Things To Do

Historical and Cultural Sites

Billy the Kid Jail

The jail has become famous for being the ONLY time that the infamous Billy the Kid broke into a jail. Legend says Billy the Kid traveled from Las Cruces into San Elizario after learning that his friend, Melquiades Segura has been arrested in San Elizario. Upon his arrival at around 3am, Billy the Kid knocked on the door of the jail waking up the Mexican guards. Billy the Kid posed as a Texas Ranger and told the guard he had two American Prisoners. As the guard opened the door, he found himself eye to eye with Billy’s 44 revolver. Billy quickly retrieved the guard’s guns, helped his friend out, put the guards in the jail and threw away the key. Immediately, Billy the Kid and his friend Segura crossed the river into Mexico, which at that time was only two and a half miles away from San Elizario.

Buffalo Soldier Memorial
3700 E Yandell Dr.
915-842-8200
 

Some of the most historical war veterans buried in Concordia are Buffalo Soldiers, members of four regiments of African American soldiers who served on the frontier after the end of the Civil War. The remains of over forty Buffalo Soldiers are known to be buried at Concordia, resulting in the establishment of the cemetery’s Buffalo Soldier Memorial, a handsome dedication of bronze plaques, granite memorial markers, and native stone that commemorate the military service of these unique individuals and the contribution the Buffalo Soldier regiments made to the history of Texas.

Concordia Cemetery
3700 E. Yandell Dr.
915-842-8200
 

This Texas State Historic site is known as El Paso’s Boot Hill where over 60,000 have been buried. Amongst them are famous gunfighter John Wesley Hardin. This well-known outlaw was said to have more than thirty notches on his gun, evidence that no more dangerous gunman ever operated in Texas. So, don’t be afraid to go down to explore and snap a few pictures of the historic tombstones as well as sites like the Buffalo Soldier Memorial.

El Paso County Historical Society's Burges House
Photograph by El Paso County Historical Society's Burges House

This is the famous home of Richard F. Burges. The Burges House also serves as a historical research center. The Classical Revival style house features four large columns in the front supporting the roof. Burges was city attorney in 1908 and wrote the city charter. He became a member of the Texas House of Representative in 1913. He was instrumental in the development of Carlsbad Caverns and the building of the Elephant Butte Dam. The home is now the headquarters for the El Paso County Historical Society.

El Paso Historic Mission Trail

Located in El Paso’s Lower Valley this Trail is rich in history dating back 400 years. Sure to take your breath away these three adobe churches remain as living testaments to the faith of our Spanish and Indian ancestors. Established in 1682 the Ysleta Mission is the cornerstone of the Ysleta del Sur Indian Pueblo. Two miles east lies the Socorro Mission. The architecture of this mission reflects the culture, politics and insurmountable spirit of the early settlers of this vibrant town. Established in 1789 the San Elizario Chapel is an amazing paragon of late adobe church architecture in West Texas and New Mexico. It is an exquisite reflection of European architectural styles on the earlier, simpler box-like missions of the region. El Paso Mission Trail Association is dedicated to the education, promotion and preservation of the missions at Ysleta, Socorro, and San Elizario Chapel. An exhibit, “Paths of the Padres-Discover El Paso’s Historic Missions” is on permanent display at the El Paso International Airport.

El Paso Union Passenger Station
Photograph by City of El Paso

Union Passenger Station, also referred to as Union Depot by many, has represented El Paso’s connection to the rest of the world for the past 100 years. It supported the establishment of trade between the United States and Mexico as the first International Train Station in the United States. The Southern Pacific, Santa Fe, Galveston, Harrisburg, San Antonio, Texas, Pacific and the Mexico Central Railroads all moved in and out of the City.

Fray Garcia Monument
Photograph by Visit El Paso Mission Trail
Pioneer Plaza
915-534-0600
 

Standing at 14 feet tall this bronze sculpture represents Fray Garcia who founded the area’s first mission, Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission at the Pass of the North in 1659. It was dedicated in 1996 and is the first sculpture in the XII Travelers series. The sculpture depicts Garcia in the act of building the mission; in his right hand he is holding the lintel beam for the Guadalupe Mission and he beckons to the region’s Manso and Suma Indians to join him in building the church, which today is the historical treasure in downtown Ciudad Juarez, El Paso’s sister city. The Mission Grape represents European agriculture, which he introduced to the area. His original mission still stands in downtown Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

Magoffin Home State Historic Site

Built in 1875 for pioneer, politician, and civic leader Joseph Magoffin, the nineteen-room adobe home containing original family furnishings is El Paso’s only historic house museum.

Mt. Cristo Rey
Photograph by Celebration of our Mountains
McNutt Rd.
915-252-9840

Standing atop the Sierra de Cristo Rey (formerly known as the Cerro de los Muleros, Mule Drivers Mountain), in Sunland Park, New Mexico, the 29 ft. tall limestone statue of Christ serves as a shrine to thousands of faithful in the El Paso and Southern New Mexico area. Because of Mt. Cristo Rey’s proximity to Mexico, it’s best to hike up the mountain in a group. The well maintained trail is about 4.4 miles round trip and provides stunning, unparalleled views of Texas, New Mexico and Mexico.

Old Glory Memorial
Photograph by ElPasoFlag.org
9500 Gateway Blvd. North
915-549-5031

The “Old Glory Memorial” flies the American Flag (Old Glory) for all American citizens and to honor all who have served our Country and those who have given their lives in the name of the freedoms we enjoy every day. El Paso Texas Flags Across America has erected a 180 foot flagpole on the Trans-Mountain Campus of El Paso Community College (Highway 54 North Exit 28 and Diana Drive) and is flying a United States Flag, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and lighted at night. On Special occasions EPTFAA will be flying a beautiful 50 foot by 100 foot United States flag, (50) fifty state flags, (6) six Armed Service flags and (6) Territorial Flags.

Old Locomotive Number One
400 W. San Antonio Street
915-534-0661
 

Located inside the Visitor Information Center the Old Locomotive Number One is a legendary and thoroughly restored steam locomotive dating back to the early era of American railroads before the Civil War. Of less than thirty surviving engines from this period, it is the most original and complete. Old Number One has been cherished as an historic relic since its retirement in 1909 and has been on display at several sites around El Paso for more than ninety years. It has recently undergone a thorough cosmetic restoration and has been moved to a new home in downtown El Paso. Exhibits depicting its history and restoration are available in the center as well.

Pershing House
Photograph by John Stanton
228 Sheridan Rd. Fort Bliss
915-534-0600
 

In January 1914, John Pershing arrived in El Paso to take command of the Army 8th Brigade that was stationed at Fort Bliss. At the time, the Mexican Revolution was underway in Mexico, and the 8th Brigade had been assigned the task of securing the U.S.-Mexico border.

In 1850 after San Elizario became the First County Seat, the need for a jail turned this previous residence (1821-1848) into the first official San Elizario Jail. The Commissioners Court approved the purchase of a pre-fabricated iron cell from Chicago, Illinois that had two areas that could hold up to 6 prisoners each.

Over the years, the jail has become famous for being the ONLY time that the infamous Billy the Kid broke into a jail. Legend says Billy the Kid traveled from Las Cruces into San Elizario after learning that his friend, Melquiades Segura has been arrested in San Elizario. Upon his arrival at around 3am, Billy the Kid knocked on the door of the jail waking up the Mexican guards. Billy the Kid posed as a Texas Ranger and told the guard he had two American Prisoners. As the guard opened the door, he found himself eye to eye with Billy’s 44 revolver.
Billy quickly retrieved the guard’s guns, helped his friend out, put the guards in the jail and threw away the key. Immediately, Billy the Kid and his friend Segura crossed the river into Mexico, which at that time was only two and a half miles away from San Elizario.

Downtown
915-534-0600
 

A fiberglass sculpture by Luis Jiménez honoring the city’s colorful past, when real alligators graced San Jacinto Plaza sits in the center of downtown. This historic park is located in the heart of downtown El Paso on the corner of Oregon and Mills St. Recently redesigned, the park is now home to paths and bridges, gaming areas for ping-pong, chess, and washoes and a café that features a variety of local snack time favorites. This urban open space celebrates the history and culture of El Paso and is ideal for gatherings small or large.

The World's Largest Equestrian Bronze
6701 Convair Rd.
915-534-0600
 

This monument represents Don Juan de Onate, founder of the Camino Real (Royal Highway) and the Hispanic Southwest in 1598. Onate also gave the city its name, El Paso del Norte. Installed in September 2006 and dedicated on April 21, 2007, it is the largest equestrian bronze statue in the world, (36 feet tall on an eight-foot cement base) and second monument in the XII Travelers series. While there were many contributions from Oñate, one of the most dramatic introductions among livestock was the horse. Because of his expedition, the first European colonists to celebrate a feast of Thanksgiving on North American soil took place just south of El Paso in San Elizario, Texas on April 30, 1598.

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