TexasEscapes.com 
HOME : : NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : TEXAS HOTELS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : BUILDINGS : : IMAGES : : ARCHIVE : : SITE MAP
PEOPLE : : PLACES : : THINGS : : HOTELS : : VACATION PACKAGES
Texas Escapes
Online Magazine
Texas Towns by Region
  • Texas Hill Country
  • Central Texas North
  • Central Texas South
  • South Texas
  • East Texas
  • West Texas
  • Texas Panhandle
  • Texas Gulf Coast
    Texas Towns A - Z
    Over 2600 Towns

    Texas Ghost Towns
    Over 700 Ghost Towns

    Book Hotels
  • Carrizo Springs Hotels
    Find Hotel Deals in Carrizo Springs, Texas
    Book Today

    CATARINA, TEXAS

    Texas Ghost Town
    Dimmit County, South Texas
    Hwy 83
    10 miles SE of Asherton

    SE of Carrizo Springs, Dimmit County seat
    21 miles W of Artesia Wells
    Population: 135 ( 2000) 45 (1990)

    Catarina, Texas Area Hotels
    Carrizo Springs Hotels

    Catarina TX - Original  Post Office
    The original Post Office in Catarina
    Photo courtesy Robert Vahle, June 2011
    More Texas Post Offices

    Catarina, Texas Topics of Interest

  • Catarina ("Texas Tales" Column by Mike Cox ) next page
  • History in a Pecan Shell
  • Vintage Photos
  • Catarina Today
  • History in a Pecan Shell

    The name has been associated with the area since at least 1778; legend holds that it is the name of a Mexican woman killed by Indians on or near the site. The town was established after Asher Richardson, a rancher, decided to build a railway link from Artesia Wells to his planned town of Asherton
    .

    In return for an easement through the nearby Taft-Catarina Ranch Richardson agreed to allow the ranch to establish a railroad depot, with cattle-shipping pens, on his railroad. By 1910, when the Asherton and Gulf Railway began operations, these cattle pens had become the nucleus of a small community built by Joseph F. Green, the manager of the ranch. Green moved the ranch headquarters to the depot and added a bunkhouse, a commissary, a hotel, a post office, and a small schoolhouse.

    By 1915 the little town had twenty-five residents and had become famous in the area for the Taft House, an expensive mansion that Charles Taft, the owner of the ranch, supposedly built with oversized bathtubs to accommodate his brother, President William Howard Taft.

    Catarina Farms, a development project, built roads, sidewalks, a waterworks, an impressive new hotel and installed electric power and a telephone exchange. Agent Charles Ladd imported entire orchards of fruit-laden citrus trees to impress prospective investors with the area's agricultural possibilities.

    By 1929 Catarina had between 1,000 and 2,500 residents, a bank, at least two groceries, a lumber company, and a bakery. Short supplies of water, marketing problems, and the Great Depression damaged the town. By 1931 the population had dropped to 592, and many of its businesses had been forced to close. In 1943 Catarina had 403 residents and seven businesses; in 1956 it had 380 residents and three businesses. By 1969 some of the town's most picturesque old buildings had been abandoned, and the population was 160. In 1990 the population was forty-five.

    More Catarina History, see Catarina
    by Mike Cox
    Catarina TX School
    Catarina School Today
    Photo courtesy Robert Vahle, June 2011

    Catarina Today

    (From Catarina by Mike Cox )
    In 1997, new owners reopened the long-boarded structure for the first time since the early days of the Cold War. It has had two owners since then, but the property has been renovated and does a steady business during the South Texas dove, quail, deer and turkey seasons.

    Just across the highway, to give hunters a place to pick up a gift for the wives they left behind, a combination antique and gift store has been in business for several years.

    A few blocks past the antique store, partially hidden by mesquite, is the old Catarina School. The building has fallen to ruin, but its poured concrete structure assures that the skeleton will survive for years to come.

    Farther down the highway, the town’s once lavish swimming pool — part of the Catarina Farms development — is debris-filled. The country club building adjacent to it is long gone.

    The Catarina cemetery, located at the end of a winding unpaved road a couple of miles from town, is overgrown with mesquite, though some burials occurred there in the 1980s and 1990s. But the location of the final resting place of the woman who gave the area her name is as uncertain as the existence of the ghosts who supposedly haunt the old hotel. more
    Catarina TX School interior
    Catarina School in a sad state of deterioration
    Photo courtesy Robert Vahle, June 2011
    Catarina TX School Gym
    Catarina School Gym
    Photo courtesy Robert Vahle, June 2011
    More Texas Schoolhouses
    Catarina TX -  Catarina  Hotel Courtyard
    Photo courtesy Robert Vahle, June 2011
    Catarina Hotel Ghost
    Catarina, Texas old photo - street scene
    Catarina street scene, 1927
    Photo courtesy texasoldphotos.com
    Catarina  Texas - Catarina Winter Garden Farms 1929 old photo
    A Tour for Prospective Landbuyers, Nov. 9, 1926
    Photo Courtesy Jason Penney
    Catarina TX - 1926 Catarina Winter Garden Farms Excursion
    Closeup of above 1926 photo showing Catarina Winter Garden Farms Excursion
    Courtesy Jason Penney
    Catarina TX - 1926 Catarina Winter Garden Farms Excursion
    Closeup of above 1926 photo - 2
    Courtesy Jason Penney
    Catarina TX - 1926 Catarina Winter Garden Farms Excursion
    Closeup of above 1926 photo - 3
    Courtesy Jason Penney
    Catarina TX - 1926 Catarina Winter Garden Farms Excursion
    Closeup of above 1926 photo - 4
    Courtesy Jason Penney
    Catarina TX - 1926 Catarina Winter Garden Farms Excursion
    Closeup of above 1926 photo - 5
    Courtesy Jason Penney
    More Texas Vintage Photos
    Catarina, Texas water tower
    Catarina standpipe
    Photo courtesy Jason Penney
    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic photos of their town, please contact us.
    Book Hotels
    Carrizo Springs Hotels
    Catarina, Texas
    Area Destinations:

    Asherton

    Carrizo Springs
    Artesia Wells

    Uvalde
    Eagle Pass
    More Texas Destinations & Hotels:
    South Texas Towns
    Texas Towns A to Z
    Texas Ghost Towns
    Texas
    Hotels
    Custom Search
    Save on Hotels - Expedia Affiliate Network

    CITY SEARCH


    Carrizo Springs Hotels
    Find Hotel Deals in Carrizo Springs, Texas
    Book Now
    TEXAS ESCAPES CONTENTS
    HOME | TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE | HOTELS | SEARCH SITE
    TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES

    Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South | West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
    TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | FORTS | MAPS

    Texas Attractions
    TEXAS FEATURES
    People | Ghosts | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII | History | Texas Centennial | Black History | Art | Music | Animals | Books | Food
    COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

    TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
    Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators | Lodges | Museums | Rooms with a Past | Gargoyles | Cornerstones | Pitted Dates | Stores | Banks | Drive-by Architecture | Signs | Ghost Signs | Old Neon | Murals | Then & Now
    Vintage Photos

    TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | USA | MEXICO

    Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
    Website Content Copyright ©1998-2011. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved