The Fandango Continues — Valentine, Texas– Home to Prada, Ghosts and Beer?

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.

1884 Military Map of Trans-Pecos region with Valentine and Big Bend NP highlighted.  Courtesy of terlinguacitylimits.com.

1884 Military Map of Trans-Pecos region with Valentine and Big Bend NP highlighted. Courtesy of  www.terlinguacitylimits.com.

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.

Johnson's Building, built in 1907.  ©photo by C. Hunt

Johnson’s Building, built in 1907. ©photo by C. Hunt

Side of Johnson's Building. ©photo by C. Hunt

Side of Johnson’s Building. ©photo by C. Hunt

Inside Johnson's Building. ©photo by C. Hunt

Inside Johnson’s Building.  Wonder where the chairs came from?  ©photo by C. Hunt

The Hi-Way Cafe may have served its last patron.  ©photo by C. Hunt

The Hi-Way Cafe may have served its last patron. ©photo by C. Hunt

Former grocery store.  I love this building.  ©photo by C. Hunt

Former grocery store. I love this building. ©photo by C. Hunt

Sign on former grocery store. ©photo by C. Hunt

Sign on former grocery store. ©photo by C. Hunt

Interior. ©photo by C. Hunt

Interior. Inventory is pretty minimal now other than a few trees and perhaps a ghost or two at dark. ©photo by C. Hunt

Another interior. ©photo by C. Hunt

Another interior. ©photo by C. Hunt

From the side. ©photo by C. Hunt

From the side. ©photo by C. Hunt

Cool house in Valentine.  ©photo by C. Hunt

Cool house in Valentine. ©photo by C. Hunt

Valentine is also home to the noted art installation, Prada Marfa (2005), located outside Valentine on US 90.

Prada Marfa (or Valentine) --Courtesy Lizette Kapre, Ballroom Marfa, and the Art Production Fund

Prada Marfa (or Valentine) –Courtesy Lizette Kapre, Ballroom Marfa, and the Art Production Fund

The 1973 movie, Cahill, U.S. Marshall, was set in Valentine, Texas.

John Wayne in Cahill, U.S. Marshall.

John Wayne in Cahill, U.S. Marshall.

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.)

Beer

The fine products of Big Bend Brewing. Some great artwork on those cans!

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.

Union Pacific #9831  freight train coming through Valentine, Texas on March 2, 2007 --photo by C. Hunt

Union Pacific #9831 coming through Valentine, Texas on March 2, 2007 –photo by C. Hunt

Valentine, Texas, March 2, 2007.  --photo by C. Hunt

Valentine, Texas, March 2, 2007. –photo by C. Hunt

Go find your Fandango out there.  It is waiting!

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2 thoughts on “The Fandango Continues — Valentine, Texas– Home to Prada, Ghosts and Beer?

  1. Valentine was a crew change point until the mid 1980’s while SP still operated through the town. There had been an old hotel near the tracks that the crews would stay in when laying over, but prefab modular buildings replaced it in the 1970’s and the old hotel was torn down before your visit Chuck. A 24 hour restaurant was open for the crews but closed when the crew change point was moved to Del Rio.

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