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

St. Genevieve's Church
DACHS member Morris Drexler has created a narrated slide show
of images he took of old St. Genevieve's Church in the late 60s. Everyone has heard of the old
church and now you can see what it looked like.  The slide show is in the form of a movie and
is posted on our YouTube Channel at: https://youtu.be/F2qzw339t0o

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. With our October 2021 presentation, we resume in-person lectures at Good Samaritan. The programs also will be available virtually through the Zoom platform.  DACHS Members will receive an email each month with the Zoom invitation to attend.  Non-members can email the historical society at 19dachs63@gmail.com to request an electronic invitation.
Jan. 27 2024
Annual Awards Banquet  Luncheon at noon at La Posta in Mesilla.
Feb 15
Bill Godby
Clyde Tombaugh and his tracking telescopes at White Sands Missile Range - ground breaking work copied by all other military test facilities.
Mar 21
Dr. Richard Melzer
The history of the Swastika at New Mexico State University by one of the noted historians in New Mexico. 
Apr 18
Christopher Schurtz
Christopher's talk will be about the impact the Bataan Death March had on communities throughout New Mexico and how they commemorate the losses they suffered.
May 16
A panel discussion/presentation on the life and contributions of J. Paul Taylor.  Come out and help celebrate one of the great Mesilla Valley leaders.
Sep 19

Oct 17

Nov 21


The program recordings are available on our Facebook Page and our YouTube channel
Click here to visit our YouTube channel

Quick Links
Join Us  OR  Renew Your Membership

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 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 printing of the annual Review), 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.
Grants and Projects
The DACHS has a fund to help support area history researchers and projects. An application form is available for the different grants.
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 lists of all past awards, GO HERE.
Who We Are
The board of directors and officers.
Our History and Mission How we started in 1963 and what we do. Logo background.
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

Donnell Hester's presentations on Ancestral Puebloan culture.

Click here for his Introduction to Ancestral Puebloan culture.

Click here for his tour of Mesa Verde National Park sites.

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.