Las Cruces, population 85,400, is in Dona Ana County
, and in the Southwest New Mexico
region (and is the county seat). It lies east of Deming between Truth or Consequences
and the Texas state line, along Interstate 25. The town is in the Mesilla Valley along the Rio Grande
near the United States/Mexico border.
The term Las Cruces means "the crosses" in Spanish, marking back to the 1830 massacre of travelers by Apaches, which left approximately 40 graves. Las Cruces was laid out in 1849; New Mexico State University was established here in 1888, and the town was incorporated in 1907.
Today businesses in Las Cruces manufacture hosiery and process pecans, onions and cotton. The Organ mountains and White Sands Missile Range are nearby. Attractions include Mesquite Street Original Townsite Historic District, Stahmann Farms, one of the world's largest pecan growers; and the Museum of Natural History, featuring live animals and plants of the Chihuahua Desert.
Las Cruces is part of the Las Cruces, New Mexico metro area.