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History Parade 1940_edited.jpg


indigenous peoples

Before the City of Lordsburg became an established community, the area was inhabited by the Mimbres Native American Tribe of the Mogollon culture from 150 AD to approximately 1450 AD. After the decline of the Mimbres Tribe until the Indian Wars in the late 1800s, the territory was home to several generations of Apache Indians. The area has natural springs becoming an important stop for native people as well as Mexicans and Americans.

butterfield  trail

The territory became an important logistics route with the creation of the Butterfield Stage Route that passed through Mexican Springs (known now as Shakespeare) in 1858. John Butterfield created an overland mail and passenger company with up to 250 coaches, 1,000 horses, 500 mules, and approximately 800 employees. The Butterfield Stage Route avoided the more inclement weather farther north by navigating through Steins Pass, Benson, Tucson, Yuma, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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camp lordsburg

In 1880, Camp Lordsburg was established due to the Southern Pacific Railroad coming west. The camp grew because of an influx of railroad workers, freighters, miners, cowboys, ranchers, gamblers, and merchants. The city could have taken its name from Dr. Charles H. Lord, a New York native who came west during the Civil War, one of Tucson’s leading businessmen, and with a partner started banks, wholesale businesses, and shipping along the railroad. The city could also have taken its name from Delbert Lord, Southern Pacific Railroad’s chief engineer during the construction.

a place in history

The City of Lordsburg plays an important role in New Mexico’s history. The official state song “O Fair New Mexico was written in the City by Elizabeth Garrett, a blind daughter of Pat Garrett. The song became the official state song in 1917. The Lordsburg Municipal Airport was open in December 1938 becoming New Mexico’s first airport. After Charles Lindbergh’s stop at the Lordsburg Airport, during his transcontinental Spirit of Saint Louis Air Tour in 1927.

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war times

The City of Lordsburg is also important to the United States’ history. The US Army opened a Japanese Internment Camp in the City during World War II. The camp held as many as 1,500 Japanese Americans. The camp also held captured German and Italian soldiers. The camp operated until July 1943. You can visit the exhibit in the photograph and learn more at the Lordsburg-Hidalgo County Museum.

broadway of america

The City of Lordsburg became known as the stop at the junctions of Highways 70 and 80. These major roadways in New Mexico were known as “Broadway of America Highway.” In 1964, Lordsburg boasted of 21 motels, 20 cafes, and 31 service stations: the biggest gas, food, and lodging stop between Arizona and Texas.

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highway stop

In 1989 Interstate 10 (I-10), the fourth-longest and most southern Interstate Highway in the United States was established. I-10 stretched from the Pacific Ocean/Santa Monica, California to the Atlantic Ocean/Jacksonville, Florida. The City of Lordsburg became an important because it is the shipping center for mined ores, agricultural products, and general commerce along the southern road and railways of the United States. The development of Interstate 10, the City of Lordsburg has become a popular stop, serving the east-west movement of truckers and travelers.

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