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    LAJITAS, TEXAS

    Texas Ghost Town
    Brewster County, West Texas
    FM 170, On the Rio Grande
    95 Miles S of Alpine
    50 Miles E of Presidio

    Population: 50 (Estimate)

    Lajitas, Texas Area Hotels
    Alpine Hotels

    Lajitas Texas golf course
    Contrast on the Border: The Lajitas Golf Course
    Photo courtesy Tom Hosier, 2006
    History in a Pecan Shell

    The name is said to mean "little flat rocks" in Spanish. Early inhabitants were driven out by Apaches and Comanches. Anglo settlement began in the middle part of the 19th Century.

    When mercury was discovered nearby in Terlingua, the region experienced a minor boom. The influx of miners increased businesses between Mexico and the U.S. and by 1900 the town had become an official port of entry, complete with a customhouse.

    Farmers moved in to plant crops in the floodplain of the Rio Grande, creating a need for a school. The ford of the Rio Grande was lined with rock, making it the best crossing between El Paso and Del Rio.

    The most influential resident of Lajitas in its infancy was a man named H. W. McGuirk. The overworked McGuirk tended bar, operated the store and still found time to help manage the mining operations in Terlingua. Through his efforts, the Lajitas post office was opened. McGuirk also paid the costs for a school and church to be built before selling out to Thomas V. Skaggs.

    In 1916 incursions by elements of Pancho Villa’s forces necessitated the establishment of a cavalry post. The post office closed in 1939.

    In 1949 the settlement was purchased by Rex Ivey, Jr., who brought electricity to the town (via a generator). After the mines at Terlingua closed, Lajitas was left with a population estimated at four.

    In the mid 1970s Lajitas was bought by a Houston Corporation and most of the surviving buildings were restored.

    In the 1980s Lajitas became a resort – with 50 permanent residents, most of them employed at one of the three motels, restaurant or golf course. The old trading post was complemented by an RV park, and visitors who didn’t want to take the long drive could fly into the resort’s airfield.

    Lajitas Update
    or "Things Are Tough All Over
    "

    In a 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.

    The 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.”

    The developer 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.A final decision on whether or not the sale proceeds is expected around the New Year.

    Our thanks to Terry Jeanson of San Antonio for this update and to David from Buckholts for the correction. - Editor.

    A Visit to Lajitas:

    Lajitas Texas original trading post
    The original trading post
    Photo courtesy Tom Hosier, 2006
    Lajitas Texas Lajitas The Ultimate Hideout
    Main Street
    Photo courtesy Tom Hosier, 2006
    Lajitas The Ultimate Hideout
    Another view of Main Sreet
    Photo courtesy Tom Hosier, 2006
    Lajitas Texas chuck wagon
    Restored Chuck Wagon
    Photo courtesy Tom Hosier, 2006
    Lajitas Texas cactus and authentic chuck wagon in junk pile
    The next restoration project
    Photo courtesy Tom Hosier, 2006
    The Rio Grande Lajitas Texas
    More of the golf course.
    Photo courtesy Tom Hosier, 2006
    Lajitas, Texas
    Area Destinations:

    Terlingua
    Alpine
    Presidio
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