Located about 35 miles north-east of Ruidoso, the quaint, historic town of Lincoln was first settled in the 1840s by Spanish Pioneers. They called the area Las Placitas del Rio Bonito, meaning “the village by the pretty river.” In the 1870s Lincoln became the center of the "Lincoln County War", and it's best known celebrity is the infamous Billy the Kid. The courthouse from which Billy the Kid escaped (and shot 2 deputies) in 1881 still stands and is open to the public. Many other historic buildings from the 1880s have been restored and are maintained and managed by the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. The Lincoln State Monument is one of the most visited Monuments in New Mexico.
Other than electricity and a paved roads, the area has not changed much since the 1880s. The residents of Lincoln are proud of their history and heritage and every August, they host "Lincoln Days" which is a weekend festival complete with several live performances of "The Last Escape of Billy the Kid".
Another important historic site in the area is the Fort Stanton Military base that was established in 1855 just minutes from Lincoln. Over its 160-year history the base was at one time commanded by Kit Carson. It has since served as a tuberculosis hospital, school, internment camp and correctional facility. It is now a State Monument open for tours. There are also 100+ miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails surrounding the Fort.
If you enjoy history, the Lincoln area may be the place for you. Properties available for sale there are often authentic adobe homes with green pastures, rolling hills, pinon & juniper trees and the Bonito River.
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