Story and Photographs
by Josa Combs
Lunamiel en el Rio Frio
couple drives to desolate Frio County in the late 1980s to camp alongside
the Frio River. Thanks to the kindness of a mysterious writer, they’re
allowed to discover the crumbling ruins of Frio County’s first seat
years ago, someone told me about Frio
Town. My new husband asked where I wanted to go for our honeymoon
and I said I wanted to go to Frio Town.
He sure didn't seem too enthused!
I love old ruins, towns, graveyards etc. But since the town was no
longer on current Texas maps, I went to the courthouse and found it
on an old map. I saw that that it was on the Frio River, so that’s
where we planned on camping.
|We located where
the town might but there were only corn fields. There was a dirt road
with a gate across it that was closed. I climbed the gate and walked
down the road in search of someone who might direct us. I came across
a beautiful old house and there in a screened-in porch was a man in
a rocking chair reading a book.
He came out and talked to me and said he was a writer, but unfortunately
I can’t remember his name. I explained that we were on our honeymoon
and I had wanted to see old Frio Town. He
mentioned that the site is privately owned and closed to the public.
Perhaps it was because we were on our honeymoon, but for whatever
reason, he was a gracious host.
He drove me back to the gate to get my husband and started showing
us around and told us about the old jail, etc. Then, told us where
the old courthouse was and sent us on our way. He said we could explore
to our heart’s content. We walked through the fields and woods and
that's where we found the old chimneys and what appeared to be little
grave markers where homes used to be.
two chimneys that are standing from old homes that used to be in Frio
Town. They are scattered in the woods now. Some had small rocks close
to them where, it looked like, children were buried."
Photo courtesy Josa Combs
gravestones I mentioned. Some have carvings on them. They look like
they were probably outside a back door of the home."
- Josa Combs
Old Frio County Jail
jail was in bad condition." -
was taken from inside the jail. You can see someone carved words on
the wall. It looks like someone marked off days."
Photo courtesy Josa Combs
|The old jail
was in bad condition, but one could still see the marks where former
prisoners had carved off the plaster to keep track of their days.
Then we found the massive courthouse. When I crawled up the steps
of the courthouse, there were still old papers laying around. Downstairs
too, but the downstairs was in worse condition than the upstairs was.
There was an old telephone table with all the wires, old benches and
what looked like a Judges desk. It was almost as if the people had
just walked away. The huge beautifully-painted safe was something
|The massive Old
Frio County Courthouse
|Old Frio County
| Now I live in
Iowa but I’d like to share the photos from that day with Texas Escapes
and its readers. I’d love to hear from anyone who might know who the
kindly man was, so I could thank him again.
© Josa Combs
Iowa, March 2011
- Josa Combs' married name
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