On a recent trip to Marfa, we discovers the less know town of Alpine Texas. It’s one of the closest towns to Big Bend and a fun place to visit on its own. The town has a historic vibe to it with a few hotels, a theater, restaurants, and shopping. The town square features a train depot and few other fun things for kids. While it doesn’t have hip art galleries as its neighboring town Marfa, it’s a great place to visit for a few days, and probably the staging point for our future Big Bend trips. The town is home to small university and brewery. It also has more of the comforts of the big city that it’s neighboring towns.
The first know visitor to the area was Captain Juan Dominquez de Medoza in 1683-84. It wasn’t until around 1840 that caravans from the east of the United States and Mexico started to arrive in the area that is known as Alpine today. The end of the Mexican War and the Gold Rush in California started to bring in floods of new people before the Civil War broke out. In 1882 train service came to the area and the settlement began to take shape, originally called “Osborne”. In 1888 an election was held and the town as names Alpine. 3 separate fires have almost complete destroyed the town, with final one occurring on May 5, 1911. In 1911 the town established a school that would eventually become Sul Ross State University. Today Alpine has over 6 thousand residents.