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Village of Columbus and Camp Furlong

Columbus, New Mexico
County of Luna.
Post Office Box 350
National Register Number: 75001164
Resource type: District.
Property type: Historic District: Historical. The threat level was Threatened in
Congressional District: NM-2 Certified Local Government: NO
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Please contact the NHL directly for visitor information.
Current use/information: District & State Park: www.discovercolumbusnewmexico.com.

Statement of Significance (as of designation - May 15, 1975):
On March 9, 1916, approximately 485 Mexican revolutionaries under the command of Gen. Francisco "Pancho" Villa (1877?-1923) crossed into the United States and attacked the sleeping border town of Columbus, killing 10 civilians and 8 soldiers. Without consulting the Mexican Government, President Wilson ordered a punitive expedition, led by Gen. John J. Pershing, into Mexico to capture Villa and prevent further raids across the international border.

The property owned and administered by New Mexico State Parks, Pancho Villa State Park and contains features from the historic Pancho Villa Raid and Camp Furlong. Many features were covered or destroyed by the State Park, created in 1961. However, there are four standing buildings and at least 25 archaeological features that are in fair/good condition. Development within the town itself appears to be low to moderate, and the community appears to be becoming aware of the economic development potentials posed by the landmark status. The Hoover Hotel, privately owned, is in good condition. The Depot owned by the Columbus Historical Society is also in good condition. The Rodriguez house is in disrepair and falling down. The owner of this property and the National Park Service are seeking assistance from the Village of Columbus in erecting a fence to be placed around the house for health and safety concerns of the general public. The schoolhouse is in good condition and is used as an elementary school for students from the Village of Columbus and the Village of Palomas (Mexico), and is maintained by the Deming Public Schools.

New Mexico State Parks has built a new visitor center and exhibit hall to interpret local history and preservation. New Mexico State Parks contracted out the archival research, archaeological investigation, interpretive planning, artifact and object acquisition and coordinated with the NM Historic Preservation Division and the NPS. Further, State Parks continue to work to acquire approximately 50 acres of property on the west, utilizing both federal and state funds. This property is significant in that it contains many historic features from the Camp Furlong period, including the parade ground. This acquisition will assist in protecting more of this threatened site and in providing buffer property for the park. One new potential threat is the proposed construction of a public school on property adjacent to the proposed land acquisition. The school property has features relating to Camp Furlong.

Recommendation/Change since last report:
NM State Parks proposed to open a dialog with the school district to explore for alternatives to the proposed building site. Continues assistance from the NM HPD and the NPS will be critical in making Pancho Villa State Park a hub of preservation within this threatened landmark. Expert preservation advice and potential funding can help in preservation and inventory projects. Pancho Villa State Park will continue to work to garner local community support as well as international support through coalition groups both in the United States and Mexico.

Comments and questions about the database may be directed to NHL_info@nps.gov