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.
| Historical markers
at the intersection of FM 1111 and Bus 10 (Old hwy 80), (the only
two paved roads in town)
Photo courtesy Barclay
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
- Highway Marker
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.
Landmarks / Attractions
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.
where the railroads met at Sierra Blanca
Photo Courtesy Sarah
movie house was built by Greg Morales and his wife in the 50's."
courtesy of michael j harden
| "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."
- FM 1111
Sierra 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"
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
| 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.
Photo courtesy of michael j harden
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
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
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
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,
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
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
"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
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories,
landmarks and recent or vintage photos, please contact