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Texas

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Terlingua

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Town of Terlingua, Terlingua, Brewster County, TX



Data Pages


Drawings


Item Title


Location
Terlingua, TX

Find maps of Terlingua, TX


Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1933.

Notes
Survey number HABS TX-3332
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (FN-193).
Building/structure dates: 1900 initial construction
Significance: Terlingua, Texas (Altitude 3000') is located more than 10 miles north of the Rio Grande in the Big Bend region. The town is named for nearby Terlingua Creek, which flows from the highlands south into the Rio Grande just below the point where the river widens and slows beyond the furious whitewater of the Santa Elena Canyon. Terlingua owes its existence to the discovery there of large quicksilver (or mercury) deposits, the bi-product of ancient volcanic action. Although it had long been rumored that ther was quicksilver in the hills, and it was common knowledge that the Indians of the area used cinnebar, or quicksilver ore, as paint for war and the peaceful arts, it was not until just before the turn of the century that Americans and Mexicans began moving into the area in serious quest for mining opportunities. Howard E. Perry, a businessman with interests from Maine to Texas was one of the first. Early on the quicksilver industry benefited when Terlingua ore was presented at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1910. Although fourteen other mines were established in the area before and after the Chisos Mine, it was the most successful and remained in operation until 1946. Today Terlingua stands as a ghost town. Designated as an historic site by the state, it welcomes tourists today. Ronnie C. Tyler, curator of history at the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art in Fort Worth, describes the Howard E. Perry House today. "Located on a hill over looking the village, this sturdy, two-story building is symbolic of what has happened in Terlingua. From the front porch one can see the deserted mine shafts that brought hundreds of workers to the Big Bend area early in the century, and in the distance, Santa Elena Canyon and the Chisos Mountains, the impressive landscape which attracts visitors today."

Subjects
Ghost Towns
Tourism
Mercury Mining


Related Names
Perry, Howard E.
Balachowski, Joseph, Field Team
Mathis, Pamela, Field Team
Lister, Douglas, Field Team
Wininsky, Daniel J., Delineator


Collection
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

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