in this part of Texas, its rare to see more than one homestead within a few miles; isolation is a way of life.
the town Terlingua has been a part of our history for as long as Texas has been Texas, with legends and folklore and campfire stories handed down for generations. mercury was first discovered in the late 1800s, and by 1900 at least 3000 residents harbored near the Chisos Mine.
young children attended school near St Inez church while their siblings and parents worked long hours in the cavernous mines. many deaths occurred at various ages, the local cemetery filled with remains upon remains of accidents, explosions, health outbreaks, and malnutrition.
this part of the country is harsh.
weather, even with the brush, mountains, creeks, and streams, is very dry. Terlingua lies in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert, so growing much besides peppers, tomatoes, and onions seems futile. there are no big box stores or grocery chains for hundreds of miles, the only shopping local general stores. Southwestern art blooms.
with a population of less than sixty, the people here are rugged like the terrain, but gentle like the ecosystem. like many others in West Texas, they long for rain and clouds and access to usable water. their heritage is Native and Mexican and Anglo, a mix of hardiness that defies all scenarios; an infinite wisdom lurks plainly.
farther north, more famous towns known for their art appear on the map. here in Terlingua, the artists keep odd hours, but once they’ve caught you in their web, you are hypnotized, drunken with respect and envy and awe.
the unique culture of the region abounds.
we are blessed to have made your acquaintance.