As I’ve researched ghost towns in Texas, I quickly realized that we have quite a few abandoned towns with rich history that are just begging to be explored. It’s always interesting to ponder what exactly happened in these towns, who lived here, and why they were left to fall into a state of decay. If you have the time to venture to these Texas ghost towns, the history they hold will leave you intrigued, baffled, and maybe a little creeped out, too.
Arguably Texas' most famous ghost town, its name refers to the three languages spoken there: Indian, Spanish, and English. A man named Howard E. Perry from Maine owned much of the land and started the Chisos Mining Company, which brought many people to the town in the early 1900s. However, after World War II, the mine flooded, the mineral price fell, and the tiny town of Terlingua saw the end of its days. There's a few small shops and restaurants open for tourists now, plus it's not too far from Big Bend National Park, so there's no excuse not to visit this ghost town!
Located east of El Paso, this town once thrived with cotton farming and other agriculture making up the majority of its economy. However, the cost of irrigating the crops surpassed the income that the farmers made, and the town quickly became another memory in the harsh Texas desert. There are a few people living here today, but for the most part, the houses and shops are unoccupied, crumbling buildings.
Originally named Indian Point, the town was once the second largest port city in Texas. Eventually, they changed the name to Indianola for reasons unknown, but the town's fate was sealed by the horrific hurricanes of 1875 and 1886, plus a tragic fire that burned any remains of the town that the hurricanes didn't blow away.
4) Medicine Mound
Located between Quanah and Chillicothe, the only remains of Medicine Mound in sight are a general store, gas station, abandoned houses, and three dolomite hills that Indians believed had metaphysical healing powers.
The people who settled in this town named it after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The most famous resident here was Sam Houston, who lived in Independence from 1853 to 1858. It is also the birthplace of Baylor University, but the construction of the college was never completed due to the town's economic decline. Pictured above is part of the ruins of the Baylor Female Building. Also in the town, you will find defunct old homes, a dilapidated hotel, and a creepy cemetery.
6) Glen Rio
Once a popular stopping point for Route 66 travelers, it now sits in ruins like so many other towns along the famous 66. Today, you can still see the remains of a motel, post office, convenience store, water well house, and train tracks.
George E. Barstow, the founder of the town, traveled all the way from Rhode Island to start up an irrigation business. He became successful quickly, and found recruits that brought the town's population above 1,000. However, after the Pecos River dam broke in 1904, droughts devastated the fruit and vegetable crops, which meant Barstow's business had no chance of surviving. Now, the memories of the town are kept inside the walls of the crumbling buildings, and George Barstow likely took many of the tales to his grave, which you can find in the local cemetery.
From what I gathered, this small collection of brightly colored buildings four miles east of Brenham is merely a failed attempt at a tourist attraction. Though no one actually lived here, it's still a spooky place to visit nonetheless.
Located halfway between Laredo and Uvalde, you'll find this dried up town that once boomed with its promises of abundant water and a long crop season. However, after the Great Depression, the wells dried up and people started abandoning the town in droves. Today, only the shell of a vibrantly colored hotel and restaurant remain, as well as a few other buildings that nature is now taking back.
So, have any of you worked up the courage to visit these desolate towns? Or, have you been to any Texas ghost towns that we didn’t list here?