Las Cruces was founded in 1849 in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico. The area had long been occupied by Native American groups, Spanish explorers, and Mexican colonists. Over the years, wars and international treaties have changed control of the area several times, to Spain, Mexico, the United States, and the Confederacy.
The Branigan Cultural Center presents this online version of the Las Cruces: Crossroads of History exhibit. Explore these pages to learn more about the farmers, ranchers, soldiers, citizens, miners, traders, students, and conquistadors who shaped life along the Rio Grande in Las Cruces.