A purpose of the United States acquiring the Gadsden Purchase was to establish a southern railroad route through the area. However, in 1881, some residents of Mesilla strongly opposed the railroad coming though their community. That fact and the offer of free land in Las Cruces for a depot may have prompted the railroad’s decision to be routed through Las Cruces and the county seat was transferred there.
Located in a historic Santa Fe Railroad depot, the Las Cruces Railroad Museum interprets the railroad history of Las Cruces and the impact of the railroad on Southern New Mexico. Location and Hours: