West Texas

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a black and white line drawing of the Old Mission  Guadalupe in Juarez, MexicoFishing on the Gulf of Mexico, 1950. L.L. Cook Company collection, 1968/089-0786.

The vast expanse of West Texas includes the hot, arid land of the Chihuahuan Desert, miles of low terrain interspersed with rock formations, and the Guadalupe Mountains, the highest mountains in the State.

For the most spectacular views in West Texas, visitors can explore Big Bend National Park. The park spans 801,000 acres with terrain ranging from rugged mountain scenery to inspiring desert landscapes. The diverse vegetation, estimated to include over 1,000 species of plants, provides sustenance for an array of animals including javelinas, mountain lions, and black bears.  

Visitors can also see the bright lights of El Paso, the region’s largest city. El Paso boasts a long, rich history with its first community founded in 1680. Tourists can explore El Paso’s Spanish past by visiting the city’s missions. Architectural gems from later times also abound such as the Camino Real El Paso, formerly called the Hotel Paseo del Norte. Built in 1912 by the El Paso firm Trost and Trost, the hotel entertained such distinguished guests as former Texas Governor Daniel Moody. In Langtry, visitors can explore the Jersey Lilly, a saloon-courtroom run by eccentric Justice of the Peace Roy Bean in the late 19th century.

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Items in this Exhibit

The links shown below to the items displayed in this exhibit will open in PDF format in a separate window or tab. The documents are shown here in their entirety so some of the files contain multiple pages.

Menu from Hotel Paseo del Norte, March 17, 1927. Governor Daniel Moody records, 2007/170-184.

Lunch menu from Hotel Paseo del Norte, March 17, 1927. Governor Daniel Moody records, 2007/170-184.

West Texas Big Bend National Park brochure, circa 1946. State Parks Board, Big Bend National Park files, 2005/147-2.

Following the trail in Big Bend, undated. William Deming Hornaday photograph collection, 1975/70-602.

Camper in Big Bend Country, undated. William Deming Hornaday photograph collection, 1975/70-603.

Judge Roy Bean’s Court in Langtry, Texas, circa 1955. R. Niles Graham collection, 1964/306-767.

Judge Roy Bean standing in front of the Jersey Lilly with others, 1926. Prints and Photographs collection, 1/104-10A.

Scenes of El Paso, undated. Postcards of Texas from Norman Erickson, 1961/8-122. 

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Page last modified: May 20, 2016