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Pancho Villa State Park

P.O. Box 450
Columbus, NM 88029

Gate Hours: 24 hours

On March 9, 1916, soldiers led by Mexican Gen. Francisco �Pancho� Villa attacked the military camp at the sleepy border town of Columbus, New Mexico, killing 18 Americans. This was the only ground invasion of the continental U.S. since 1812.

Pancho Villa State Park is located in the village of Columbus, 35 miles south of Deming via NM Hwy. 11. From El Paso, take NM Hwy 9 65 miles west.

Pancho Villa State Park�s extensive historical exhibits depicting the raid and the U.S. Army�s subsequent Punitive Expedition into Mexico are now housed in the park�s new $1.8 million 7,000 sq. ft. Exhibit Hall.

The park is located on the grounds of former Camp Furlong from where Gen. John J. �Black Jack� Pershing launched 10,000 troops on an 11-months, 500-mile pursuit of Villa into Mexico. The Exhibit Hall tells the story that begins with the 1910 Mexican Revolution and ends with Pershing�s command of the Allied Forces when the U.S. entered World War I.

Through donations and funds appropriated by the New Mexico Legislature in 1999, Pancho Villa State Park acquired expedition-era examples of the vehicles and technology employed by Pershing and his men. The Exhibit Hall contains a full-size replica Curtiss JN-3 �Jenny� airplane used by the 1st Aero Squadron; a 1916 Dodge touring car, the type used by Pershing for a field office; historic artifacts; military weapons and ribbons. An armored tank stands as a sentinel outside the facility.

With only rudimentary initial instructions, military recruits were given orders to drive vehicles and fly the airplanes, which had not been previously tested at high-altitudes. As a result, equipment modernization and mechanical specialization during the 1916-1917 expedition period proved be essential to U.S. military success during World War I.

At Pancho Villa State Park, several buildings date from the time of Villa�s raid and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These include the 1902 former U.S. Customs House, two adobe structures dating from the Camp Furlong-era and Camp Furlong Recreation Hall.

The Exhibit Hall is open year-round, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven-days a week. The adjacent campground, offering picnicking, 62 electrical hookups and tenting sites, is open year-round, 24-hours a day.

Facilities

  • Visitor Center
  • Group Shelter
  • Developed Sites (62)
  • Electric Sites (62)
  • RV Dump Station
  • Restrooms/Showers
  • Playground

Activities

  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Experiencing History
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Hiking
  • Interpretive Exhibits
  • Historic Buildings

 

 

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