The epicenter of Old Town is the picturesque tree shaded Central Plaza. It is here that Stephen W. Kearney raised the United States flag and first claimed the New Mexico territory for the United Stated in 1846.
Las Vegas Historic District
Old Town has its roots as a way station on the Santa Fe Trail. When the community was founded in 1835, the trail continued to occupy what is now Bridge Street, the Plaza and South Pacific Avenue. We got a real sense of history walking down Bridge Street knowing that we were on same path used by thousands of settlers, gold rush seekers and traders who traveled on the Santa Fe Trail. The history of Las Vegas is filled not only with tales of the Santa Fe Trail but with all the romance and clash of cultures associated with the Wild West … Conquistadors, Apaches, Comanche’s, outlaws, Hispanic-Anglo feuds, lawlessness and vigilante justice. Click here to learn more about what some call the wildest of the Wild West towns.
The most prominent building surrounding the Old Town Park is the Plaza Hotel. This architectural jewel dates back to the 1880’s when it provided luxurious accommodations to railroad passengers. In the lobby Danny admired the old elaborately carved piano. One can still get a shot of tequila at the saloon where Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders met.
This Italianate building was once home to the successful merchandising business of Charles Illfeld, one of nearly 200 Jewish pioneers who settled in Las Vegas. Uncovering the history of Jewish pioneers in New Mexico, especially the crypto-Jews, was the biggest surprise of our visit. Click here to learn more from the New Mexico Jewish Historical Society.
Old Town’s historic roots are apparent with this restored adobe built by one of the Romero brothers…The Romero’s were a prominent family in early Las Vegas and their name pops up everywhere.
Parachutes were manufactured in this old building on the south side of the Plaza during World War II. The building is now vacant and in disrepair.
Sherry loved the Moorish flavor of the 1895 Veeder Building.
Danny preferred the flamboyant Italianate style of the first Veeder building ... built in 1880.
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