Pecos Heritage Trail, Texas

Langtry – Home of the Only Law West of the Pecos – Getting its start in 1882 as a stop along the Galveston, Harrisburg, & San Antonio Railroad, Langtry is best known as being the home Judge Roy Bean, the “Law West of the Pecos.”  It is called home to about 145 people today.

Judge Roy Bean's Jersey Lilly Saloon

Judge Roy Bean’s Jersey Lilly Saloon, 2011.

Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center – Features a rustic saloon, courtroom, billiard hall and the opera house of Judge Roy Bean, the colorful and controversial “Law West of the Pecos” in the 1880s.

Nearby:  Pumpville ghost town about 15 miles northwest of Langtry is a turn off to the old Pumpville townsite. It is about two miles north of Highway 90 on FM 1865.

Dryden – Dying Along the Railroad – A ghost town today, Dryden got its start when the Galveston, Harrisburg, & San Antonio Railroad arrived in 1882. There are only a few area residents and the remains of several abandoned buildings.

Sanderson – The Town Too Mean For Bean – Known as the Cactus Capital of Texas, Sanderson got its start as a stop along the Galveston, Harrisburg, & San Antonio Railroad in 1882. The county seat of Terrell County, it is home to about 900 people today.

East Gate Park – Outdoor art gallery painted on monoliths of local limestone.

Snake House – Local reptile exhibit and education center, which includes live snakes on display.

Terrell County Memorial Museum – Museum displays feature railroad memorabilia, period costumes, cowboy and ranching relics, tools and pioneer furnishings, and mementos of Terrell County History.

Sanderson to Pecos – 118 miles. Travel northwest on US-285.

Paisano Pete welcomes you to Fort Stockton.

Paisano Pete welcomes you to Fort Stockton.

Fort Stockton – The county seat of Pecos County, Fort Stockton grew up around Comanche Springs near the military fort founded in 1859. Comanche Springs was a favorite rest stop on the Comanche Trail to Chihuahua, San Antonio-El Paso Road, the Butterfield Overland Mail Route, and the San Antonio-Chihuahua freight-wagon road.  It has a population of about 7,800 people today.

Annie Riggs Memorial Museum – Step back in time in this 1900 Adobe Hotel, appointed with a wide variety of items from the era.

Historic Fort Stockton – Consists of original and reconstructed military buildings, including Officers’ Row, Guardhouse, Enlisted Men’s Barracks, Parade Grounds, and a museum/visitor’s center.

Pecos – Established 1881 as a stop on Texas and Pacific Railroad, Pecos gained early fame as a hangout for rowdy cowboys and fast-draw lawmen. Touted as “Home of World’s First Rodeo,” Pecos was the scene of cowboy contest in 1883 that was the forerunner of today’s popular sport. The county seat of Reeves County it is home to about 9,500 people today.

A collection of hats at the Pecos Museum

West-of-the-Pecos Museum and Park – Situated in an old hotel, the museum preserves the colorful history of not only Pecos and Reeves Counties, but the entire region west of the Pecos River. The gunfighter Clay Allison is interred in Pecos Park.

Pecos to Midland – 95.6 miles. Travel northeast on I-20.

Barstow – Ten years after the Texas and Pacific Railway reached Barstow in 1881, Barstow was established and the next year, when Ward County was organized in 1892, Barstow became the county seat. However, by 1918, Barstow began to decline due to the dam on the Pecos River in New Mexico. Twenty years later it lost its county seat status to Monahans. Once having a population of more than 1,200 people, Barstow continued to decline and now is called home to only about 400 residents.

Pyote – Pyote began as a small town. Its fortunes rose with oil, but its population decreased when the railroad was built away from the town. At one time Pyote had 3,500 residents. The 1942 development of the Pyote Air Force Station and the 1967 development of what would become the West Texas State School raised the town’s fortunes. However when those operations moved out, the town declined rapidly and now is called home to only about 130 people.

Pyote Musuem & Rattlesnake Bomber Base – Displays World War II memorabilia in an old building from the base.

Nearby: Wink – Just 15 miles North of Pyote, Wink features the Roy Orbison Museum and a number of mysterious sink holes.

Wickett – The opening of the Hendrick oilfield in 1926 established Wickett as a tank and refining center. Its oil heydays lasted until the 1960s when Wickett reached a peak population of about 1,000 people. Today, it has about 450.

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