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

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.

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 28, 2021
Annual Awards Event Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the awards event will be done virtually via Zoom at 7 p.m. Members will receive the Zoom invitation by email. Non-members can request the link to the Zoom meeting by emailing DACHS at 19dachs63@gmail.com  Check the January newsletter for a list of awardees.
Feb 18, 7 p.m.
Jim Eckles
The History of Wildlife on White Sands Missile Range. Included in his presentation, he will talk about why there are thousands of African antelope (Oryx) roaming the range; what happened to the horse herd; the fall and rise of desert bighorn sheep; the 10-year mountain lion study that was based at WSMR; protecting pupfish; and where have all the deer gone.
Mar 18
7 p.m.
Rick Hendricks
The Spanish Flu Pandemic in New Mexico 1918-1920 by Rick Hendricks, former NM state historian and now State Records Administrator. Deaths from Spanish Flu worldwide are estimated at 50 to 100 million.  It was a disease that could kill a hardy young man in less than 24 hours. Some NM communities were successful in mitigating the disease while the state did not have a department of health yet.  This will be another Zoom presentation.
Apr 15
7 p.m.
Dr. David DuBois
Dr. DuBois who will speak about New Mexico's drought cycles and our climate for the past 125 years - and what we might expect in the future. David is the State Climatologist for New Mexico, This will be another Zoom presentation. Non-members can request the link to the Zoom meeting by emailing DACHS at 19dachs63@gmail.com 
May 20
7 p.m.
Dr. Timothy Nelson
Blackdom and the Afro-Frontier.  The founding of Blackdom, N.M. south of Roswell in the early 20th century - a community intended to be all black. This will be another Zoom presentation. Non-members can request the link to the Zoom meeting by emailing DACHS at 19dachs63@gmail.com 
Sept 16
7 p.m.
Dr. Selfa  Chew
"Memory and internment: Japanese Americans and War World II."  This lecture will discuss the imprisonment of ethnic Japanese during War World II and the construction of a collective memory of their internment in concentration camps. Non-members can request the link to the Zoom meeting by emailing DACHS at 19dachs63@gmail.com
Oct. 21
7 p.m.
Dylan McDonald &
Jennifer Olguin
These two archivists at the New Mexico State University Library will speak about their upcoming exhibit at the Branigan Cultural Center -- "Place and Re-Place: Las Cruces Urban Renewal, 1960-1975" Urban Renewal completely remodeled downtown Las Cruces and left a bad taste in the mouths of many people. They will show us how it happened.
With this presentation, we resume in-person lectures at Good Sam. We will also stream the presentation live on Zoom.  Non--members are welcome to attend at Good Sam or can request the link to the Zoom version by emailing DACHS at 19dachs63@gmail.com and requesting the invitation by email.


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

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.