Off The Beaten Path - Langtry, TX

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joe817
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Off The Beaten Path - Langtry, TX

#1

Post by joe817 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:47 am

LANGTRY, TEXAS. Langtry is on Loop 25 off U.S. Highway 90 just north of the Rio Grande and eight miles west of the Pecos River near the southwestern corner of Val Verde County. In 1882 the Southern Pacific line established a grading camp near the Eagle Nest crossing of the Rio Grande to facilitate joining with the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway at the site of Langtry. The camp, at first called Eagle Nest, was renamed in honor of George Langtry, an engineer and foreman who had supervised a Chinese work crew building the railroad.

Cezario Torres, one of the original commissioners of Pecos County, and his Torres Manufacturing and Irrigation Company owned most of the land beside the railroad right-of-way in Langtry, but a tent-saloon operator named Roy Bean arrived from another camp and squatted on part of the railroad land. Torres's unsuccessful attempt to keep Bean out precipitated a long-running rivalry between Bean and Torres's son Jesús. Nonetheless, Bean's establishment immediately attracted numerous railroad workers, and disorder mounted in Langtry.

Bean was justice of the peace of Langtry for nearly twenty years, and dozens of legends still circulate about him. One story has it that he named the town in honor of a beautiful English singer, Emilie (Lillie) Langtryqv, after he fell in love with her picture in the newspaper. Though he could not have named the town, Bean did call his saloon the Jersey Lilly in honor of the singer.

After the east and west sections of the railroad joined in January 1883, the depot kept business brisk by supplying a constant flow of customers to local saloons and by furnishing a shipping point for agricultural products and supplies. In 1884 the Langtry post office opened, and the town's business interests expanded. W. H. Dodd, a resident and future justice of the peace, reported that by 1892 Langtry had a "population of possibly 150, who lived mostly in tents," as well as Dodd's store, two saloons-one operated by Bean and the other owned by Torres-and the railroad depot and refueling station. Bean later opened an opera house in anticipation of a visit by Lillie Langtry, who in 1904, only a few months after Bean's death, did actually visit the town.

In 1896 the world-championship boxing match between Peter Mahar of Ireland and Bob Fitzsimmons of Australia took place near Langtry through the secret machinations of Roy Bean. Because the state and Mexican governments had prohibited the fight, Bean arranged to hold it on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande, knowing the Mexican authorities could not conveniently reach the site. The spectators arrived aboard a chartered train; after a profitable delay contrived by Bean, the crowd witnessed Fitzsimmons's defeat of Mahar.

By 1900 Langtry had become the commercial center for ranching in the area, but soon after Bean's death in 1903 the town began to decline, when the commissioner's court moved the highway slightly north for a more direct route. In 1923 the new owner of the Jersey Lilly discovered that it rested partly on the railroad right-of-way and in 1934 deeded the building-erected after fire destroyed the first one in 1897-to the state. By 1926, when the Southern Pacific moved the railroad tracks, depot, and water tank a half mile away, Langtry's population had dwindled to fifty.

In 1939 the Texas Highway Department restored Bean's old saloon-courtroom, and by 1945 Langtry's population had climbed to 100. By the early 1970s the number of residents there had dwindled to around forty, and most of the town, with the exception of the state-owned Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center, was put up for sale by the Dodd family, then residing in San Antonio and Del Rio. Apparently it never sold. Tourism is the town's major industry; in 1981 the Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center in Langtry welcomed its one-millionth visitor, and Langtry continues to attract thousands of visitors each year. In 1990 and in 2000 the population of Langtry was reported as 145.
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oljames3
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Re: Off The Beaten Path - Langtry, TX

#2

Post by oljames3 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:12 am

On a motorcycle trip to Big Bend National Park, my buddies and I stopped and had a fine time at the Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center.
https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/jud ... rsey-lilly
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Re: Off The Beaten Path - Langtry, TX

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Post by joe817 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 12:00 pm

Fascinating James! Thanks for the input! :tiphat:
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Re: Off The Beaten Path - Langtry, TX

#4

Post by surprise_i'm_armed » Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:58 pm

I have visited here since it's just a short jog off US 90. If you leave the Roy Bean visitor center, it's only a few blocks down to the Rio Grande, past tumbledown abandoned houses, and some where people live, but that also don't look too good.

Here's something I've always wondered about. In the movie "The Sugarland Express", the people on the run were supposed to be going to Sugarland, TX.

Now I don't really know what Sugarland looks like, but in the movie, Sugarland appeared to be shot down by the Rio Grande at Langtry!

Does anyone have any information on this? Inquiring minds (at least mine) want to know.

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Re: Off The Beaten Path - Langtry, TX

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Post by ELB » Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:50 pm

surprise_i'm_armed wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 1:58 pm
...

Here's something I've always wondered about. In the movie "The Sugarland Express", the people on the run were supposed to be going to Sugarland, TX.

Now I don't really know what Sugarland looks like, but in the movie, Sugarland appeared to be shot down by the Rio Grande at Langtry!

Does anyone have any information on this? Inquiring minds (at least mine) want to know.

SIA
Per Wikipedia:
The event partially took place, the story is partially set, and the movie was partially filmed in Sugar Land, Texas.[citation needed] Other scenes for the film were filmed in San Antonio, Live Oak, Floresville, Pleasanton, Converse and Del Rio, Texas.[citation needed]
but as the entry notes, there are no citations for this info.

The IMDB entry lists the following filming locations:

San Antonio, Texas, USA (Harlandale ISD Stadium & Military Drive)

Jester State Prison, Sugar Land, Texas, USA (TDC pre-release facility)

Floresville, Texas, USA (as Sugarland, foster home exteriors on 3rd at G street)

San Antonio, Texas, USA

Richmond, Texas, USA (Scene with patrolman pursuing Lou Jean after she steals car)

Del Rio, Texas, USA

Pleasanton, Texas, USA (Fried chicken scenes)

Converse, Texas, USA (Beginning at alternating flashing amber traffic signal, local cops waiting on side of Fina Station - traffic wreck)

Northside ISD Stadium, San Antonio, Texas, USA (Culebra and Loop 410; Alamo Downs grandstands can be seen in one scene)
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surprise_i'm_armed
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Re: Off The Beaten Path - Langtry, TX

#6

Post by surprise_i'm_armed » Thu Jul 25, 2019 5:09 pm

ELB:

Thank you. Darn, I've got Wikipedia too. My bad for not doing some quick research.

Del Rio would be the closest look to what I thought might have been Langtry in the movie.

SIA
Today I didn't even have to use my AK.
I got to say it was a good day.

Ice Cube, 1969- , "It was a good day."


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Re: Off The Beaten Path - Langtry, TX

#7

Post by philip964 » Thu Jul 25, 2019 6:04 pm

The big railroad bridge is cool near there.

Saw it all on one road trip long time ago, a while later a Colorado man and maybe his wife were murdered by our neighbors to the South while renting jet skis near there.

May be now as bad or worse than when Judge Roy was there.

Without question a place to carry.

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