We are parked at Pancho Villa State Park at Columbus, New Mexico.

One might wonder how a New Mexico State Park gets to be named for someone who raided the Town of Columbus, New Mexico on March 9, 1916 and killed 18 Americans. I researched that topic on-line and found the answer in one word…TOURISM. It was meant to attract tourists. The U.S. Army Camp that was here was named Camp Furlong. Now…would you go out of your way to go to Camp Furlong State Park? Most likely not!

Nonetheless controversy over the naming of the park still remains. The following two links provide the information…

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-03-09-1Apanchovilla09_CV_N.htm

http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/letters/2011-03-14-letters14_ST_N.htm

Upon arrival four days ago we purchased a New Mexico Annual Camping Permit. It allows a full year’s use in all of New Mexico’s State Parks for a non-resident for only $225. You are allowed to stay as long as three weeks before being required to move along. If you desire an electrical hook-up it is available for only $4 a night. I have several friends who have purchased this Annual Camping Permit in the past and speak highly of it. We intend to spend the better part of 2012 exploring New Mexico…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view...

I must tell you Pancho Villa State Park is one of the nicest state parks I’ve been to. At 49 acres with only 62 campsites…that makes it very spacious. Lots of room between campsites also makes it very quiet and peaceful. It’s also nice and level which makes for very easy RV parking. The desert scenery is very beautiful in its own natural way.

Here’s a Google Earth image showing Columbus, New Mexico is only three miles from Palomus, Mexico. Our location is shown by an “X”…

Here’s one showing the state park boundaries. Our site is marked as an “X”…

Here’s a photo of our campsite…

Here’s a panorama shot of Columbus, New Mexico looking east from north to south…

Here’s another looking directly to the south, east to west,  over the state park and into Mexico. Our motorhome is somewhere in this photo…

This link provides a good description of the park…
http://columbusnewmexico.com/columbus_new_mexico_pancho_villa_state_rv_park.htm

Yesterday morning at 10:00 AM we were among the about 50 people who braved the cold temperature and a rather brisk wind to attend an hour-long memorial service for the eight soldiers and ten civilians killed in the raid. In addition 90 Villaistas were also killed. I was honored when asked to respond for Private Fred A. Griffin during the Honor Roll Call. When his name was called I answered loudly “Here, Sir” and a bell was rung in remembrance. The other 17 causalities also had representatives to answer for their name when called. Mary answered for a civilian.

Private Fred A. Griffin was the first soldier killed in the raid. His image and information is shown below…

Here are some other photos I took during the memorial service…

After the memorial service we went to the nearby Columbus Historical Society Museum in the refurbished old railroad depot. There are three rooms full of local historical information and one room is dedicated to the Villa Raid, Camp Furlong and the Punitive Expedition led by General John “Black Jack” Pershing who pursued Villa into Mexico.

Here are some photos from the museum…

From this nearby small rise of land known as Cootes Hill, the soldiers of Camp Furlong drove the Villaistas from Columbus back towards Mexico…

We expect to move on from Pancho Villa State Park tomorrow morning.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,024 other followers