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Las Cruces, NM

 

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Relocation Information Request

The Rio Grande

The Rio Grande has played an important role in the Mesilla Valley because so many people have depended upon it for subsistence. When the settlement was first organized the area was a bosque or woodland.   As a result of natural processes in areas of low river gradient and the lack of control, the river changed its course a number of times, causing flooding, property destruction and loss of life.   When Mesilla was founded, the Rio Grande actually flowed between Mesilla and Las Cruces.   To travel from Mesilla to Las Cruces required taking a   barge, which operated like a modern-day ferry. In 1863, a course change was initiated, leaving Mesilla as an island.   Later in the 1870's, a swamp developed and with it, mosquitoes, yellow   fever and malaria.   More than 50 Mesilla residents died as a result. The River again changed its course in 1885 to its present location.

 

Relocation Information Request

 

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