| Texas Towns |
GHOST TOWNS FOR SALE
Properties and Invaluable (Free) Advice By
was recently listed on Ebay with a minimum bid of $2 Million for its 28 acres,
historic school (a young LBJ taught there) and a still-functioning beer hall.
(State roadside signage included.) |
Photo courtesy David E. Spenser, 2007
|Not a Ghost Town
– but a Historic Museum Town|
comes with a less acreage, but a few more buildings. If you call in the next fifteen
minutes, they’ll throw in a huge collection of antiques and artifacts collected
since the early 1970s. We were told that whenever a period movie was filming in
Texas, and they needed some authentic prop or piece of vintage equipment, they’d
often check with The Grove. The hearse from Lonesome
Dove is included in the inventory.
also functions as a weekend attraction and may be well on the way to becoming
the next Luckenbach
(not for sale).
the years there have been other Texas towns for sale, notably Cornudas
in Hudspeth County (70 miles East of El
Paso) and Lajitas which
is down on the Rio Grande (90 miles south of Alpine
and is just outside the boundaries of the Big Bend National Park). Lajitas
is now a sort of fly-in golf course and resort. The irrigated greens make it impossible
to miss from the air. The “town” reportedly sold for something like 4.2 million
in 2000. After pumping a reported $100,000,000 into the place, it went into foreclosure
in 2007 - $18 million in debt.|
Lajitas Golf Course|
courtesy Tom Hosier, 2006
Photo Courtesy Jason Penney
can be assumed that the old motel and service station that once made up tiny Lobo,
Texas (65 miles NW of Marfa on
old US 90) sold for considerably less than Lajitas
did. Lobo was bought by a group of
remains on the state map as does Cornudas
and Lobo. Albert
and The Grove do not. I think it has to do with
how much room the cartographer has to work with. |
the current surge in road trips by Baby-boomers trying to make sense of their
childhood memories from behind the windshield of Titanic motor homes, and the
popularity of motorcycle clubs, the “Golden Age” of the quaint and curious “roadside
attraction” is over.
sells maps which show the traffic counts of almost every road in the state, so
before you start entertaining dreams of rattlesnake farms, prairie dog villages
or longhorn timeshares, you might want to see how many people actually pass these
places. Don’t forget to factor in both increased gas mileage and the incurious
younger drivers of today.|
Times have changed, and while movie writers
and directors perpetuate the iconic roadside diner – those places are long gone.
But for those seeking solitude and a peaceful existence in a
place where people have moved on – there are hundreds of towns
that (while not being “authentic” ghost
towns) remain under-inhabited and would offer a similar lifestyle. They might
even provide some amenities – like water, electricity and cranky neighbors.
When investigating towns like these, one would be wise to check-out the current
residents (who might not enthusiastically embrace an increased population). They,
like you, may have moved here to get away from people.
to people with a ghost town / roadside attraction fantasy would be to consult
a model train catalog. Then buy a large piece of plywood, order the tiny buildings,
paint in the roadways, install the infrastructure and then when the town looks
like it’s going to prosper, remove the railroad
tracks or bypass it with a new highway.
It’s how most Texas
ghost towns were made.
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December 8th 2007 San Antonio Express News article entitled Bankrupt Resort
Ordered Sold, staff writer John MacCormack wrote of Lajitas,
calling it the “ill-fated” resort that “swallowed” $100,000,000.
article stated that the resort had been bought in the year 2000 for 4.2 million.
The Austin buyer/developer had dreams of turning it into “The Ultimate Hideaway.”
may have over-estimated the need for such places. These days most people seeking
hideaways simply move to countries without an extradition treaty with the United
States. The resort (and the 25,000 acres that come with it) had a foreclosure
bid of 13.5 million from a single investor. It also reported that the resort is
18 to 20 million dollars in debt.
final decision on whether or not the sale proceeds is expected around the New
Our thanks to Terry Jeanson of San Antonio for this update and
to David from Buckholts for the correction. - Ed.
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic
photos of their town, please contact
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