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Columbus, New Mexico: U.S. Invaded Here

Mexican Pancho Villa and 500 of his men invaded Columbus on March 9, 1916. Eight U.S. soldiers, 10 civilians, and 80 Mexicans died in about 90 minutes. A monument marks the spot, and the local museum has a car shot with bullet holes as it tried to escape -- and one of Pancho's sombreros.

Pancho Villa State Park

400 W. Hwy 9, Columbus, NM
The monument is in Pancho Villa State Park, on the south side of Hwy 9 just west of its intersection with Hwy 11/Columbus Rd. The museum is also on the south side of Hwy 9, just east of its intersection with Hwy 11/Columbus Rd.
Park gates open daily 9-12, 1-4 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Small fee for museum.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Bullet hole in clock.

Pancho Villa Bullet Holes

A block away from Pancho Villa State Park is a 1901 railroad depot that is now home of the Columbus Historical Society. They have three rooms packed with local memories. One of the rooms focuses on Pancho Villa's raid on March 9, 1916 -- at exactly 4:10 p.m., according to the clock with the bullet hole in it. There is also a safe with a bullet hole from the raid, and detailed account of each of the 18 locals killed that day.

[John Francis, 08/07/2017]


U.S. Was Invaded Here

Pancho Villa State Park is a great place to stop before visiting Palomas, Mexico, right across the border. The museum was well done, although the movie is from the '80s. It documents Villa's raid and the US military's subsequent manhunt into Mexico. Artifacts include the bullet-ridden car, military weapons, and a plane.

Way more interesting than we expected, and museum admission was $5 total for a family of four. The park itself is free, well-maintained, and popular with RV'ers.

[Stefanie Hamilton, 06/06/2016]

Nearby Offbeat Places

CabinetlandiaCabinetlandia, Deming, NM - 32 mi.
Unsettling Bataan Death March MonumentUnsettling Bataan Death March Monument, Deming, NM - 31 mi.
Bowlin's Akela FlatsBowlin's Akela Flats, Deming, NM - 32 mi.
In the region:
World's Largest Chile Pepper, Las Cruces, NM - 59 mi.

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