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An Oasis in the Desert
By Jon Hunner with Peter Dean, Frankie Miller, Jeffrey Schnitzer, Christopher Schurtz, and Stephen Vann

A collection of historical and contemporary photographs of the Mesilla Valley that tell the history and heritage of this southern New Mexico region.

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The Mesilla Valley in southern New Mexico is an oasis in the Chihuahuan desert. It has attracted people for hundreds of years to its bosques of cottonwood trees, its life giving water, and its opportunities. Up and down the Mesilla Valley, from the healing waters at Radium Springs to the historic village of Mesilla, from the mountain ranges that border the east and the west to New Mexico State University, and from the agricultural communities of the south valley, this south-central part of New Mexico illustrates why the state is called the Land of Enchantment. Historic photos from local archives and contemporary pictures show how people lived, worked, and played.

This book continues the program by the Public History Program at New Mexico State University to publish local histories of the communities of New Mexico. The two previous books, Santa Fe: An Historic Walking Tour and Las Cruces: The City of Crosses also utilized historic photographs to tell to history of these New Mexican cities. However, The Mesilla Valley is the first book in a new series that the Public History Program has created in collaboration with Sunstone Press. The New Mexico Centennial History Series features books written by local historians about their towns and communities, and the important people who have made New Mexico what it is today. The series not only commemorates the centennial of New Mexico’s statehood in 1912, but celebrates the entire history of the state.

Jon Hunner is Professor of History at New Mexico State University where he directs the Public History Program and teaches both public and U.S. history. His publications include Inventing Los Alamos: The Growth of an Atomic Community and Chasing Oppie: Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Atomic West. He also has chapters in Preserving Western History, Atomic Culture, Western Lives, and Time Travels: Innovative and Creative Methods of Historic Environment Education in Modern Museums. Peter Dean, Frankie Miller, Jeffrey Schnitzer, Christopher Schurtz, and Stephen Vann were students in the Public History Program. As co-authors of The Mesilla Valley, they researched, selected photos, wrote captions, and assembled the book.

Proposals for a book in this series should be sent to Jon Hunner at: Public History Program, Department of History, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003.

Sample Chapter
Inside This Book

6 X 9
ISBN: 978-0-86534-627-7
108 pp.,$16.95

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