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New Mexico
56

New Mexico State Parks

USA Parks
New Mexico
Southwest Region
Pancho Villa State Park
Pancho Villa State Park Cootes hill © Elisabeth Koenig
trail to Cootes hill from campground
PANCHO VILLA STATE PARK
PANCHO VILLA STATE PARK
P.O. Box 450
Columbus, New Mexico   88029

Phone: 575-531-2711
Reservations: 877-664-7787
Email:
On March 9, 1916, the soldiers of General Francisco "Pancho" Villa attacked the small border town and military camp at Columbus, New Mexico. Pancho Villa State Park contains extensive historical exhibits which depict this raid, the first armed invasion of the continental United States since the War of 1812, and also the last one.
History of the Area
From Camp Furlong, General "Black Jack" Pershing, who would later command the Allied forces of World War I, pursued Pancho Villa into Mexico. This 11 month pursuit led 10,000 American soldiers 400 miles into Mexico, but ended without the capture of Pancho Villa. Several buildings dating from the time of Villa's raid still stand in Columbus, and the U.S. Customs House, built in 1902, serves as the visitor center.
FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES OVERVIEW
Day-UseHiking Trailyes
 Swimming Beachyes
CampingPrimitiveyes




Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
July 11 Park Named after an Enemy??? by Fellow Patriot
As a retired military officer, I think naming this park after an enemy of the United States is disgraceful. And embarrassing to the state of New Mexico
April 19 The naming of Pancho Villa State Park by John Read
Columbus, NM Deputy Sheriff Jack Breen (1885 a?" 1962) originated the name a?oPancho Villa State Parka?? (Deming Headlight, Nov. 23, 1961). Breen was the well respected Deputy Sheriff of Columbus at the time of the raid. Breen said he knew Villa well and stated that Villa was not in Columbus during the raid. Senator Ike Smalley (1905 a?" 1998) from Deming introduced the bill in the 1959 state legislature that was responsible for the construction of the park and he promoted the naming of the park (Deming Headlight, Nov. 23, 1961). The name a?oPancho Villa State Parka?? passed unanimously in the New Mexico Senate and then passed unanimously in the New Mexico House. There were no dissenting votes. Pancho Villa State Park in Columbus, New Mexico, was established in 1959 a?oIn the interest of preservation of the memory of the unique, historical occasion of the last hostile action by foreign troops within the continental United Statesa?? (Kottlowski, 1980). It became the only park in the United States to be named after a foreign invader. The naming of the 60-acre park was a gesture of peace and goodwill between the United States and Mexico. The town of Columbus has been designated a National Historic Site. PVSP was dedicated on November 18, 1961 by Governor Edwin Mechem (1912 a?" 2002).
June 25 Huh? by Kathryn Moser
This is like New York City having an Osama bin Laden state park.

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Directions
Pancho Villa State Park is located in the village of Columbus, 35 miles south of Deming via NM 11.

New Mexico
56

New Mexico State Parks

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