Valentine, Texas

HISTORY

Welcome to Valentine, Texas

The Only Incorporated City In Jeff Davis County.

Valentine, Texas is located in Jeff Davis County on US Highway 90, and despite being the smaller of the county's two towns, it is the county's only incorporated municipality. Valentine was founded by a Southern Pacific work convoy that reached the townsite while heading east on Valentine's Day 1882. After the trains began running, a post office was established in 1886, and by 1890 Valentine had two saloons, a general store, a hotel, and a meat market. However, only a couple hundred people call Valentine home today, and people from all over send their Valentine's Day cards to Valentine to be postmarked from Valentine.

 

PHOTOS

Sights Around Valentine, Texas

Take home your favorite prints and decorate your walls. 

Prada Marfa
MAMIYA 7II & ILFORD HP5+

Prada Marfa

Located 26 miles west of Marfa, Texas, Prada Marfa is a permanent sculptural art installation by artists Elmgreen and Dragset in Valentine, Texas. They were granted permission to use the Prada name for this work.

The original plan was to allow the building to disintegrate back into its surroundings, but that all changed when vandals graffitied the exterior with the words "Dumb" and "Dum Dum" and also stole the building's contents, 6 purses, and 14 right shoes, the night the sculpture was completed.

If you were to happen upon 14 right shoes, missing the left shoes altogether, what would you do with them?

Buy Now

Love Locks
MAMIYA 7II & ILFORD HP5+

Love Locks

Behind Prada Marfa, lovers leave locks, often inscribed with their names or initials, behind on the fence to symbolize their unbreakable love.

Have you ever left a love lock somewhere?

Buy Now

Be Mine
CANON EOS 3 & ILFORD PAN F+

Be Mine

Valentine, Texas, population 150, is the only incorporated town in Jeff Davis County, Texas, and was founded by a Southern Pacific work convoy on Valentine's Day 1882.

People from all over send their Valentine's Day cards to Valentine to be postmarked. If you want to do this, then place your addressed and stamped Valentine's Day card in an envelope and mail it to:

Postmaster
Valentine, Texas 79854

Have you ever sent a Valentine from Valentine?

Buy Now

Quick Stop Has Standard Oil Products
CANON EOS 3 & ILFORD PAN F+

Quick Stop Has Standard Oil Products

Standard Oil was deemed a monopoly and split into 34 companies in 1911.
The sides of this building's canopy in Valentine, Texas, proudly state that it has Standard Oil Products.

This Mercedes-Benz 250 S only dates back to the late 1960s.

Have you ever been to a historically preserved Standard Oil Gas Station?

Buy Now

Quick Stop Has Standard Oil Products, Again
CANON EOS 3 & ILFORD PAN F+

Quick Stop Has Standard Oil Products, Again

If you look closely, you can see the words "Standard Oil Products" faded on the canopy of this closed service station in Valentine, Texas.

Parked outside are two Mercedes-Benzs, a 250 S from the late 60s and a 380 SEC from between 1982 and 1985.

If you had to choose between the two Mercedes-Benzs, which would you rather drive?

Buy Now

Valentine Pirates
CANON EOS 3 & ILFORD PAN F+

Valentine Pirates

Valentine, Texas, estimated population of 135, formed its independent school district in 1952. Today, fewer than 50 students attend the Valentine School, which educates all K-12 students but don't let the low enrollment fool you. The Valentine School outperforms most schools across Texas with a 100% graduation rate, and it has some of the most experienced teachers around.

The Valentine School's mascot is the Pirates, and in high school athletics, the Pirates compete in Basketball, Cross County, Golf, Powerlifting, Tennis, Track & Field, and Volleyball.

What was your high school mascot?

Buy Now

The Valentine Earthquake
CANON EOS 3 & ILFORD PAN F+

The Valentine Earthquake

On August 16, 1931, at 5:40 am, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake shook Valentine, Texas.

Every building not constructed with a wood frame sustained severe damage from the earthquake. Adobes had walls collapse, brick chimneys either toppled or cracked, and the school was beyond repair. In addition, the shaking was so mighty that tombstones reportedly rotated in the ground.

Did you know that the Valentine Earthquake was the most powerful in Texas history?

Buy Now

Change Point
CANON EOS 3 & ILFORD PAN F+

Change Point

After World War II, activity through the railroad began to increase and Valentine, Texas, benefited from it. Mainly, the Southern Pacific Railroad used Valentine as a change point for train crews traveling between El Paso, Texas, and Del Rio, Texas, on The Argonaut Route. This approximately 425-mile trip took nearly 13 hours to complete.

Locals would take advantage of these layovers by offering refreshments and snacks to passengers who waited onboard the trains. In its entirety, the town benefited immensely from the railroad until Southern Pacific discontinued The Argonaut's route through Valentine in 1958. After that, drastic changes in the town's trajectory would quickly happen.

Can you believe that it took 13 hours to travel from El Paso, Texas, to Del Rio, Texas, on The Argonaut?

Buy Now

What's Cookin'?
CANON EOS 3 & ILFORD PAN F+

What's Cookin'?

In 1930 there were 629 residents of Valentine, Texas. Unfortunately, the strongest earthquake recorded in Texas history damaged most of the town the following year, and many chose not to rebuild. However, as business for the Southern Pacific Railroad ticked up, so did the population. Valentine had 510 residents in 1950, but the rebound was short-lived, and the population has steadily declined since the 1980s.

What's left after everyone has left? Adobes left in various states of repair, closed businesses bearing signage reminiscent of years past, and the few who call Valentine home.

Buy Now

Valentine Grocery
CANON EOS 3 & FUJI VELVIA 50

Valentine Grocery

Once a Grocery Store in Valentine, Texas, this adobe reminds us what kinds of businesses once lined the main drag, California Ave.

Did you know that adobe retains daytime heat so that the building stays warm at night in the desert?

Buy Now

All Lined Up, Not Ready To Go
CANON EOS 3 & FUJI VELVIA 50

All Lined Up, Not Ready To Go

On my way back to Valentine, Texas, from Prada Marfa, 1.5 miles west of town, I spotted these beauties all lined up in a row and had to pull over.

The pre-war split rear-window humpback is probably the most interesting of the vehicles to me. How about you?

Buy Now

Harper's
CANON EOS 3 & FUJI VELVIA 50

Harper's

In Valentine, Texas, Harper's was a Texaco station with two Bennett 4000 Series Pumps before it closed for good, whenever that was.

The Bennett 4000 Series Pumps can date back to the late 1960s. These two are either the 4012 or the 4013 model. The difference is that one uses a remote dispenser, and the other is a self-contained pump.

Are you a fan of old pumps, and if so, what are your favorites?

Buy Now

HiWay Cafe
CANON EOS 3 & FUJI VELVIA 50

HiWay Cafe

The old HiWay Cafe in Valentine, Texas, is probably the second most photographed place around town, right behind Prada Marfa.

Unfortunately, the roof collapsed in, so there's nothing to peek at inside, unlike Prada Marfa.

Buy Now

The Windmill And The Sierra Vieja
CANON EOS 3 & FUJI VELVIA 50

The Windmill And The Sierra Vieja

The Windmill stands alone in a field in front of the Sierra Vieja Mountains just east of Valentine, Texas, as you're leaving to go to Marfa.

Have you ever seen the movie "Cahill US Marshal" starring John Wayne? The film takes place in Valentine, Texas, and now if you watch it, you'll be able to tell that the production company filmed on location in Durango, Mexico.

Buy Now