Programs & Services

Southern New Mexico Historic Properties Offer Window to the Past

Vintage photo of J. Paul Taylor property, now Taylor-Mesilla Historic Property. Courtesy J. Paul Taylor family.

Historic sites in Southern New Mexico provide a window to yesteryear where visitors can experience the past through immersive activities.

Established in 1865 on the banks of the Rio Grande, Fort Selden was designed to house units of the US Infantry and Cavalry to protect settlers and Mesilla Valley travelers from desperados and Apaches, and bring peace to the south-central region of present day New Mexico.

The historic fort is open Wednesday through Sunday from 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Special events planned at Fort Selden this summer include Father’s Day fun Saturday, June 15, 1–5 p.m. with an afternoon of games and activities. Folk troubadour Ralph Estes will take you on a trip through a thousand years of the American West from the Anasazi to the Atomic Age, showcasing the songs of the trappers, traders, cowboys, Native Americans, and settlers.

Generations of New Mexicans know the story of La Llorona, but you’ve never heard it told quite like this. Saturday, July 13, 6–9 p.m. bring the whole family for a special summer night among the fort ruins in Radium Springs. Bring your own blankets, chairs, and a picnic dinner and meet this famous ghost from Spanish folklore, performed by Rosalia De Aragon, a multitalented actress and vocalist.

Fort Selden also has two summer camps for children June 29 and July 27. Summer camps this year focus on daily life on the 1800s southwestern frontier and include a number of interesting activities for children ages 8–12. Registration is required at least one week ahead. Please call 575-202-1638 to sign up.

Fort Selden is open Wednesday–Sunday 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. $5. Free to NM residents on the first Sunday of each month. Children 16 and under are always admitted free. Wednesday admission is free to New Mexico Seniors with ID.

Though the Taylor-Mesilla Historic Property is not currently open to the public, tours of the home can be arranged for community groups on a limited basis. In addition, at 10 a.m. on the fourth Saturday of each month, we offer tours of the Old Mesilla Plaza that explain the histories of some of the original surrounding buildings. Spend a great day on the plaza enjoying the shopping and the fascinating history of this New Mexico treasure.

Call 575-202-1638 for reservations.

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