Originally called Bluff Wells, then Judson, now Mesa was a stop on the Ainsworth (now Pasco) to Spokane branch of the Northern Pacific Railroad. It was the stop between Eltopia and Palouse Junction (now Connell). The station was established in 1883.
The Columbia Basin Irrigation Project brought water to the area in 1948. Prior to this development, people relied on either private wells or the railroad well at Mesa. Mesa was officially incorporated on June 23, 1955. Today, Mesa is a small town supported by dryland farming, irrigated farming, and livestock.
Mesa is located at 46°34′37″N 119°0′9″W (46.576963, -119.002516). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.1 km²), all of it land.