Cave Dwellings

Buckhorn Creek, Lake O' The Pines, Jefferson, TX

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


  Well, the wind finally went down from F-4 tornado to Category 1 hurricane, so Mr. Grillmaster managed to get our chicken cooked outside..and it was yummy.

This morning at 7AM it was 36 degrees, clear and sunny. We kept our window shades down on the North side of the camper until 8:30 when the sun was fully out. Our walk took us all around the park and there are some interesting historical pieces of Fort Furlong in various spots. Here is an old  Jeffery Quad armored vehicle,(no, not the guy on the left), one of the first, that was used when General “Black Jack” Pershing crossed the100_6137 border to catch Pancho Villa…We walked further and found the old ramp that was used to work on the trucks and cars here at the fort.  They sent civilians down here to teach the soldiers how to maintain these vehicles…Most of the soldiers only knew about horses, and horses never needed an oil change…Here is the ramp..


When we got back to the camper , we had one more cup of java with some breakfast, and decided to go up to the park museum and then on to the Depot museum across the street. First of all I must introduce you to Mr. Pancho Villa.100_6146 100_6161

As you can see on the left, he was once good friends with General Pershing AND notice Lt. Patton on the right.  In the next photo, he is with his compadres in Chihuahua, Mexico..He looks more “at home” in the photo on the right. Villa launched a surprise attack on the town of Columbus, March 9th, 1916..94 years ago today..exactly.  They shot up the town..10 American civilians and 8 US soldiers lost their lives….75 raiders, or Villaistas were killed. Here is the General Store, window shot out…and on the right, a 1915 Dodge touring car, that was used by a family to try and flee the town before it was hit with bullets…

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Pancho Villa and his 485 troops rode through the town on their horses, shooting up and setting fire to buildings all through town.  The US soldiers at Fort Furlong were caught totally by surprise, but once they opened the arsenal and were armed with guns, they managed to get the upper hand..They drove the rest of the raiders back across the border.  The battle lasted until dawn, only 1 1/2 hours.  After the raid, President Woodrow Wilson ordered General John Pershing to take some troops across the border, to hunt down and capture Pancho Villa.  They never did find him…he was one smart hombre! Apparently not THAT smart, he was assassinated by one of his own in 1923..

  This “Punitive Expedition”, as it was called, was advertised all over the US, getting many young men to enlist in the march into Mexico to capture the famous bandit..Here is one of the posters ..(clik the pik to enlarge)…


   This expedition had many “firsts” involved in it..It was the first time machine guns were used.  They were the Benet-Mercie machine guns and here is a photo taken of one of the soldiers holding one…100_6150

It was also the first time aircraft were used.  This is a replica of the Curtiss JN-3 bi-plane, which was used for reconnaissance in the march to Mexico.100_6145

There is a story here about a young woman who heard the gunfire and ran across the street to use the Depot telephone switchboard to alert people about the raid, and she was wounded…Read the poster in the first photo for the whole story…and the actual switchboard is on the left….100_6166 switchboard of Railroad Depot when Villa came to town

….and lastly, here is the clock that was hanging on the Railroad Depot wall when a bullet went through it, stopping it at the exact minute Pancho Villa and his wild raiders were riding through Columbus, looting, shooting and setting fires…March 9th, 1916 at 4:11AM.


…notice the bullet hole in the middle of the clock face..GOD I LOVE HISTORY!!I fear I have bored you to the point of insanity by now, so I will stop with the history lesson.

We have changed our plans for the next few days …slightly. Since I stuck my head in the town “Laundromat” door and wasn’t really thrilled with the prospect of doing laundry there…we decided to go into Deming tomorrow and do our laundry, followed by a trip to Wally World for groceries.  We are putting off our trip to Palomas and the Pink Store until Thursday or Friday..The way the wind has been blowing here, we may just get blown across the border!

It is now almost 4PM and the gale warnings are out again..The only day it hasn’t blown our camper around was the day we arrived, Saturday…These typhoon like winds are not exactly great for campfires…We wouldn’t want to start the entire state park on fire, but believe it or not there are no burn bans here..I do have to talk Dennis off the ledge when he can’t have a campfire.  He is such a boy scout at heart..Hopefully, he can cook our ribs outside  tonight without sending a burning ember into the cactus bed just beyond us. Tomorrow I will get some pictures of the Florida (pronounced Flo-ree-da) Mountains just outside of Deming….they are awesome!!


  1. Great story I love history also.

    Can't wait tell we cross the border
    hope we take a lot of pictures.

    Put some rocks in your pockets so you don't blow away!!

  2. If you look towards Mexico directly behind the park you will see some ground mounded up a ways out. That is where they dumped a lot of stuff from Camp Furlong & there are lots of old broken army bottles there. We picked some up & brought them home. Thick green frosted glass bottles. Never mind the 'private property' sign, just pop over the fence & take yourselves for a walk.....we did & saw signs of Mexican illegals on the ground:))