Originally called Las Placitas del Rio Bonito by the Spanish families who settled it in the 1850s, the name of the community was changed to Lincoln when Lincoln County was created in January 16, 1869. Lincoln county was founded by five cultures. First discovered and lived on by Natives, discovered again by Conquistadores, settled by Mexicans, then re-established by Anglo-Americans. It was named after Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln was at the center of the Lincoln County War, 1876-1879, and is the historical home of Billy the Kid. The village holds an annual festival in August featuring an open-air enactment of The Last Escape of Billy the Kid.


57 miles west of Roswell and just south of the Lincoln National Forest

Getting There

From Ruidoso, take Hwy 48 North for 18 miles. At Capitan, turn right on Hwy 380 East for 12 miles

Images Courtesy of Mike Sinnwell (