Doņa Ana County Historical Society
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Committed to encouraging and promoting a greater appreciation and knowledge of the historical and cultural heritage of Southern New Mexico since 1963.

About Us
Annual Review
Awards Luncheon
Contact Us

Calendar Of Events / Programs                                                                              
Meetings are held at the Las Cruces Good Samaritan Village in the Stucky Auditorium downstairs in the main activites building, 3011 Buena Vida Cir., at 7 p.m. unless otherwise specified. Monthly programs are free and open to the public.
Jan 25
Annual Awards Event At the NM Farm and Ranch Museum from 1-3 p.m. We'll have heavy hors d'oeuves during the first hour so don't eat lunch. In the second hour we'll have a presentation by Holly Radke on protecting and preserving your artifacts & history. Also, we'll present awards. The $25 price includes food, admission to the museum and the Antique Treasures show in the museum that day. Reservations required.
Feb 20
Angel Pena
President of the Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project will talk about what they found in the archaeological and natural survey of the new Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.
Mar 19
Bud Russo
"Six Degrees of Separation—New Mexico Style.” Bud will point out in New Mexico's history, how many people seemed to know each other and be involved in each other’s lives.
Apr 16
David Thomas CANCELLED
He will talk about his latest book Killing Pat Garrett, The Wild West’s Most Famous Lawman - Murder or Self Defense? David looks at the evidence and offers his opinion. Be prepared to see photos you’ve never seen.
May 21
July 16 will mark the 75th anniversary of the Trinity Site atomic bomb test. Eckles will provide a different look at Trinity Site with “Trinity at 75: Myths, Misinformation and Things You Probably Don’t Know.”
Sep 17

Oct 15

Nov 19

Quick Links
Our History and Mission
How we started in 1963 and what we do. Logo background.
Join Us
Membership options. Print a PDF form, fill it out by hand and mail it with your check or bring to a monthly program. OR you can use our link to PayPal and pay now with your credit card.

You can use this "donate" button to go to PayPal and make a donation to the DACHS in any amount you want. You can pay with your PayPal account or your personal credit card. If you would like to target your donation to something other than the general fund (like the Picacho Cemetery clean-up), there is a space to "leave a note" at the top of the page right after you fill in the amount you wish to give. Thank you for your support.
Monthly Newsletter
Newsletters as PDFs going back to 2006.
Southern New Mexico Historical Review
Annual collection of articles covering the history of Southern New Mexico. The Review as PDFs going back to 1994.
Awards Luncheon Program
An event program is printed for the annual luncheon.  The luncheon programs as PDFs going back to 2013.
Scholarships / Grants
The DACHS has a fund to help support area history researchers. An application form is available for the different grants and / or scholarships.
A variety of publications the DACHS may still have available.
GO HERE for a suggested reading list covering Southern New Mexico's rich history -- from conquistadors to V-2 rockets.
Award Categories & Forms
The DACHS has numerous awards that are available for places and people each year. Some have small cash awards associated with them. To see all Past Awards, GO HERE.
Who We Are
The board of directors and officers.
How To Contact Us
Addresses for snail mail and email.
Reference Materials
Links to other resources and postings of materials by the Dona Ana County Historical Society.
Member Activities/Photos
See what we've been up to

The Doņa Ana County Historical Society's Stagecoach

DACHS stage coachThis coach was identified by Kenneth Wheeling, editor of the Carriage Journal, as a “hack passenger wagon, model 209,” manufactured by the Abbot-Downing Company.  The company was most famous for its Concord coach but made over 40 different wagons and carriages.

This one belongs to the Doņa Ana County Historical Society and is on loan to the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces, N.M. The coach is believed to have been used to carry passengers from El Paso (Franklin City), Texas to Parral, Mexico from 1852 to 1871. Hugh Milton believed it was used on the Santa Fe to Chihuahua route.

Around 1972, Dr. Paul Jones bought the coach after it was found in an old army garrison south of Chihuahua, Mexico. The coach was restored prior to its appearance in the 1976 Las Cruces bicentennial parade with money raised by the high school students of both Las Cruces and Mayfield.

The coach was donated by Dr. and Mrs. Paul Jones to the historical society in December 1975.

In 2013, DACHS member George Helfrich spearheaded an effort to repair and restore the coach’s four wheels.  Much of the wood was rotten and it was getting dangerous to try and roll the coach from its display position. The work was completed in May 2014.

The cost to repair the rear wheels was $1,736 making the total cost to rebuild all four wheels $3,270. Repair efforts involved complete disassembly of the wheels, replacement of most spokes with new hickory spokes and replacement of the felloes (the wood sections bolted to the steel rims) with new sections made of ash wood. The steel rims and the composition hubs were cleaned and tightened as needed. George painted the wheels locally.

Now the coach can be safely moved in the exhibit hall as needed. Also, it may be possible to move the coach to offsite locations for display in the future.

George and wheelGeorge Helfrich displays one of the restored coach wheels after he painted it.