On Friday, we went to Historic Old Mesilla which is about a mile and a half from where we are camping in Las Cruces. Old Mesilla used to be part of Mexico in the 1800's and later was a stagecoach stop for the Butterfield Overland Mail and Stage Line. In fact, the company set up its regional headquarters in Mesilla in 1858, 4 years after the American flag first flew over Mesilla following the signing of the Gadsden Purchase.
Billy the Kid was a frequent visitor to Mesilla in the 1870's and early 1880's, and was tried for the murder of Sheriff Brady in a building on the southeast corner of the plaza in the center of town. He was sentenced to death by hanging on April 13, 1981. He escaped from the courthouse in Lincoln and was later killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett.
Mesilla was a booming town until the residents voted against letting the railroad pass through town. Instead the railroad went through the small nearby town of Las Cruces which then began to grow. The county seat moved from Mesilla to Las Cruces shortly thereafter.
We ate lunch at the popular La Posta mexican restaurant near the Mesilla Plaza. Great atmosphere in this old building, and really neat bathrooms with lots of tile work inside. And the food was good too!
On Saturday morning, we rode to downtown Las Cruces to the Farmers' and Craft Market which covers about 7 blocks on Main Street. There were lots of vendors selling a little bit of everything - vegetables, artwork, jewelry, photgraphs, paintings, mini doughnuts (which were good by the way), kettle corn, plants, furniture, wood carvings - you name it, and it was likely being sold there!
Lots of people had their dogs with them as Las Cruces is a very dog-friendly town. We stopped to purchase some granola and a poppy-seed muffin from an organic food stand. Steve bought a bag of kettle corn and we took lots of pictures. There were a bunch of foodtrucks parked along the street selling Mexican food, slushies, and other assorted yummies. We enjoyed our visit and our stroll along main street.