New on The Alamo Project Tuesday, October 23, 2012 The Alamo Project is expanding to include photographs and stories from all regions of Texas. TAP is a Journal of Texas presenting stories from a personal point of view. We expore off the beaten path to find people and places that make Texas unique.
Tuesday, September 03, 2013
Historic Terlingua Cemetery
Terlingua at the turn of the twentieth century was essentially a company town. If you lived there you followed the rules and got on with the job of digging, transporting and refining red cinnabar ore into mercury. Every part of the process was dangerous; some such as handling the mercury were deadly. Even so, most people felt lucky to have the work.
Friday, August 30, 2013
My travels to the Texas Bend have taken me through Dryden many times during the past fifteen years. It has become smaller and smaller each year. The town is holding on to existance with quiet determination. A sentient quality that was perhaps inherited from the borderland residents it once served.
Friday, November 09, 2012
Dia de los Muertos and Halloween overlap in many ways. Both coincide with the Catholic holidays of All Saints and All Souls. Both incorporate secular customs transforming them into something beyond religious intent. Both are practiced around the world far from their origins and original meanings.
Thursday, November 01, 2012
One landmark that always catches my attention when traveling highway 90 is the Pecos High Bridge. It is the latest of several bridges and viaducts to span the Pecos River Canyon. The earliest bridge spanned the river at the bottom of the canyon requiring several miles of connecting roads to cross the gap. The current high bridge rises more than 250 feet above the river and is less than a mile in length. It is located very near Langtry and adjacent to the Lake Amistad National Recreation Area.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Highway 90 North and West of Comstock is a lonely stretch of road with a few small towns catering to ranchers and hunters. There is little automobile traffic here. What traffic you do see is made up of law enforcement vehicles, large commercial trucks and the occasional local resident in a pickup. The road itself is wide, smooth and well maintained.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Near Langtry, just off highway 90 is the town site of Pumpville. It may have a permanent population of one or two people. Not counting railroad workers and hunters in the fall. It is also reputed to be a place for illegal migrants and possibly drug smugglers to hide before moving into the U.S. interior. In other words it is just another stop in the borderlands of Texas.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
The borderlands between Texas and Mexico are a complicated and contradictory place. Most people in the United States think of the border as a hard line separating us and them. Many Texans understand historical and cultural ties between Mexico and Texas run very deep. The border could be described as an area of exchange that conveys one culture into the other. It is a bidirectional conveyance.
In the next few weeks we will feature stories looking at the border region between Del Rio and the city of Presidio. This is a vast largely unpopulated region with a history of weak law enforcement and strong personalities. It is a world apart.
Ranching, trading, raiding and war have all left a mark along the Rio Grande in Texas. Outside of the cities, there may actually be fewer people living in this area today than there were a hundred years ago.
The first borderlands essay will tell the story of the present day ruins of Pumpville. It was once a small but vital community providing services to the railroad in the days of steam power. It is now a ghost town and rail siding.
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