Jeff Davis
Big Bend
2010 Census - 134
2000 Census - 187
Valentine, Texas
Valentine Texas History:
Valentine was founded on Valentine’s Day in 1882 by a Southern Pacific Railroad construction crew. Valentine became a shipping point for local cattle ranchers, and by 1914 the town had an estimated population of 500, five cattle breeders, a news company, a real estate office, a grocery store, a restaurant, and the Valentine Business Club.At 5:40am on August 16, 1931 the largest earthquake known to have occurred in Texas took place near Valentine. All the buildings were damaged and even the tombstones in the local cemetery were rotated.The movie “Dancer, Texas Population 81” was filmed in Valentine in 1997. The Oasis Gas Station façade was removed in early 2005. Valentine is best known for its post office which receives large numbers of cards every Valentine season to be postmarked with the Valentine stamp and mailed. The movie “Giant” was partially filmed in Valentine. Incorporated Valentine is one of two cities in Jeff Davis County; the other is Fort Davis, the county seat. Valentine is located on U.S. 90 (California Avenue), 60 miles northwest of Alpine, 38.6 miles southeast of Van Horn, and 36 miles west of Fort Davis, Texas.
Mailing Valentine Cards from Valentine:
Hundreds of Valentine’s Day cards are mailed from the town’s adobe post office each year. Each year a contest is held to determine the design of the postmark. To have your Valentine sent from Valentine, place your card in an envelope pre-stamped and addressed to the recipient.  Place this in another envelope and mail it to: Postmaster, Valentine, Texas 79854.
Prada Marfa (Art Sculpture Building), Valentine, TX:
This may be the best thing in the Marfa/Valentine/Van Horn area. This 2005 art sculpture is actually a small 15 by 25 foot building with a lighted interior showroom filled with Prada shoes and handbags which are viewed through the front display windows. The door is nonfunctional. The shoes and handbags were picked out by Miuccia Prada from her 2005 Fall/Winter Collection. The building was designed to resemble a Prada Store. It has an aluminum frame and is built of adobe bricks. There are no utility lines and there is no parking lot. The handbags contain the security system. The display is stunning at night. The artists and supporters of this project knew it would not take long for vandals to arrive; it took 3 days. “Made of earth-friendly earth, this biodegradable adobe building will slowly melt back into the landscape once the looters have removed the merchandise. The slow fade to oblivion will provide countless hours of conversation for motorists driving through West Texas, including questions like "What the hell was that?" Other interesting outdoor sites include the Contrabando Movie Set near Presidio, the Cadillac Ranch outside of Amarillo, and the large white cross outside of Groom, Texas. Prada Marfa is located just off U.S. 90, approximately 1.4 miles northwest of Valentine, Texas.
Kay Johnson Public Library:
The library opened in October, 2009. A playground is located adjacent to the library. Open Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm. (432) 300-0061. The Valentine library is housed in a flagstone house at 405 California Avenue, Valentine, Texas 79854.
Birding - Far West Texas Birding Wildlife Trail:
Davis Mountains Loop:  Fort Davis
Texas Bird Checklist with Photos
Bird Checklist for West Texas Trans-Pecos
Jeff Davis County Bird Checklist with Photos
Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Gardens Butterfly Checklist, Fort Davis
Davis Mountains State Park & Vicinity Bird Checklist
Davis Mountains Area Butterfly Checklist
Balmorhea State Park Information:
This 45.9 acre park is located in the foothills of the Davis Mountains, approximately 4 miles southwest of Balmorhea, Texas. San Solomon Springs had been a stopping point for travelers for thousands of years. In the 1930s, the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) constructed a pool at the springs; it opened to the public in 1968. The 1.75 surface acre pool covers 1.5 football fields, and is one of the largest manmade pools in the U.S. Approximately 24 million gallons of water flow through the spring fed swimming pool each day. The pool is 25 feet deep and maintains a constant water temperature between 72 and 76 degrees. The water temperature and crystal clear water make it a favorite site for scuba diving year round. The springs also fill a cienega, a desert wetland created through the Balmorhea State Park Cienega Project. The springs also fill the canals of the refugium that is home to endangered species of fish, including the Pecos Gambusia (mosquito fish) and the endangered Comanche Springs pupfish. The refugium is also home to turtles, and several species of invertebrates. The CCC also constructed the limestone concession building, two wooden bathhouses, an adobe superintendent residence, and San Solomon Courts, an adobe constructed motel. All buildings were built in Spanish Colonial style with stucco exteriors and tile roofs. The grounds are shaded with cottonwoods and the canals are crisscrossed with footbridges. The area temperature is pleasant year round. The adjacent Toyahvale Desert Oasis Scuba Shop sells air and rents masks and snorkels.Park entrance and camping fees apply.For more complete park information, watch the Park Video and go to the Balmorhea State Park Home Page. From IH-10, take Balmorhea exit (#206)/FM 2903 South to Balmorhea. Then take SH 17 West 4 miles to the park entrance. From IH-10 East, take Toyahvale/Ft. Davis exit (#192), Ranch Road 3078 East approximately 12 miles to the park. Park Facilities Map
Davis Mountains State Park Information:
In 1583, Spanish explorer Antonio de Espejo discovered San Solomon Spring (in Balmorhea) while traveling through Wild Rose Pass and along Limpia Creek to Keesey Canyon in what is now the Davis Mountains State Park. The same route was used by Anglo settlers and military personnel from Fort Davis during the 1800s. During the 1930s, the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) traveled the route while building the pool, bathhouse and San Solomon Motel at Balmorhea State Park, and the Indian Lodge, roads, picnic areas and campgrounds at Davis Mountains State Park. The Davis Mountains, the most extensive mountain range in Texas, were named after Jefferson Davis, U.S. Secretary of War and later President of the Confederacy, who ordered the formation of the Fort Davis Army Post. This post was active from 1854-1891, except during the Civil War. The historic ruins of this fort (Fort Davis National Historic Site) are connected to the Davis Mountains State Park by a 4 mile hiking trail. Keesey Creek flows through the state park forming a picturesque canyon. The original acreage of this 2,709 acre park was deeded to TPWD by a local family. The park opened to the public in the late 1930s. Developed campgrounds were added in 1967. Park entrance and camping fees apply. For more information read the park profile, the park brochure, the August 2007 Park of the Month article, watch the park video, and go to the Davis Mountains State Park Home Page.
Fort Davis National Historic Site History:
From 1854 to 1891, Fort Davis was strategically located to protect emigrants, mail coaches, and freight wagons on the Trans-Pecos portion of the San Antonio-El Paso Road and the Chihuahua Trail, and to control activities on the southern stem of the Great Comanche war trail and Mescalero Apache war trails. Confederate troops manned the fort during the Civil War. Fort Davis did not have a fort wall or palisade; forts with palisade walls were very rare in the west. The Buffalo Soldiers of the all black 24th and 25th U.S. Infantry and the 9th and 10th U.S. Cavalry regiments were established after the Civil War, and were stationed at the post. The fort is considered the best preserved of all the 19th century frontier forts, and is one of the best preserved “Buffalo Soldier” forts in the west. The fort includes 474 acres of grounds. Fort facilities include 24 restored historic buildings and over 100 ruins and foundations. Five of the historic buildings have been restored to their original 1880s appearance. The 1876 adobe Post Hospital is undergoing restoration. Activities include self-guided tours of the five historically restored buildings and ruins, and hiking. A 4 mile trail connects this historic site to the Davis Mountains State Park. A 15 minute video is available for viewing in the Visitors Center. Interpreters dressed in period clothing are stationed at strategic points during the summer and during spring break. Bugle calls and a sound presentation of an 1875 dress retreat parade plays thorough out the fort at scheduled times. Educational programs for school groups K-12 are available. Living history demonstrations are held during the summer months. The fort is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A small admission fee applies. Leashed pets are permitted on the grounds. The fort is located on the northern edge of the town of Fort Davis. From Alpine take SH 118 north to Fort Davis. (432) 426-3224, Ext. 220. For more complete park information, go to the Fort Davis NHS Home Page.
Elephant Mountain Wildlife Management Area Information:
This 23,147 acre Wildlife Management Area is located in West Texas, approximately 25 miles south of Alpine. Habitat consists of desert shrub. The WMA was acquired through private donation in 1985 for the purpose of conservation and development of desert bighorn sheep and large game animals, wildlife-oriented research, and compatible recreational uses including public hunting. Desert bighorn sheep have been released in the area. They reside on top of the mountain and are off limits to visitors. Hunting is available. Hunting dates are usually mid-December through February. Limited permits for desert bighorn sheep hunting have been issued through the Texas Grand slam program. Primitive camping is permitted. Bring your own wood and potable water; a composting toilet is available. The Driving Tour is open May 1 through August 31. It is closed for Desert Bighorn Sheep lambing season from 1 January through April 30th. There are no designated hiking trails. The wildlife viewing station is ADA compliant. Visitors must register onsite. The WMA is located along the east side of SH 118, approximately 26 miles south of Alpine, in Brewster County.(432) 837-3251. For more information, go to the Elephant Mountain WMA Home Page. The WMA is located approximately 26 miles south of Alpine, in Brewster County on SH 118. From the east, take exit #248 on IH 10 west of Fort Stockton then travel south to Alpine on U.S. 67. Alpine is also accessible via U.S. 90 from the east. From the west take exit #140 at Van Horn and travel east to Alpine on U.S. 90. The self-registration station is approximately one quarter mile from the entrance.(432) 837-3251.
Learn to Camp at Texas Parks & Wildlife State Parks' Outdoor Family Camping Workshops:
Theseworkshops are family camping sessions designed to teach camping skills to those who do not know how to camp; everything is provided from tent to broom. Gear includes a coffee pot, dishes, cooking pots, a camp stove, a battery operated fan and lantern, air mattresses, and a tent. Basic skills taught include pitching a tent, making a campfire, cooking on a propane camp stove, geocaching and using a GPS. Wildlife viewing, fishing and kayaking are available depending on the park and its facilities. After making reservations, families will be sent a packet of information which includes a grocery list. Those interested in this program may sign up for E-Mail Updates on Currently Scheduled Workshops. (512) 389-8903. Calendar
Hunt Texas Online Connection:
More than 95% of Texas land is privately owned, making it hard for hunters to find affordable hunting opportunities. The Texas Parks and Wildlife has a huge public hunting program, and has developed a new service to help hunters find hunting places. This new service is provided free by the TPWD. It allows landowners to list available hunting leases or spots that have opened up, and allows hunters to find private hunting leases according to their preferences. 
Hunting, Texas Parks and Wildlife, General Hunting Information
Hunting, Public Hunting on State Lands, TPWD
Hunter Education
Hunting Season by Animal
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Donations