Deming — snowbird heaven

Deming, NM. Photo by Carla DeMarco.
Deming, NM

Thirty miles north of the Mexican border, set against the backdrop of the Florida Mountains, rests Deming, New Mexico, an Old West outlaw and railroad town known for its pure water, prime rock-hounding and annual duck race.

Once a stage stop along the Butterfield Trail, Deming was founded in 1881 at the junction of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe and Southern Pacific railroad lines. Deming was named after Mary Deming Crocker, the wife of a Southern Pacific magnate. With a population of 14,200, it is the seat of Luna County.

Deming became an important military headquarters in World War I when troops were trained at Camp Cody and again during World War II when the Deming Army Air Base was used for training bombardiers.

Today’s Deming boasts a fast-growing economy fueled by agriculture, tourism - mostly in the form of snowbirds - industry, ranching and trade with Mexico. Luna County is known as the “Chile Capital of the World.” Its secondary crops are cotton, onions and sorghum.

At 4,335 feet, Deming enjoys a mild climate suitable for year-round activities such as golfing, rockhounding and swimming in its new Aquatic Center. Summer temperatures range from the 50′s to the 90′s while winter’s can drop to freezing or climb to the 60′s. The sun shines about 360 days a year.

Cultural amenities include the Deming Arts Council, Luna County Community Concerts, the Deming Luna Mimbres Museum, galleries and rock shops. Nearby attractions include Rockhound State Park, City of Rocks State Park, Gila Wilderness and the Cliff Dwellings, the Catwalk, Mogollon Ghost Town, Lake Roberts, Elephant Butte Lake, Shakespeare Ghost Town, Steins Ghost Town, Butterfield Trail loop tour, the Santa Rita Open Pit Copper Mine and Columbus, where Pancho Villa invaded the United States in 1916.