The city of Las Cruces is considering the approval for development of a 1,703.9 acre block on the East Mesa, south of U.S. Hwy 70. The proposed name for this subdivision is The Vistas at Presidio II.
This land contains the site were Las Cruces lawman Pat Floyd Garrett was killed on February 29, 1908. The site was marked some 30 years after Pat’s death by Jarvis Garrett, Pat Garrett’s youngest son.
Our mission, as Friends of Pat Garrett, is to ensure that the site where the death occurred is set aside for a memorial to Pat, and that the marker set up by Jarvis is retained and protected.
Below: The marker at the site. The marker was constructed by Jarvis Garrett about 1938-1940. Jarvis was the son and youngest child of Pat. (Photo taken April 2, 2007).
You can see the marker consists of cement laid around a stone with a cross carved in it. It is believed that the cross is the work of Pat’s Mother.
Beginning at the center bottom of the photo, you can see where “P. Garrett” has been scratched into the wet concrete by Jarvis.
On the left side of the photo, you can see the “Feb 1908” date in the cement.
Below: Date close up. (Photo taken April 2, 2007.)
Below: You can still see the old road from the San Augustin Pass to Las Cruces that Pat was traveling in his buckboard when he was shot. The old road follows the base of the hill, and lies between the marker and the base of the hill. San Augustin Pass is visible on the horizon, top center. (Photo taken April 2, 2007.)
Below: The marker lies along what is now a power line right-of-way. It is about 5 feet this side of the first power pole. There are field stones at the site left by another concerned citizen about 1990 who planned a more substantial marker. (Photo taken April 2, 2007.)
Because the marker is under the electric power line and on the right-of-way easement, it should be easy to preserve and set aside this historical marker for posterity. This, we are trying to accomplish.
Your help and suggestions and comments are desired.
November 15th, 2008
Several Las Cruces Council members and city officials along with members of Friends of Pat Garrett visited the Garrett shooting site Friday, Nov 14. This was an informal visit to see what the site looked like and what preserving it would involve.
Everyone agreed that the marker constructed by Jarvis Garrett is an important historical object.
Friends of Pat Garrett wants to thank everyone who made the visit.
March 25th, 2008
The Town of Mesilla is hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the J. Paul Taylor Visitor Center Thursday, April 24 at 5:30 p.m.
As part of the ribbon-cutting ceremony there will be a Billy the Kid display inside the Visitor Center. The display will feature historical photos, information and artifacts pertaining to Mesilla’s past. The subject is the historic period of April 1881, when Billy the Kid was a prisoner in Mesilla and tried and convicted of murder. A team of volunteers has collected names and items for the display. One of the items is the barber chair built c1870 in which Billy the Kid had his hair cut before the trial. The chair was once in the Billy the Kid Museum, owned by Dr. George Griggs in the 1930s, which is now La Posta Restaurant. The chair is currently in a private collection. An open house of the museum display will take place from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The visitor center is an extension of the current Mesilla Town Hall, located at 2231 Avenida de Mesilla.
March 5th, 2008
The Friends of Pat Garrett and the Mesilla Museum volunteers are organizing a tour to retrace some of Pat Garrett’s last steps on the day he was killed.
The tour will begin at 8:30 on March 15 and will probably take 6-7 hours. A fee of $40 per car is being asked. The full amount of the fee will go the the Mesilla Billy the Kid Museum, currently being established by the Village of Mesilla and a volunteer group.
The meeting location for the tour is the Northwest corner of the KMart parking lot. The address of the KMart is 1900 Bataan Memorial E. Click here for a map.
Bring your own lunch and drinks — water is highly recommended.
The first stop of the tour will be the site of the Garrett ranch house on the White Sands Missile Range. This is a restricted location, so this is one of the few chances the public has to see this site. There are no ruins of the house, but there are few rock walls and some artifacts. Cameras can be taken and used at the Garrett ranch house site, but are not to be used elsewhere on the Missile Range.
The second stop will be old Main street of Organ. Garrett was in Organ often.
The third stop will be the Organ cemetery.
The fourth stop will be the site where Garrett was killed. This may require walking a mile or so to reach. At the site of the marker placed by Jarvis Garrett in memory of his Dad’s killing, the Friends of Pat Garrett will re-enact some of the actual testimony given at the official inquest following Garrett’s death.
The fifth stop will be the location of Garrett’s original burial in the Las Cruces Odd Fellow’s Cemetery. Garrett’s remains were moved to the Masonic Cemetery in 1957.
The last and final stop will be at Garrett’s grave site in the Las Cruces Masonic Cemetery.
The tour is limited to 20 cars.
June 2nd, 2007
Cal Traylor and David Thomas of Friends of Pat Garrett appeared on the Leon Metz KTSM AM 690 Radio Show today to discuss preserving the Garrett marker.
Leon C. Metz is the author of Pat Garrett, The Story of a Western Lawman. This book, published in 1974, remains the definitive biography of Pat Garrett. The book is a wonderful read and is the product of extensive, original research, including interviews with Garrett family members and people who knew Garrett. The book includes about 50 photos, many discovered by Metz in his research.
Metz ends his discussion of Pat Garrett’s killing in that book with the following statement:
“Pat was laid to rest on March 5, 1908, in the shabby, overgrown, northwest corner of the Las Cruces Odd Fellows Cemetery. In 1957, he and those family members who lay beside him were transferred to the Masonic Cemetery across the road. On a large granite stone is inscribed the single word: GARRETT. One can search across all of New Mexico, and indeed the entire Southwest today, and find no other monument to his memory.”
It is incumbent upon Las Cruces to rectify the absence of a monument to this New Mexico lawman and pioneer by setting aside space for a park and a memorial in the East Mesa annexation at the location where Pat Garrett was killed and where his son Jarvis constructed a marker to his Father’s life.
April 7th, 2007
The Las Cruces City Council and Mr. Philippou, the developer of The Vistas at Presidio II, have agreed to preserve the Pat Garrett shooting site and marker and to set aside space for a monument to Pat Garrett.
Thanks to everyone who supported this wonderful gift to posterity. There are too many of you to name, and many of you insisted on working without recognition. Thank you!
April 6th, 2007
LAST CHANCE to see it nearly as Pat last saw it…. Meet adjacent to the NW corner of Onate High School, just past the closed barriers at the entrance to the school.
9:00 am — Depart from Onate High School in your car, town car OK. Drive about one mile off-road. If you arrive late, follow us southerly under the two-poled power line.
Park about 3/4 mile from the site. Talk and then walk.
Easy Walk on two-track road. There is one deep-cut gully that stops most cars, possibly jeep and short over-hang off-road cars can cross. There is limited parking at the site.
BRING water, wide brim hat, long sleeves and trousers, sturdy walking shoes, camera.
Tomorrow’s weather forecast: To be similar to the day Pat was murdered – killed. The high temperature on Pat’s last day was 74 degrees.
April 6th, 2007
Friends of Pat Garrett will be offering a tour of the site of the Pat Garrett marker beginning at 9 am on Saturday, April 7.
If you wish to attend the tour, meet us just West of the Onate High School parking lot at 8:45 am.
Onate High School is located at 5700 Mesa Grande Dr, which easily visible from Hwy 70.
Reaching the site involves walking about 3/4 mile. Be sure to wear a hat and bring some drinking water.
April 5th, 2007
Here’s a printable, one-page information sheet on the Pat Garrett marker:
You can save this link to your computer or click it to view it in your browser.
April 5th, 2007
The contact page for the Las Cruces City Council is:
All of the City Council members are listed on that page.
If you send the Council a message using the contact form on that page, it will be sent to all of the Council members.
The contact email for the Mayor Bill Mattiace of Las Cruces is:
The contact email for City Manager Terrence Moore of Las Cruces is:
Please let them know of your support for saving the Pat Garrett marker.
April 5th, 2007
Cal Traylor of Friends of Pat Garrett will appear on The Morning Show with Michael Swickard at 9 am on Friday, April 6, to discuss the Pat Garrett marker, and Pat Garrett in general.
The Michael Swickard show is on KSNM-AM at 570.
This should be a fascinating discussion as both Cal and Michael are very knowledgeable about Pat Garrett.
April 5th, 2007
The Las Cruces Sun News has a detailed article on the proposed development of the East Mesa, which includes the Vistas at Presidio II subdivision that contains the Pat Garrett marker. Click here to read the article.
The total acreage being proposed for development on the East Mesa is 5,920.7 acres. This consists of 2 subdivisions, The Vistas at Presidio I and The Vistas at Presidio II.
April 3rd, 2007
Please post your comments and suggestions. Thank you.