Gone with the Wind


Driving through the western border region of Texas, ghost towns roll round the car like tumbleweeds. From emptied mines to dusted farms, some of these forgotten towns date from the 1800s all the way through WWII. Each is different, each has a story, and from our exploration, it appears that each, despite their dilapidated state, have had visitors. We surmised from their remote location and regular buzzing of border guard vehicles along the highway, that they were used by undocumented immigrants pressing their way north, or kids using the places for weekend fun.

We braved dirt roads that shook us and our muffler loose, and three different traffic stops designed to remind us that drug trafficking is frowned upon, to bring you the photos below. When appropriate we’ve added a little description of the town’s history.

 

Plata

La Plata was settled in the 1880s, and in the 1930s the Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway laid tracks through the area and Plata received the station below. In it’s heyday, Plata also had a store. Only the ruins of the station remain.

Shafter

Shafter was established as a mining town in the 1880s and by 1900 had over 100 citizens, innovation and the formation of a new mining company and local military bases buoyed the town to over 1500 by the late 1940s. The town has been in steady decline since. Today, only a dozen or so souls still walk these streets.

 

Adobes

Established in the 1870s as a farming community, the town never really grabbed hold and struggled along in various forms for over 100 years. Adobes was populated as recently as the 1980s, but today is completely empty.

 

Candelaria and Ruidosa

Candelaria and Ruidosa are sister cities and the most remote border ghost towns along the Rio Grande. They sit at the end of a rugged Farm to Market Road, and were home to as many as 500 in the past. Today the two towns are home to only about 100 people between them.