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. 28, 2017 Annual Awards Luncheon Noon @ the Double Eagle in Mesilla. Only $26.50 per person. Reservations required from Susan at skrueger575@msn.com
February 16
Santiago Martinez
Growth & transformation of NMSU in its first 30 years
March 16
Paula Moore
Paula will talk about her latest book Matinee and Evening: The Story of Actors Abby Lewis and John Seymour. Abby Lewis was the daughter of St. James priest Hunter Lewis and grew up here.
April 8
Field Trip
Trip for members into Soledad Canyon on Ft. Bliss
April 20
Jim Eckles
Camp Cody, with 30,000 men, just outside Deming (population 2,000) during World War I. Getting ready for the blood and mud of trench warfare in France. The U.S. entered the war 100 years ago this month.
May 18
Mark Santiago
Director of the Farm and Ranch Museum will give a talk entitled, "Into Lands Totally Unknown: Spanish Military Campaigns into Central New Mexico, 1750 -1800"
Sept. 21
Al Tombaugh
The son of world famous astronomer Clyde Tombaugh will talk about his father. Clyde discovered Pluto in 1930. Eventually he worked at White Sands running the optical tracking operation and then moved to NMSU where he taught astronomy from 1955 to 1973.
Oct. 19
Prof. Peter Kopp
Fabian Garcia was a world renowned horticuluralist associated with NMSU. He is often cited for adding to the economic value of N.M. agriculture through his work on chile, sweet potatoes, pecans, onions and improved varieties of cotton. NMSU's horticulture farm is named after him.
Nov. 9
Father Justin

Canceled. Father Justin must return to Egypt after his presentation in NY.
Special presentation concerning the large library of ancient texts, second only to the Vatican's, found at St. Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai. Father Justin is the librarian for this incredible collection dating back to 600 A.D. He is the only American monk there and just happens to be from El Paso, TX.       SEE 100 YEAR-OLD IMAGES OF ST. CATHERINE'S HERE
Nov. 16
Chris Adams
Presentation in association with Human Systems Research. In May 1880, White Mountain Apache scouts attaked Victorio's band on the Palomas River in the Black Range.  Victorio was caught off guard and his defeat was a major turning point in the Victorio War.
Jan. 27, 2018
Annual Awards Luncheon
At the Double Eagle.  Details later.

Quick Links
Our History and Mission
How we started in 1963 and what we do. Logo background.
Join Us
Membership form. Print it and fill it out by hand. Mail it with your check or bring to a monthly program.
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 an endowment 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 has available. GO HERE for a suggested reading list of books 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.