VRBO renters can step back into Mesilla’s history with this fully renovated, circa-1800s carriage house.
Written by Zak Hansen
Photography by Christopher Schlajo
At their Casa de Line Shack, owners Christopher Schaljo and Russell Hernandez —the restauranteurs behind the popular Salud! de Mesilla—offer VRBO renters a unique step back into Mesilla’s history with this fully renovated, circa-1800s carriage house.
The property has been in Russell’s family since the 1960s, purchased by his grandparents, but the original deed dates to 1854. (Given that 1854 was the first year property was deeded in Doña Ana County, the property is likely much older.)
“When we bought the house, it had a small casita in the back that shares our courtyard,” Christopher says. The new homeowners chose to renovate the casita space first, and then lived in it during the yearlong renovation of the main house. Once they moved into the main space, the casita sat empty.
“So we just thought, ‘Well, what are we going to do with this?’” Chris remembers.
VRBO was the answer.
Now two-and-a-half years in the ‘alternative lodging’ game, the Casa de Line Shack has an established, year-round clientele, mostly long-term renters.
“We’ve met a lot of interesting people along the way,” Christopher notes. “We have a few people who come back year after year. One couple has become snowbirds—they spend Thanksgiving through the New Year here, and are now looking in the area for a house to buy.”
With its rustic, Mesilla Valley charms, it’s easy to see why the property stays occupied much of the year. The 900-square-foot, one-bedroom, one-bath room adobe casita offers up to five guests the quiet respite of the Mesilla Valley, just a few blocks from shopping, dining, art galleries, cultural attractions, and more on the town’s historic plaza. The peaceful pecan orchards of the valley offers lodgers a welcome getaway from the relative hustle and bustle of Las Cruces.
The bedroom features a comfy, queen-sized bed and a roomy closet with double French doors. A roomy kitchen with all the amenities—refrigerator, electric stove, convection oven, microwave, coffee maker, toaster—also includes cozy bar seating for four. A three-quarters bath provides the necessary facilities.
The living area—which, along with the kitchen, composed the property’s original carriage house—includes a queen-size sofa sleeper, TV (with Hulu and Roku already set up), internet and DVD player, along with a few books and a fireplace to cozy up next to. A spacious and secluded courtyard (shared with the main house) includes a bubbling pond and plenty of plants, flowers, and foliage, along with an outdoor grill. A few steps out the rustic front gate, it’s pecan orchards as far as the eye can see, situated in the agricultural heart of Southern New Mexico.
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