Las Vegas is a city in San Miguel County, New Mexico. Las Vegas was established in 1835 after a group of settlers received a land grant from the Mexican government. The town was laid out in the traditional Spanish Colonial style, with a central plaza surrounded by buildings which could serve as fortifications in case of attack. Las Vegas soon prospered as a stop on the Santa Fe Trail. When the railroad arrived in 1880 it set up shop one mile east of the Plaza, creating a separate, rival New Town (as in Albuquerque). During the railroad era Las Vegas boomed, quickly becoming one of the largest cities in the American southwest. Turn-of-the-century Las Vegas featured all the modern amenities, including an electric street railway. Since the decline of the railroad began in the 1950s the city's population has remained relatively constant. Las Vegas is also the home of New Mexico Highlands University.