Contact
 
 
County
Culberson
Region
Big Bend
Population
2010 Census - 2,063
2000 Census - 2,435
Nearby
Towns
Van Horn, Texas
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Van Horn Texas History:
In 1849, Major Jefferson Van Horne discovered the Van Horn Wells. Travelers and mail San Antonio-El Paso Mail stagecoaches stopped at the wells from 1859 to 1861when Lt. James Judson Van Hornwas in charge of an army garrison stationed at the wells. In 1861, Confederate forces seized the wells and took James as prisoner. In 1881, the Texas and Pacific Railway built a line through the area a few miles north of the wells. A town grew up on the railroad and was named for Lt. Van Horn. The 1883 Texas and Pacific Railroad established wells that supplied the town for 26 years. The Van Horn post office was established in 1886. By 1890, the Van Horn area had an estimated 450 residents. In 1896, R. L. Hall, the owner of the nearby D Ranch, moved to Van Horn, opened the Van Horn Trading Company, and became postmaster. Four years later he was murdered by Red Sealy. The first Old Settlers’ Reunion was held in 1899. In 1911, Van Horn became the county seat of the newly organized Culberson County. In 1927 the estimated population had grown to 800, and in the late 1930s it had reached 1,600. By that time, thanks to the increasing popularity of automobile travel, the completion of U.S. Highway 80, and Van Horn's proximity to the Guadalupe Mountains sixty miles to the north, tourism became an important industry. With the completion of IH-10, some 10,000 vehicles passed through Van Horn each day. Van Horn incorporated in 1945. Tourism remains the town’s main industry. Van Horn is located at the intersection of SH, U.S. 90 and IH-10, 113 miles southwest of Mentone, 90 miles southwest of Pecos, 69 miles west of Balmorhea, 79.6 miles northwest of Fort Davis, 38.7 miles northwest of Valentine, 65 miles north of Pine Springs, 120 miles southeast of El Paso, and 33 miles southeast of Sierra Blanca, Texas.
 
Culberson County Courthouse, 1964:
This modern building was designed by architects Pierce, Norris Pace and Associates. The 2010 Culberson County census was 2,398. (432) 283-2059. 301 La Caverna Drive, Van Horn, Texas 79855. 
 
Culberson County Historical Museum:
The museum is located in the historic Clark Hotel. The hotel began in 1901 as an office building a pool hall and saloon were added in 1905. The building also served as a courthouse until the 1912 courthouse was completed. The museum contains pioneer, American Indian, mining, railroading, ranching and farming exhibits. It also features the early 1900s bar and an early cooktop stove with ovens. (432) 283-2043. (432) 283-8028.
 
Duke's Castle:
The burned out ruins of this building was built as a private residence in 1910. It was later purchased by a man known as the Duke D'Autri who remodeled it to resemble his family's home in Europe. It is located across from the courthouse.
 
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.
 
Van Horn Public Library:
(432) 283-2134. 410 Crockett Street.
 
Van Horn Annual Events:
Events include the Culberson County Stock Show in January, the February Texas Crossroads Cowboy Poetry Gathering, the April Building Bridges Art Show, the Cinco de Mayo Festival in May, June Frontier Days and Rodeo, the July 4th Celebration, The August Mountain View Golf Tournament and BBQ, The September Dollar J. Classic ATV, Cars & Pickup Barrel Racing Events, The Trans Pecos Big Buck Tournament in November and December, and the December Annual Lighted Christmas Parade. (866) 424-6939. Email
 
Historic El Capitan Hotel & Restaurant:
The hotel was built by Trost and Trost of El Paso who also built the historic El Paisano Hotel in Marfa, and the historic Gage Hotel in Marathon, Texas. Hotel amenities include a continental breakfast, a dining room opening at 6am daily, the Gopher Bar, a conference room, satellite TV and Wi-Fi. (877) 283-1220. 100 E. Broadway Boulevard. Reviews  
 
Birding - Far West Texas Birding Wildlife Trail:
Guadalupe Mountains-Van Horn Loop:  Van Horn, Guadalupe Mountains SP 
Texas Bird Checklist with Photos
Bird Checklist for West Texas Trans-Pecos
Culberson County Bird Checklist with Photos
Hudspeth County Bird Checklist with Photos
Guadalupe Mountains National Park Bird Checklist
 
Van Horn Park & Park Amenities:
The town has three parks. Van Horn Park (3rd & Austin) amenities include a swimming pool, picnic areas, a playground and restrooms. Additional city park amenities include a golf course, a swimming pool, and sports fields. (432) 283-2735.
 
Mountain View Municipal Golf Course, 9-Holes:
Open Tue-Sun, daylight to sunset. (432) 283-2628. 1000 South Golf Course Drive.
 
Red Rock RanchTours:
They offer scenic driving tours and guided hunts. Tours include visiting an old Western movie set and old Indian camps, and viewing petroglyphs and pictographs. It is located on an original 1880s homestead and working talc mine. (432) 283-7800. (800) 735-6911.
 
Sierra Diablo Wildlife Management Area Information:
This 11,624 acre Wildlife Management Area was purchased in 1945 by TPWD to serve as a sanctuary for the remaining remnant of Texas Bighorn sheep. It was the first WMA established in Texas. The terrain is difficult with steep canyons and rugged hills. The refuge is closed except for special hunts by drawn permits. Hunting for mule deer, elk, feral hogs and coyotes is by compartment. The only access to the WMA is by TPWD escort through private lands and locked gates. Hunters must camp in the area, remain in the area during the entire hunt, and bring all their supplies, including potable water. (432) 837-3251. The WMA is located in Hudspeth and Culberson Counties, 15 miles northwest of Van Horn, Texas. For more complete WMA information, go to the Sierra Diablo WMA Home Page.   
 
Guadalupe Mountains National Park Information:
The 135 square mile Guadalupe Mountains National Park is located in the Guadalupe Mountains of West Texas and contains the 8,749 foot tall Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas. The Guadalupe Peak Trail offers the most outstanding views of the park. Hikers climb over 3,000 feet to its summit and the monument. The park also contains the El Capitan formation which was used as a landmark by people traveling an early route that was later used by the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach line. The ruins of an old stagecoach station are located near the Pine Springs Visitor Center. Camping is available in the Pine Springs Campground and in Dog Canyon. During the fall, McKittrick Canyon’s Bigtooth Maples are a riot of colors. A trail in the canyon leads to the Pratt Cabin, formerly the summer home of the Wallace Pratt family who donated the canyon that established the park in the 1960s. One of the first area European settlers was cattle rancher Felix McKittrick who arrived in the 1870s. McKittrick Canyon is thought to be named after him. The now restored Frijole Ranch house was the first permanent ranch house in the area and served as a community center and regional post office from 1916-1942. It was constructed in 1876 by the Rader brothers and now houses a museum. The Williams Ranch House was built in 1908 and was named after one of its inhabitants. For more complete park information, read the Park Brochures and go to the Guadalupe Mountains National Park Home Page. Park Facilities Map 
 
Pine Springs Visitor Center:
The center is open daily, except Christmas Day. It is located at Pine Springs and can be accessed via U.S. Highway 62/180 between Carlsbad, New Mexico, and El Paso, Texas. Open 8am-4:30pm during the off season; open 8am-6pm from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
 
Dog Canyon Ranger Station:
This station is open year round. Visitors may obtain backcountry permits, information and maps. Dog Canyon may be accessed via NM State Road 137, 70 miles from Carlsbad, NM or 110 miles from the park headquarters at Pine Springs. You may also reach Dog Canyon by exiting U.S. highway 62/180 22 miles south of the park on Texas FM road 1576 to NM State Road 137. (575) 981-2418.
 
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