What does the future hold for Valentine? Is it the next ghost town of Far West Texas? One of only two communities in Jeff Davis County, and the only one incorporated, it has been slowly disappearing since the advent of the railroad's diesel engines.
Once a bustling railroad hub, recently the
last active business moved to Alpine, 25 miles east.
The village has no gas station, grocery store, cafe, pharmacy.
It does have an ISD, a library and a radio station.
The radio station operates within the boundaries of the 320-acre town,
population less than 200.
pic of gas pump
Valentine came into being in the 1880's as the railroads pushed through the Big Bend area. It became an important cattle shipping point. And its location between El Paso and Sanderson made it a convenient place for trains to change crews there.
The roundhouse and its adjacent eight tracks are gone and nothing remains of the community's robust railroad history.
Pic of engine and men from plaque DSCN 4110 JPG
In 1931 the strongest earthquake ever registered in Texas damaged every building in Valentine. UT reports tombstones were rotated in both directions and the felt area extended to Albuquerque, NM, 525 km distant.
Picture of abandoned bldg
A little known fact is that there is a small Cherokee tribe in Valentine and the surrounding region. Chief William Hoff, a hereditary Medicine Keeper is the elected Tribal Township Chief of Walelu. The members are involved in raising and harvesting crops that can be grown in the local difficult farming conditions. Chief Hoff hosts a weekly Native Country News program on the aforementioned radio station, AM 1610. The Valentine Radio website has links to his shows.
Find a 4 or 7 directions logo
On its name day each year, Valentine bursts alive as more than a thousand music and beer fans arrive at the Big Bend Brewing Company's celebration. The company purchased the remains of the 1907 grocery store and transformed it into a party venue.
Pic of grocery store
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