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MARFA, TEXAS

Suggested slogan:
"We've been leaving the lights on for you for 134 years."©


Presidio County Seat, West Texas

30° 18' 29" N, 104° 1' 9" W (30.308056, -104.019167)
US 67 and 90, Hwy 17
26 miles W of Alpine
21 miles SW of Fort Davis
93 miles SW of Pecos
159 miles SW of Odessa
74 miles SE of Van Horn
162 miles SE of El Paso via I-10
Population: 1,981 (2010) 2,121 (2000) 2,424 (1990)

Marfa, Texas Area Hotels
Alpine Hotels | Pecos Hotels | Van Horn Hotels
Marfa Texas
Photo courtesy James Nelms, July 2009

Historic Marfa

Established in 1883 as a water stop and freight headquarters for the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway.

"Honey, what do you want to name this town?"
Most everything about Marfa is unusual. The name, even in a state filled with strange names, is unusual. It comes, so we're told, from a character in Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, the book being read by the wife of a railroad executive as they passed through the region. We're glad she wasn't reading The Idiot.

The Naming of Marfa
The Last Word on "Marfa" by Lee Lowry

Marfa Army Air Field and Fort D. A. Russell
Besides being used as a locale for the movie Giant, and other films, Marfa also served as a base for military aviation when they were still using biplanes. Known as Marfa Army Air Field... more

The Marfa History Club - How History is Conducted in Marfa
"If it's not asked, it's not answered." - Lee Bennett more

Marfa is the second highest county seat in the state next to Ft. Davis of neighboring Jeff Davis County.
Courthouse, Hotel Paisano and main street in Marfa, Texas, 1950s
Marfa street scene in the mid 1950s.
Postcard courtesy rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
Machine  gun squadron, Marfa TX
Myself in the Texas Badlands
The Best Mule-Drawn Machine Gun Outfit in Texas 1923
Old photos of 230 mile trip from Marfa to Del Rio
via Longfellow and Comstock.

Courtesy Scheibal Collection
Book Marfa, Texas Area Hotels
Alpine Hotels | More Hotels

Marfa Landmarks / Attractions

Marfa Texas - Presidio County Courthouse

Photo courtesy James Nelms, July 2009

Presidio County Courthouse

Prada Marfa
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, October 2010
Prada Marfa
West Texas gets a Long-overdue Infusion of Whimsey by German-based Artists
Marfa light
Photo courtesy Julie McConnell, June 27, 2004
The Mystery of the Marfa Lights
Near Marfa (9 miles east)...
Chinati Hot Springs / Chinati Museum
by Byron Browne
Marfa Architecture - Buildings worthy of notice:

  • Presidio County Courthouse - History and images

  • El Paisano Hotel - Designed by El Pasoan Architects Trost and Trost (still open for business)

  • Chinati Hot Springs / Chinati Museum
    Contemporary art museum. Located on former Fort D.A. Russell. 1 Calvary Row just off Route 67 south of Marfa.

  • The Brite Building occupies the block south of El Paisano (c. 1931). Here the details are somewhat stylized and abstract and are more Native American influenced than the fine Spanish details of El Paisano.

  • Many handsome residences.

  • The Marfa National Bank (in the Brite Building) once served as Headquarters for the Marfa Army Air Field (1942)
  • Marfa, Texas - Palace Theatre
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, May 2009
    Palace Theatre
    Marfa TX Palace Theatre

    Photo courtesy James Nelms, July 2009

    Marfa TX street scene

    Photo courtesy James Nelms, July 2009

    Marfa TX - The 1929 Hotel Paisano
    The 1929 Hotel Paisano
    Jimmy Dobson Photo, July 2017
    Marfa TX 1929 Hotel Paisano Neon Sign
    The 1929 Hotel Paisano neon sign
    Jimmy Dobson Photo, July 2017
    Marfa TX - 1960s Capri Holiday Inn Neon Sign
    The 1960s Capri Holiday Inn neon sign
    Jimmy Dobson Photo, July 2017
    Marfa TX - Stardust Motel 1950 Originlly San Jacinto Courts neon sign
    Stardust Motel, 1950 originally San Jacinto Courts neon sign
    Jimmy Dobson Photo, September 2017
    More Rooms with a Past | Texas Old Neon
    Marfa TX Windmill

    Windmill
    Photo courtesy James Nelms, July 2009
    See Texas Windmills

    Marfa TX HiWay Cafe

    HiWay Cafe
    Photo courtesy James Nelms, July 2009

    Marfa TX Welcome

    Welcome to Marfa
    Photo courtesy James Nelms, July 2009

    Marfa Texas water tower Grain elevators in Marfa
    L - Marfa water tower and jail TE photo
    R - Marfa mill Photo Courtesy Bob Hann
    Palace Theatre Marfa Texas "Giant" movie set in Marfa Texas
    L - The Palace Theater. TE photo
    R - "Reata" the set for the movie "Giant". Courtesy TXDoT
    adobe home with cactus Brite Building in Marfa Texas
    L - A Marfa residence.
    R - Brite Building (Marfa National Bank). TE photos
    Marfa Texas street scene
    Marfa street scene. TE photo

    Marfa Chronicles

  • The Old Gringo in Texas By Clay Coppedge

    Historians generally believe that writer and civil war veteran Ambrose Bierce died in Mexico in search of Pancho Villa and the next big story. The image of being "shot to rags" is as good a guess as any about what happened to Bierce. But it's still just a guess.

    Because he passed through Texas on his way to Mexico, an alternative history suggesting that Bierce died in Texas, in Marfa to be precise, has arisen. The justification for this view is a letter written to the editor of the Marfa Newspaper, the Big Bend Sentinel, in 1990... more

  • Marfa Texas City Park old post card
    "This was the City Park of Marfa, Texas. It was located where the US Post Office is now located. We used to stop and play at the City Park on our way to and from seeing a matinee movie at the Marfa Theatre." - Jo Ann Rivera Garcia, Former Marfan, January 30, 2007

    Nearby Destinations

  • Presidio County Towns
  • Hwys 90 East 26 miles to Alpine
  • Hwy 17 North 21 miles to Ft. Davis
  • Ghost towns: Candelaria and Shafter.

    Book Hotel Here:
    Alpine Hotels | Van Horn Hotels | Fort Stockton Hotels | Pecos Hotels | More Hotels
  • US 90 and US 67; Merging Highways

    "These two US Highways merge for 34 miles in far West Texas, mostly between Alpine and Marfa. There, together, they go through Alpine, skirt around the picturesque Paisano Peak and Twin Peaks, both 6050 feet high. Then on to Marfa where 67 leaves 90 and turns south into Presidio, ending at the Mexican border... 90/67 also passes another very interesting landmark. One you won’t want to miss... The Marfa Lights..."

    The Reata, Marfa, Texas, 1968
    The "Reata" in 1968
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson

    Presidio County TX 1940s Map
    Presidio County 1940s Map
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office

    Marfa, Texas Area Towns:
    Alpine | Fort Davis | Pecos | Van Horn
    See Presidio County | West Texas

    Book Hotel Here:
    Alpine Hotels | Van Horn Hotels | More Hotels

    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, please contact us.

     


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