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Hudspeth County Seat, West Texas

33 miles W of Van Horn on I-10
88 miles SE of El Paso
Population: 569 (2010) 533 (2000)

Sierra Blanca, Texas Area Hotels
El Paso Hotels | Van Horn Hotels
Guadalupe Mountains & Yucca
FM 1111 North - Distant Guadalupe Mountains
Photo Courtesy Jason Penney

Sierra Blanca Topics of Interest

  • History in a Pecan Shell / Historical Markers
  • Hudspeth County Courthouse > next page
  • Sierra Blanca Landmarks / Attractions
    Adobe courthouse, depot museum... & photo gallery
  • Scenic Drive - FM 1111
  • A Taste of Life in 1917 Sierra Blanca vintage photos > next page
  • Hudspeth County - Towns, ghost towns, vintage maps > next page
  • Photo Courtesy Sarah Reveley
    History in a Pecan shell

    Sierra Blanca was named after Sierra Blanca Mountain, just NW of town. Hudspeth County was named after Texas State Senator Claude Hudspeth.

    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.
    Sierra Blanca, TX - Hudspeth County Courthouse, restored

    Historical markers at the intersection of FM 1111 and Bus 10 (Old hwy 80), (the only two paved roads in town)
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009

    Historical Marker:

    America's Second Transcontinental Railroad

    (Joined 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.
    1936 Centennial - Highway Marker

    Hudspeth County

    Formed 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.
    Sierra Blanca, TX - Killing of General J.J. Byrne

    The Killing of General J. J. Byrne
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009

    Sierra Blanca Landmarks / Attractions

    Sierra Blanca, TX - Hudspeth County Courthouse, restored
    Texas' Only Adobe Courthouse
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009

    Hudspeth County Courthouse

    Hudspeth County Railroad Depot Museum
    The 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.
    Sierra Blanca Texas Railroad Depot Hudspeth County Museum
    The depot/museum where the railroads met at Sierra Blanca
    Photo Courtesy Sarah Reveley
    Sierra Blanca Texas Railroad Depot
    The 1882 Railroad Depot
    Photo Courtesy Sarah Reveley
    See Texas Railroads | Texas Depots | Texas Museums
    Sierra Blanca Texas Railroad Depot
    Photo Courtesy Sarah Reveley
    Sierra Blanca, TX - Methodist Church

    Sierra Blanca Methodist Church
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009

    Sierra Blanca, TX - Closed church

    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    More Texas Churches

    Sierra Blanca, TX - Adobe State  Theatre

    The Adobe State Theatre
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    More Texas Theatres

    State Theatre in Sierra Blanca
    "The movie house was built by Greg Morales and his wife in the 50's."
    Photo courtesy of michael j harden
    Sierra Blanca, TX - Closed truck stop
    "The truck stop was owned by Jean Wells in the 50's and 60's. Across the road (HwY 80) was the Chuck Wagon Café."
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    More Texas Gas Stations
    Sierra Blanca, TX - Closed store

    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009

    Sierra Blanca, TX - Closed railside hotel

    The closed railside hotel
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    More Rooms with a Past

    Sierra Blanca, TX - Closed railside hotel neon

    Hotel neon
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009

    Sierra Blanca, TX - Best Cafe old neon

    Best Cafe Neon
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009
    More Texas Old neons

    Sierra Blanca, TX - Closed steak house

    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009

    Sierra Blanca, TX - Closed restaurant

    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2009

    Searching for Cupid's Cave:
    A Taste of Life in 1917 Sierra Blanca

    Vintage photos courtesy Eldon M. Holman

    >Scenic Drive - FM 1111
    Sierra Blanca attractions include a replica of old Fort Hancock and a scenic drive north of town on 1111.
    FM1111 looking towards Eagle Mountains
    FM 1111 South of Sierra Blanca looking towards
    the Eagle Mountains at sunrise

    Photo Courtesy Jason Penney
    Yucca in bloom
    43 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.
    West Texas Sierra Diablos distant view
    View from a peak in the Sierra Diablos looking out towards Sierra Blanca.
    Photo courtesy Peter L French
    Hudspeth County Texas 1940s map
    1940s Hudspeth County map
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office
    Sierra Blanca Chamber of Commerce
    Sierra 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.
    Sierra Blanca TX Ruins
    Photo Courtesy Sarah Reveley
    Sierra Blanca TX Ruins among cactus
    Ruins among cactus
    Photo Courtesy Sarah Reveley
    Sierra Blanca Texas Forum

  • Subject: Sierra Blanca additional information
    The picture of the truck stop was owned by Jean Wells in the 50's and 60's. Across the road (HwY 80) was the Chuck Wagon Café.

    Grover Stevens was the Post master up into the 50's. The Post Office was located in building (now gone) on South Side on Hwy 80 in main part of town and between the two stores in town . A man named Hanson had the store West of the Post Office and the other store was owned by a family named Garria.

    My dad ranched near Sierra Blanca and became a clerk at the Post Office around 1953 and worked for Grover Stephens. Grover Retired and Jake Demere became post master. A few years later the Post office moved across the road to a building just East of the Walker Gas Station and ice house. The Best Café is just West of the Walker Gas Station.

    The Building that the Post office was in burned down in about 1964. Post Office moved to a temp location just west of the building still standing on North West corner of Hwy 80 and FM 1111. This location was used for about a year and a new post office was built at its current location.

    The movie house was built by Greg Morales and his wife in the 50's. The original movie was North of the Rail Road Tracks which Greg also owned.

    Tom Ellison had a Mobile Gas Station near the curve of Hwy 80 just to the East of FM 1111. His Mother lived across Hwy 80 from the station. Tom lived in house just to the South of her house. Just to the East of these two housed there once was a army camp that was established for early dispute with Poncho Villia. There was a wood frame house that fronted Hwy 80 that was used by then Lt. George S. Patton around 1916. This house is now gone. Almost due South of the Ellison house and now kind of the South side of IH 10 Was the Grover Stevens House.

    Directly behind the Ellison station was a building that housed the phone Co. and the phone operator. Jenny Vasher lived and worked the phone lines In this building.. The first Bank building was behind this building. The bank was closed until sometime in the late 60's and the Sierra Blanca Bank opened in the same building. - May 28, 2015

  • Subject: 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.

    My two 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 Paso area.

    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

  • Subject: Yucca Forest
    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

  • Subject: 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

  • "I 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
  • Truck Stop in West Texas

    Photo courtesy of michael j harden
    Sierra Blanca , Texas
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    Sierra Blanca
    Van Horn
    El Paso
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