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[photo] Two views of Las Vegas Plaza
Photos by and courtesy of Beth Boland[photo]

Las Vegas Plaza, officially laid out in 1835, is the site where Brig. Gen. Stephen Watts Kearney proclaimed New Mexico a U.S. territory in 1846. The square plaza surrounded by simple adobe buildings served as an open air supply depot and market place on the Santa Fe Trail. Impressive trade establishments were built around the plaza in the 1860s to 1870s. In the late 19th century, outlaws and lawmen came to Las Vegas, including Jesse James, "Doc" Holiday and "Billy the Kid" who was captured and placed in the Las Vegas Plaza jail by Sheriff Pat Garrett. Several of the original buildings still exist on the plaza including the Dice Apartments, originally the house on whose roof General Kearney stood to make his proclamation to the citizens of Las Vegas. Today the plaza is a city park with walk ways and a Victorian bandstand.

Las Vegas Plaza is bounded by Valencia, Moreno and Gonzales sts. and Hot Springs Blvd. in Las Vegas, New Mexico, 20 miles south of Watrous on US 25. A self-guided walking tour is available from the Chamber of Commerce at 513 6th St. Call 505-425-8631 or visit the chamber's website


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