in a Pecan Shell
There had been an "Old" Lopeño that was covered by water when
the Falcon Dam was built in the early 1950s. Five other small
communities - Falcon, San Pedro,
San José, Santa Fé and El Tigre - were also covered by the reservoir.
The towns dated back to 1749 when the settlers were brought to the
area by Col. José de Escandón.
The government had offered to move the towns to Zapata,
but the locals wanted to be near the land they had been on for generations.
After four days of rain in August 1953 - 450 families of Lopeño and
Falcon were hurriedly evacuated
from the flooded communities.
The land had been given as a grant by the king of Spain in July of
1767. Part of this grant came to be owned by the Ramírez family, who
In 1821 at the Lopeño crossing of the river - Benito Ramírez constructed
a home/fort, later known as Ft. Lopeño.
During the Cortina War, Company K, of the 5th Infantry regiment,
occupied "Camp Lopeño" for twelve days in 1856, before returning
Barracks in Rio
In 1934, the first producing well in the Lopeño gas field was brought
in. Many are still producing today.
A gas pipeline carried the gas to Monterrey, Neuvo León.
When Old Lopeño was about to be moved, the International Boundary
and Water Commission announced that all communities would have to
move their cemeteries to a single location but the people insisted
on separate cemeteries.
on US 83
this area began about 1749 when Col. Jose de Escandon began bringing
colonists to establish permanent settlements along Mexico's northern
frontier. When parcels of land were granted to the colonists by the
Spanish government in 1767, Ysabel Maria Sanchez, widow of early settler
and rancher Joseph Lopez, was allotted more than 6,000 acres. The
village of Lopeno that later developed on part of the land was named
in honor of the Lopez family.
During the early 1800s, part of the Lopez land passed to the ownership
of the Ramirez family, founders of the nearby village of Falcon. In
1821 Benito Ramirez built a combination home, fort, and chapel that
later came to be called Fort Lopeno. Federal troops briefly occupied
the fort during 1856 while in the area helping to ease border disturbances.
The general store established in Lopeno in the early 1900s by Serafin
Benavides served as the area's only supply point at the time. A post
office was established in 1920, and in 1934 oil and gas wells were
successfully drilled just outside the village.
When Falcon Reservoir was created in 1952, residents relocated their
village to this site.
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history
and vintage/historic photos, please contact