Douglas’ early history dates back hundreds of years to the 1500’s and the early Spanish explorers. Cabeza de Vaca established a route from Mexico during the period of 1535-1536.
The region was also part of Nueva España during the 1700’s and an early presidio was located just east of present day Douglas. The San Bernardino Presidio was just one of the presidios established during that period. The now famous San Bernardino Ranch and Wildlife Refuge was part of that original settlement.
In 1878, the Company C of the US Cavalry was sent to the region as part of the Apache Indian Campaign and to address the activity of Geronimo and the band of Apaches. Geronimo surrendered to General Miles in the Sierra Madre Mountains in Northern Mexico in 1886.