Thursday, April 30, 2015

New Mexico, Las Cruces - Thursday, April 30, 2015 - Historical Old Mesilla

The website for this resort advertised that it was within walking distance to Old Mesilla.  I checked with the front desk this morning and found out that “walking distance” was a mile and a quarter.  We decided we could handle that and headed out to explore.
San Albino Catholic Church has stood on the plaza since 1852.

The stained glass windows are beautiful.

We walked through about half of the shops around the plaza, checking out things we might come back for later.  I wanted to have lunch at La Posta, a Mexican restaurant that has been in business since September 16, 1939 when it was opened by 25 year old Katy Griggs.

Katy bought the old adobe building that was once a Butterfield Stage Coach stop from her uncle for $1.00.  Katy and her uncle were part of a renowned merchant family from Mesilla.  Katy died in 1993 but the restaurant is still run by the same family and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  The walls are filled with accolades from all kinds of magazines and newspapers.

When the cafĂ© first opened it had 4 tables on a dirt floor and no running water.  It’s a lot bigger today, the floor is no longer dirt and they have running water. 

Front entrance is impressive.
The bar produces a very good margarita.
The lobby has a huge exotic bird cage.
And some red piranhas.  They really do sparkle.
Lunch was very good.  Unfortunately, we started eating before I realized I didn’t take any pictures.

Next door to La Posta was The Chocolate Lady.  We bought dessert for later.
It was hard to choose.
We walked back around the plaza and made some purchases before we left.  Here are some scenes from this beautiful area.
Walking back to the resort we passed one of the many local pecan orchards.
We realized as we were looking at some literature on the area that I made a mistake in yesterday’s post.  The mountains to the east of Las Cruces are the Organ Mountains, not the Oregon Mountains.  I wish I could blame it on auto correct, but that isn’t the case.  I must have been tired when I wrote the post yesterday.  When I went back into my posts to make my correction to yesterday I couldn’t find it.  That’s because I labeled it Las Cruces, AZ instead of Las Cruces, NM.  Not only have I lost track of what day it is (it can’t be the last day of April), I’ve also lost track of where I am.
Our last stop of the day was St. Clair Winery.  The last paragraph sounds like I need wine J.  New Mexico is the oldest wine producing state in the country – production started in 1629.  Today there are 47 vineyards and wineries throughout New Mexico.  The St. Clair Winery is the largest.
Our purchases for today, clockwise from the top:  wine, rhubarb jam, a tiny purple pot to go with a purple stone I purchased near the Grand Canyon, chocolate covered salted caramels and cashew turtles, a piece of pecan pie and half a pound of pecan pieces.

New Mexico, Las Cruces - Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - Hacienda RV and Rally Resort

This is home until Saturday, Hacienda RV & Rally Resort in Las Cruces, NM.
Rather than going north out of Tombstone this morning we chose to go south on State Road 80 to Bisbee then Douglas where we headed northeast to Las Cruces.  We hoped this route would be more scenic and we weren’t disappointed.  The road was good, although a bit curvy.  At one point we ran into a LOT of moths, glad we weren't riding the motorcycle.  They were huge!  If those moths weren't endangered before they probably are now by the looks of the front of the RV.
We had to laugh at the “B” on the mountain when we came into Bisbee.  I don’t remember if I posted the “T” on the mountain at Tombstone.  Then, when we came into Douglas there was a “D” on the mountain.  I couldn’t get a picture of the “D” because the mountain was out my side window and the picture is always blurry when I try that.

Looks like Bisbee’s main industry is the copper and gold mine.

A note, if you decide to take the same route, be sure your tank is full.  There was nothing between Tombstone and Douglas that was easily accessible.  We didn’t even see many homes, it’s pretty open country out there.  We did however see this event center – there must be people out there somewhere.

We don’t see these in Indiana.  We’ve seen several of these border patrol stations out here.  We haven’t had to go through any yet, I have a feeling we will when we go through El Paso.

Coming into Las Cruces, the Organ Mountains in the background.

 The resort has a beautiful lobby area.

The outside is pretty inviting also.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Arizona, Tombstone - Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Tombstone Tour Day Two

A new neighbor pulled in today.  We’ve seen pictures of this type of RV but haven’t seen one out and about.  Not sure where they are from, but it’s not the United States.
We started out this morning with a 25 minute tour on the trolley.
 The driver gave a very informative narrative of the history of Tombstone.  He also pointed out the crossroad where 17 men were killed.  This cute little bed and breakfast next to the courthouse used to be a single family home owned by one of the more prominent prostitutes.
This house, now a cute shop, was owned by a Chinese lady of the evening who was also the local opium dealer.  The driver said when she died the whole town turned out for her funeral.  From what we’ve seen these ladies were considered vital to the town.

We had lunch at Brenda’s Chuckwagon, a very good bacon cheeseburger.  The mountains in the background are where the flooded mines and silver still lay, 1000 feet below ground.

After lunch we visited the Rose Tree Museum.  The museum is dedicated to one of the town’s pioneer families, the Macias, whose history is as old as Tombstone itself.  The star of the museum is a huge rose bush that is listed in the Guiness Book of Records as the world’s largest rose tree.  The story of the rose bush is that Mr. and Mrs. Henry Gee took lodging in the boarding house that would later become the museum in the fall of 1884.  Mrs. Gee became friends with the lady who was the manager of the boarding house.  Mrs. Gee’s family in Scotland sent her several rooted shoots of the Lady Banksia Rose for her new home.  Mrs. Gee shared one of those shoots with Mrs. Adamson, the manager of the boarding house.  They planted the shoot in the spring of 1885.  When Mrs. Macia purchased the property in 1919 Mrs. Gee told her the story of the rose.  At the present time the Lady Banksia with millions of white blossoms every April spreads over 8,000 square feet of supports and is growing larger each year.

The blooms are almost gone now.  Greg was glad the fragrance was gone also.  Some of the people in town say you can smell the roses all over town.
The rose tree isn’t the only thing of interest in the museum.  It must have taken hours to do the ironing in the 1800’s.  This is a fluting iron used to iron ruffles.  In another exhibit we saw a regular iron which weighed 22 pounds.

This coal burning stove looked to be a pretty fancy one.

This bed was shipped from New York.

I would make a very poor miner.  This silver looks like a plain old rock to me.

This copper I wouldn’t recognize either.
Greg thought this was hysterical.  It is a scolds bridle or gossip bridle, circa 1632.  It was used on women who talked too much or gossiped.  Not sure why it is in this museum, but it was interesting.

The Bird Cage Theatre opened in 1881.  It escaped all of the fires that damaged most of the rest of Tombstone at least a couple of times.  It is in its original, unrenovated state (lots of dust).  This place is just filled with memorabilia from Tombstone and I think it is worth the $10 entry fee.  I’m not going to be posting pictures because there were lots of signs posted about not posting pictures on any social media source.  Although I don’t think our blog is a biggie in the social media world, I’m not going to take any chances.  If you want to see the pictures you’ll have to track us down personally J.


Lillian Russell introduced the song, “Bird in a Gilded Cage”, written by Arthur J. Lamb, on the theatre’s opening night.  Lamb said the place reminded him of a bird cage with its 14 stylish balcony crib compartments where “like birds in a gilded cage beautiful scant dressed ladies with plumed feathers entertained their gentlemen customers.”

The Bird Cage Theatre was where Wyatt Earp met his third wife, Josephine, who was a lady of the evening there.
Our last stop was the Tombstone Courthouse.  As Tombstone’s population grew, so did its political power.  In 1881, the Arizona Legislature established Cochise County.  The Cochise County Courthouse was built in 1882 at a cost of nearly $50,000.  It was a symbol of law and stability in a turbulent time.  It housed the offices of the sheriff, recorder, treasurer, and the board of supervisors.  The jail was at the rear, under the courtroom.

Tombstone remained the county seat until 1929, when outvoted by a growing city of Bisbee, and the county seat moved there.  The last county office left the courthouse in 1931.  In 1959, after rehabilitation by the Tombstone Restoration Commission, the building became a historical museum operated as Arizona’s smallest state park.

The stairway up to the courtroom was impressive.
The courtroom was redone in 1904.

Allen R. English was one of the more popular attorneys of the day.  He was an alcoholic who imbibed before and during trials which evidently made the trials pretty entertaining. 

Fourth Street between Toughnut Street and Allen Street was labeled “Rotten Row” because of all of the attorney offices located there.

This is a recreation of the gallows that were located just outside the courthouse.  The original was burned in 1912 when the state took over the responsibility for executions.