County Seat, West
33 miles W of Van Horn on
88 miles SE of El Paso
Population: 533 (2000)
in a Pecan shell|
Sierra Blanca was named after Sierra Blanca
Mountain, just NW of town. Hudspeth County was named after Texas State Senator
The town came into existence when competing railroads
for a second (Southern) transcontinental railroad line came within 10 miles of
one another in 1881. Jay Gould, famous railroad magnate and robber baron,
drove a silver spike commemorating the event on Dec. 15th 1881.
The town sprang up around that spot, although the population didn't reach 350
people until 1914.
markers at the intersection of FM 1111 and Bus 10 (Old hwy 80), (the only two
paved roads in town)
Photo courtesy Barclay
Second Transcontinental Railroad
Here in 1881) Great achievement in American history. Victory for statesmen, including
Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun, who early as 1845 had supported in the United
States Congress the idea of a transcontinental railroad. This was effected in
1869, but a need remained-- as advocated in the Congress-- for a southern route.
In 1869 the Southern Pacific began constructing such a line eastward from the
west coast. In 1871 the Texas & Pacific began building a line, under a special
Act of Congress, from east texas to southern California. They ran a dramatic race
which reached its climax as construction crews for the roads neared this site.
Southern Pacific reached Sierra Blanca on Nov. 25, 1881-- while crews of the T.
& P. were 10 miles to the east of here. On Nov. 26, 1881, an agreement was reached
by Jay Gould, for the Texas & Pacific, and Collis P. Huntington, for the Southern
Pacific, whereby in Sierra Blanca the roads would "approach, meet, and form one
continuous line to the Pacific Ocean." The lines were joined here on Dec. 15,1881,
and on Dec. 16 transcontinental service was inaugurated.
- Highway Marker|
from El Paso County; created February 16, 1917, organized August 25, 1917. Named
in honor of Claude Benton Hudspeth born in 1877. A native Texan, holder of larger
ranching interests, member of the Texas Legislature and the United States Congress.
Sierra Blanca, the county seat.
Landmarks / Attractions
Railroad Depot Museum|
Hudspeth County Railroad Depot Museum is housed in the 1882 Railroad Depot that
served both the Texas and Pacific and Southern Pacific Railroads. On U.S. 80.
depot/museum where the railroads met at Sierra Blanca|
Photo Courtesy Sarah
Photo courtesy of michael j harden |
Drive - FM 1111Sierra
Blanca attractions include a replica of old Fort
Hancock and a scenic drive north of town on 1111.
1111 South of Sierra Blanca looking towards |
the Eagle Mountains at sunrise
Photo Courtesy Jason Penney
miles North, 1111 intersects with highway 62/180. |
Mountains on the horizon
and towering stands of Yucca make this a memorable drive anytime of year, but
particularly in March and April when the Yucca is in bloom.
|We were told by a
frank and candid person over the phone, that she has heard of "a forest of
Yucca" but has yet to find it after living in the area for 20 years.
She still hears of this legendary forest from time to time, since several books
have picked up on the "forest" description.|
It should be remembered
that in West Texas five or more trees per acre qualify as a forest.
from a peak in the Sierra Diablos looking out towards Sierra Blanca. |
Photo courtesy Peter L French
Hudspeth County map|
Texas General Land Office
Blanca Chamber of Commerce|
Blanca Chamber of Commerce has no physical address, but their telephone number
is 915-369-4118. Don't expect them to answer the phone just because it's 8 o'clock
where you are. Sierra Blanca goes by Mountain Time.
Blanca Texas Forum |
Sierra Blanca Truck Stop & UFO
I am writing my first
manuscript related to my family living in El
Paso, Texas in 1962. My father travelled through Sierra Blanca to San
Antonio to find work. He and my oldest brother left our car beside the Truck
Stop you have a picture of on your story about Sierra Blanca. I would like to
have your permission to use the picture in the back of the book.
oldest brothers and mother revisited our steps over the past years to El
Paso, to Sierra Blanca and on to San
Antonio. Our car broke down. Everyone who has a memory of the experience believes
the Truck Stop is where we returned to pick up our car to return to Indiana. I
do need to let you know my mother still believes she saw a UFO as we were sleeping
in the car the last night we were in the El
When we visited Sierra Blanca, I took pictures of the Truck
Stop, though I think it was more ran down than your picture depicts. I have misplaced
the pictures I took as I really never expected to finish my manuscript. My oldest
brother died last week and I promised him I would.
I am very interested
in your whole website and the energy you put into
it to describe Texas. Please keep up the good
work. You and your staff do an awesome job. - Cheryl Welch, September 25, 2011
Dear Texas Escapes, I just stumbled onto your tour of Hudspeth county. I am enjoying
it... You also said you were looking for a Yucca forest. If you look at a map
of Cornudas you will find FM
2317 goes south then turns hard east. If you you go about a mile due west of the
turn - there used to be a very big collection of Yuccas. That was back in 1968.
30 years change a lot of things... - Eddie Stephens, September 06, 2006
A (Fig) Tree Grows in Sierra Blanca
My Grandfather, Grover Stephens, was the post master in Sierra Blanca. Now from
my understanding their house use to be located where the old Gas station is now.
If you go out to that gas station even today I believe that there is a fig tree.
My Grandmother Jonnie Stephens planted that Fig tree right where the out house
use to be. Anyway, I always thought that was fun. Cheers, Samuel Stephens,
February 27, 2006
was amused to see that good old Jay Gould had participated in the founding of
Sierra Blanca, as he also participated in the founding the town in which I live,
Kyle. Thank you
for your work, I enjoy your site very much." - Peter French
Photo courtesy of michael j harden
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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