Mesilla ("Little Tableland") is the best-known and most visited historical community in Southern New Mexico. Since its' beginning, around 1848, Mesilla has had a major influence on the economic, cultural, historical, and political life of the Mesilla Valley. From the Gadsden Purchase, to the Civil War, to the Butterfield Stage Coach Trail, to the trial of Billy the Kid, to being a lively social center in the 1880s--Mesilla has been a prominent part of the rich history of the Southwest.
This $7.4 million museum celebrates the 3000 year agricultural story of New Mexico...from the first farmers in their rustic pithouses more than 1200 years ago to the modern day technology which is helping New Mexico be a leader in the dairy industry.
Dripping Springs is an amazing wildlife viewing opportunity with 4 miles of easy hikes. The Center is open to the public from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily except on Thanksgiving and Christmas. The preserve is open from 8:00 A.M. to sunset year round. Day use fees apply on a per vehicle basis. As water finds its way to the surface year-round, Dripping Springs is a desert oasis where unique animal species thrive including Red-Tail Hawk, Gambel's Quail, Golden Eagle, Rock Squirrel, Black-Throated Sparrow, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Verdin, Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, Lesser Nighthawk, Desert Mule Deer and Coyote to name a few. Another good hike from the Visitor Center takes you up to the ruins of Major Eugene Van Patton's Camp, built originally in 1872, later to be a tuberculosis sanatorium in the early 1900s.