Pancho Villa Attacks the US

The United States was attacked by Pancho Villa and soldiers from Mexico on March 9, 1916.   That was the last time a foreign military attacked a state in the United States.   In case you are wondering, Hawaii was not yet a state December 7, 1941 when Pearl Harbor was attacked.   Also, September 11, 2001 the attack on New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC, was done by hijackers using US commercial airplanes.   But back to Pancho Villa and his attack on Columbus, New Mexico.   In Columbus, we visited the Pancho Villa State Park.

Pancho Villa State Park in Columbus, New Mexico

This park was previously a US military camp, Camp Furlong.  Now it is home to a museum, with memorabilia from the very brief attack, a picnic area and a camp ground.   Here is Cootes Hill, a look out point from the military days.

Cootes Hill

You can see the cacti and flags of the United States and the State of New Mexico.  First let’s visit the museum.

In front of museum

We like the Mexican architecture and the old wagon here.   During the early morning attack, a young family escaped to Deming, about 25 miles north, in a 1915 Dodge Touring Car.

An antique car that survived bullets

All three members of the family survived, but the man did carry a bullet in him for the rest of his life.

1915 Dodge Touring Car with bullet holes

The car and bullet holes.   A close up photo of the driver’s door.

Bullet holes in the door

We are certainly happy all survived.   But let’s talk about the speed of this attack.   On March 9, 1916, at 2:00 a.m., Pancho Villa crosses the US Mexican border, 3 miles south of Columbus.   At 4:11 a.m. there are simultaneous attacks in the center of town and at Camp Furlong.   By 7:30 the last of the Villistas retreat into Mexico.   This attack lasted a little more than 3 hours, but there were casualties.   Ten townspeople from Columbus, New Mexico died.   Eight American soldiers died.   Eight other Americans were wounded.   Estimates are that 90 Villistas were killed and a small number were taken prisoner.   After a trial,  some prisoners were hanged, some jailed and returned to Mexico in 1921.   We ducks think that was a lot of deaths in a three hour attack.   But, let’s see what else is in the museum.   Soon after the attack, General Pershing was sent to Columbus and a tent city was soon built south of the railroad station and south of town.

A tent city was quickly built south of Columbus

We thought this covered wagon, without the cover, was interesting.

Covered wagon, without cover

Large trucks were brought to Columbus.


And airplanes came also.

1916 JN-3 airplane, replica

This is a replica of a 1916 JN-3 Airplane, provided by Roger Freeman of Vintage Aviation.   These were all interesting, but the question is still why did Pancho Villa attach the United States?

Maybe we will never know why Pancho Villa attacked Columbus, New Mexico

And it is quite possible we will never really know the answer.   The US military spent time and money trying to get Pancho Villa, but he was never captured.   So what happened in Mexico?

Mexican Revolution over

Across the street from Pancho Villa State Park is the first US Military Airbase in the US.

First US airbase in the US

Also in the state park, we visited the headquarters building of Camp Furlong.

Former headquarters of Camp Furlong

Now many people enjoy the New Mexico desert and this picnic area.   There are sites for campers here.

Picnic area

New Mexico is a popular destination for many Americans and Canadians escaping the colder winters in the north.   If you visit Columbus, we hope you take time to explore Pancho Villa State Park and the museum   We think it is quite interesting.


Columbus, New Mexico with the Colorado Traveling Ducks

Columbus, New Mexico is a small border town with about 2,000 permanent residents.

Columbus, New Mexico

Located in a high desert valley, between the Florida and Tres Hermanas mountain ranges, Columbus is only 3 miles from Palomas, Mexico.   Mom and I have been here 3 times, usually looking for warmer weather for a couple days.   Columbus is small and not a touristy town.   The first time mom and I arrived, it was night and we were lucky to find a motel.   Our cell phone did not have service, (that was 2013) so we went to the gas station to call the motel owner to come rent us a room.

Hacienda de Villa Motel

We stayed here at Hacinda de Villa Motel.   Not fancy, but the room was large and very clean.   The people here were very friendly.   We went to the train station, now a museum.

Columbus museum

The museum is interesting, and shows the history of Columbus.   This time we noticed a new sign.

Susan Parks sign

This lady, Susan Parks, was a real hero.   During the attack by Pancho Villa, she called nearby Deming, NM for help.  While the bullets were flying, she placed her young child on the floor, under a desk, and continued calling for help.   The soldiers from Deming did arrive and the attack was over quickly.   I’ll tell you more about this battle next time.   The train was important in earlier days, but it is not running now.   The train station was converted into the museum, and the post office.

Post Office

We enjoyed wandering around outside.   There were train cars.


Also a few pieces of old railroad equipment.

Railroad equipment

This classic old car.

Classic car

and old farm equipment.

Old equipment

Each time we visited this museum, there have been very few other people.   The people inside are so knowlegable and so nice.   Here is the safe from the bank.

Safe from bank

During the Pancho Villa attack, the safe was shot.   The bullet hole is marked.   What a great museum.   Columbus had rich mineral deposits.   Miners found silver, copper, lead and zinc here.   There is not much mining in Columbus now.   We like this small church.

Holy Family Church

It is Holy Family Church.

Church bell

We admired the church bell, on its own post.   Columbus is not a tourist destination, but if you go, wander around town and you will find several little pieces of history, and very friendly people.   It is a nice change from the busy lives we all live.

The Pink Store in Palomas, Mexico

Mexico!  I just got back from Mexico.  Wow!  Zeb the duck is now an international traveler.

Zeb the Duck is in Mexico!

Zeb the Duck is in Mexico!

We spent a few hours in Palomas, Mexico last weekend.  Most of our purchases came from The Pink Store.  Let me tell you about this store.

But first, Palomas, Mexico is a border town in the state of Chihuahua.  It is across from Columbus, New Mexico, just south of Deming, New Mexico.  We drove to the border, parked on the US side and walked into Mexico.  So easy.  The Pink Store was recommended to us, and this is why.  The Pink Store is huge and has everything.

This skeleton lady was the first thing I saw.

She is just too thin

She is just too thin

A bit of a shock to me.  Mom said that Mexico’s Day of the Dead is Nov 1 and Nov 2.  The spirits of the deceased return and much celebrating occurs.  I saw lots of skeleton displays.

Skeleton stuff everywhere

Skeleton stuff everywhere

Everything seemed so festive.

A skeleton wedding

A skeleton wedding

I was amazed and loved it all.

Mexico produces much pottery and hand blown glass and it is beautiful.  These were displayed on a wall,

So festive!

So festive!

but many more are on shelves.   Some of my favorites are the dolls made from cornhusks.

Dolls and a duck

Dolls and a duck

Perhaps a duck on the shelf enhances the display.  I wanted to play with these piñatas.

Oh to be a human

Oh to be a human

Too bad I am not human.

We ate lunch at the Pancho Villa Restaurant in The Pink Store.  Excellent food and service.  So many choices.  A man played music while we ate.  He was nice, too.  Near the restaurant was a large bar.  Looking out the window at the The Pink Store Plaza I saw General Pershing and Pancho Villa shaking hands.  I joined them in the handshake.

I love a firm handshake

I love a firm handshake

In the plaza this wooden door caught my attention.

This is a wooden door

This is a wooden door

The carving on this door was magnificent.  Took lots of talent and time to carve this door.

This is just one section of the door.  WOW!

This is just one section of the door. WOW!

Also love the peaceful feeling of a fountain.

Fountain in Pink Store Plaza

Fountain in Pink Store Plaza

I could have stayed all day at The Pink Store, discovering and shopping.  Mom bought vanilla, Kahlua and some other souvenirs.  Look at this site to see more photos of the Pink Store.  I will tell you more about Palomas soon.