Valentine is the only incorporated town in Jeff Davis County, Texas. It is a little west of the site of my last post in Marathon. The population of Valentine was 187 at the year 2000 census. It is an old town as this 1884 map attests.
Valentine’s name refers to the date of its founding in 1882 by a Southern Pacific Railroad construction crew on February 14. It is one of several cities named Valentine in the United States where the the Postal Service cancels envelopes for Valentine’s Day.
The town has still got some life, but there are some pretty desolate quarters. Here are some photos from 2007.
Valentine is also home to the noted art installation, Prada Marfa (2005), located outside Valentine on US 90.
The 1973 movie, Cahill, U.S. Marshall, was set in Valentine, Texas.
Valentine is home to, as one politician puts it, “the greatest ever West Texas Valentine’s Day celebration.” Hosted by the Big Bend Brewing Company of Alpine, Texas. As many as 1,000 people invade Valentine on Valentine’s Day points as close as Valentine itself, Marfa and Alpine to the far away places of Chicago and Cleveland. In 2014, the west Texas brewery served free cups of beer while Gary P. Nunn played live on stage, under the moonlit night and stars. (By the way, Big Brewing Company is worth a visit. They produce a nice brew or two. I like their #22 Porter.)
This concludes this Fandango through the Tran-Pecos country for now, but wait…I failed to mention trains! This one came cruising through Valentine just a few feet from Johnson’s building pictured above.
Go find your Fandango out there. It is waiting!