By Jesus L. Lopez
Las Vegas prospered for almost a half century before the railroad arrived in 1879. During that short span beginning in 1835, our town saw expansive growth and change. Because of its prime location along the Santa Fe Trail, Las Vegas experienced more bustle and flurry than any other place in New Mexico.
In the 50 years before the railroad, our town witnessed first-hand the major transformative developments of the time, and more than any other place in New Mexico, Las Vegas was at the cross roads of history.