South Texas Plains
2010 Census - 335
2000 Census - 403
Los Ebanos, Texas
Los Ebanos, Texas History:
In the 1740s, explorers and colonists led by José de Escandón forded the Rio Grande River at an ancient river crossing, south of the current Los Ebanos site. The area was originally known as Las Cuevas for the numerous caves in the area. Los Ebanos was reportedly established by early Mexican settlers, who named the community for the abundance of ebony trees in the area. The ford was a popular crossing during the Mexican War in 1846. In 1852 the Las Cuevas Ferry was licensed by the county for $5 a month; in the 1870s it was used by cattle rustlers. One famous skirmish took place in 1874 when Captain L.H. McNelly's Texas Rangers recovered stolen cattle taken to General Juan Flores Salinas' Las Cuevas Ranch. The General was killed and his citizens erected a monument to his memory in San Miguel de Camargo (present day Díaz-Ordaz). The Los Ebanos post office was established in 1910. In 1913 Dr. Alfred J. J. Austin established a ranch, brickyard, gravel pit and pharmacy. Between 1920 and 1940 the town had approximately 200 residents. During the 1920s and 1930s Los Ebanos was popular as a crossing for smugglers who brought alcohol from Mexico. The hand drawn automobile ferry connecting Los Ebanos to ciudad Diaz Ordaz Tamaulipas was established in 1950. The “Victoria” Ferry is operated by the Beto Reyna family. It is said to be the only government licensed, hand-pulled ferry on any U.S. border. The ferry load limit is 3 cars, and several pedestrians; fees apply. In 1964 Los Ebanos had a population of 100 and four businesses. A colonia established during the late 1960s had ten dwellings and 45 residents in 1986. A new dance hall was built in the middle of one of the plazas; it is the site of all of the town’s social events. Los Ebanos is located off FM 886, 0.5 miles north of the Rio Grande River, 2 miles south of U.S. 83, 24 miles southeast of Rio Grande City, 14 miles northwest of Mission, and 2 miles southeast of Sullivan City, Texas.
Historic Los Ebanos Ferry Crossing, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“Apparently this is an ancient ford. First recorded usage was by Spanish Explorers and colonists under Jose de Escandon in 1740s on the Rio Grande. A salt trail led from here to El Sal Del Rey (40 miles northeast). The ford was used by Mexican war troops, 1846; by Texas Rangers chasing cattle rustlers, 1874; by smugglers in many eras, especially during the American Prohibition years, 1920s and 1930s. The ferry and inspection station were established in 1950. Named for ebony trees here, this is known as the only government licensed hand-pulled ferry on any boundary of the United States.”
Rio Grande River:
The Rio Grande rises 12,000 feet above sea level in the Rio Grande National Forest in Colorado as a clear, spring and snow-fed mountain stream. The river cuts through the middle of New Mexico to the sites of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez at the junction of Chihuahua, Mexico and Texas. At that point, because of the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which terminated the Mexican War, the Rio Grande became the international boundary between the United States and Mexico. It forms the western or southern borders of El Paso, Hudspeth, Presidio, Brewster (where the river's sweeping curve gives Big Bend National Park its name), Terrell, Val Verde, Kinney, Maverick, Webb, Zapata, Starr, Hidalgo, and Cameron Counties. The river empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The river has many large and small tributaries including the Pecos and Devils Rivers which enter the Rio Grande at the Amistad Reservoir northwest of Del Rio, Texas. At El Paso the Rio Grande caused friction in the 1870s, when the river bit deep into the banks of Mexico and gradually transferred land to the United States. The famous Chamizal Dispute was not settled until 1963, when 437 acres was ceded from downtown El Paso to Mexico. The agreement economically strengthened both cities. The international border at the two cities is now lined with concrete so that the river will never again shift its channel. In Mexico the river is known as the Rio Bravo del Norte, or Rio Bravo. Fish Stocking History
Camargo, Tamaulipas, Mexico:
The town is located a few miles from the Rio Grande River. The town is located near three thermal springs, Ojo de Jabali, Ojo Caliente and Ojo Salado, the Mission Santa Rosalia, the Precidio San Francisco de Conchos (near Lake Boquilla), and Lake Colina. March 30, 2008 News Article
Mexico Travel Warning
Duty Free Information
Border Bridge Wait Times
Los Ebanos Ferry Crossing – Mexico Ferry Crossing, Los Ebanos, TX:
This is the last working hand pulled ferry in existence in the United States. It ferries vehicles across the Rio Grande River between the U.S. and Diaz Ordaz, Mexico. This river crossing was first used by the Spanish explorers in the1740s. During the prohibition years it was known as Smuggler's Crossing because of the bootleg liquor the ferry transported from Mexico to the U.S. Originally called Las Cuevas Crossing because there are numerous caves in the area, the crossing was renamed Los Ebanos after the large number of Ebony trees located in the area. This is a good birding site. The ferry load limit is 3 cars, and 12 pedestrians; fees apply. The ferry makes the round trip in 10 minutes. The ferry operates daily, 8am-3:30pm; closed for lunch 12pm-12:15pm. Ferry: (956) 485-1084. Office: (956) 487-1650. The ferry is located three miles south of U.S. 83, near Sullivan City on FM 886. From Mission, drive 14 miles west on U.S. 83, then turn left (south) onto FM 886, and drive 3 miles to the ferry; you will pass through the small town of Los Ebanos. Video 
Historic Las Cuevas Ebony Tree, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“For the past two decades the tree has served as an anchor for the last hand operated ferry on the U.S.--Mexican border. The history of this crossing is replete with incidents of cattle rustling, smuggling, banditry, and entry of most wet backs. Most of this illegal traffic was eliminated in 1950, when the crossing was made a U.S. Port of Entry. An average of 100 cars pass under this tree each day carrying shoppers to Los Ebanos or to San Miguel.” The marker is located adjacent to the tree at the southwest corner of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Station.
Birding - Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, Lower Gulf Coast Region:
Falcon Loop:  West of Roma; Chapeno, Falcon Heights, Falcon Reservoir
Rio Bravo Loop:  Fronton, Roma, Rio Grande City, Garciasville, area west of Los Ebanos
Zapata Loop:  Randado, Escobas, Bustamante, San Ygnacio, Zapata area north and west of Falcon Reservoir
Texas Bird Checklist with Photos
Bird Checklist for South Texas Brushlands
Starr County Bird Checklist with Photos
Rio Grande Valley Bird Photos & Sound Library
Rancho Lomitas Bird Checklist, Rio Grande City  
Rancho Lomitas Butterfly Checklist, Rio Grande City  
Roma Bluffs World Birding Center Bird Checklist, Roma