, she did...what a great place. It was lunch time so we went into the huge lovely eating area and ordered enchiladas, taco's, burritos, beans, rice - all wonderful tasting Mexican food. Oh, my, it was good. There was a mariachi band, of course, just a delight.
After lunch we struck up conversation with a couple from Colorado who are staying in Deming...another lovely afternoon just chatting and hanging out!
So tomorrow is another travel day...thinking about going over to Tombstone. We went there a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it, good place to see how the old west played out. Follow us and see what we discover!