La Mesilla is located southwest of Las Cruces and approx. 45 miles northeast of El Paso. Take exit 139 or 140 on the I-10. When exiting at 139 take SR292 (Calle de El Paso) southeast to Mesilla, when exiting at 140 take SR28 (Avenida di Mesilla) southwest to Mesilla,
In 1846 the 'Mexican War' began under President Polk. Even when this war ended in 1848 there were still disagreements between the two countries about land questions.
First settlers established a colony around 1848 after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo but the land wasn't offial part of the United States. Both, Mexico and the United States still claimed their rights in this area.
By signing the Gadsden Purchase (terminated the Mexican War and resolved the remaining territory claims) in 1854 the little town Mesilla became part of the United States.
Mesilla played an important role in the following years. Mesilla was situated along two major trade routes: "El Camino Real" (connecting Santa Fe and Chihuahua) and "Butterfield Stage Route" (connecting San Antonio and San Diego).
Today the town of Mesilla has a population of 2,180 people (Census 2000; takes place every 10 years)
The Plaza of Mesilla is the central spot in the town and awaits visitors with historical Adobe buildings, gift shops, and nice places to dine. The Plaza and the sorrounding historic district are both listed in the National Registry of Historical Landmarks and Places.
Festivals take place on May 5th (Cinco de Mayo) and September 16th (Diez y Seis de Septiembre: the Republic of Mexico declared Sep 16, 1825, as their Natl. Independence Day)