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Past & Present: A Focus on the Towns of Far West Texas

This month, we brought you a closer look at some of the key towns in our region. We heard from the people who live there; we heard about the pioneers; and we considered the economic opportunities that lay ahead. We examined their history and pondered their future.

Presidio, Van Horn, and Balmorhea all served as cross-roads of some sort, whether they were pioneer trails, water sources, or early highways. What we've learned, is that their futures will likely be very different from their pasts.


PRESIDIO, Texas —The area around the present town of Presidio on the Rio Grande, known as La Junta de los Ríos, is believed to be the oldest continuously cultivated farmland in Texas. About 1500 B.C. indigenous corn farmers settled here for access to water and the game and vegetation it supported. Presidio’s strategic location is as important in 2015 as it’s been for more than 3000 years, and it is a key to the town’s hope for economic expansion.


BALMORHEA, Texas —For part two, we travel to another part of Far West Texas where indigenous peoples, Mexicans and eventually American settlers all found an abundant source of water and decided to call it home – a place now called Balmorhea.


VAN HORN, Texas —Continuing in our series on the towns of Far West Texas, we look at Van Horn, the westernmost town in the Central Time Zone.