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Dimmit County TX
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Texas Ghost Town
Dimmit County, South Texas

28°20'51"N 99°36'53"W (28.347567, -99.614690).
Hwy 83
10 miles SE of Asherton
SE of Carrizo Springs, Dimmit County seat
21 miles W of Artesia Wells
Population: 118 (2010) 135 ( 2000) 45 (1990)

Catarina, Texas Area Hotels › Carrizo Springs Hotels
Catarina TX - Original  Post Office
The original Post Office in Catarina
Photo courtesy Robert Vahle, June 2011
More Texas Post Offices

Catarina, Texas Topics:

  • History in a Pecan Shell
  • Vintage Photos
  • Catarina Today
  • Catarina (by Mike Cox ) next page
  • History in a Pecan Shell

    The name has been associated with the area since at least 1778; legend holds that it is the name of a Mexican woman killed by Indians on or near the site. The town was established after Asher Richardson, a rancher, decided to build a railway link from Artesia Wells to his planned town of Asherton

    In return for an easement through the nearby Taft-Catarina Ranch Richardson agreed to allow the ranch to establish a railroad depot, with cattle-shipping pens, on his railroad. By 1910, when the Asherton and Gulf Railway began operations, these cattle pens had become the nucleus of a small community built by Joseph F. Green, the manager of the ranch. Green moved the ranch headquarters to the depot and added a bunkhouse, a commissary, a hotel, a post office, and a small schoolhouse.

    By 1915 the little town had twenty-five residents and had become famous in the area for the Taft House, an expensive mansion that Charles Taft, the owner of the ranch, supposedly built with oversized bathtubs to accommodate his brother, President William Howard Taft.

    Catarina Farms, a development project, built roads, sidewalks, a waterworks, an impressive new hotel and installed electric power and a telephone exchange. Agent Charles Ladd imported entire orchards of fruit-laden citrus trees to impress prospective investors with the area's agricultural possibilities.

    By 1929 Catarina had between 1,000 and 2,500 residents, a bank, at least two groceries, a lumber company, and a bakery. Short supplies of water, marketing problems, and the Great Depression damaged the town. By 1931 the population had dropped to 592, and many of its businesses had been forced to close. In 1943 Catarina had 403 residents and seven businesses; in 1956 it had 380 residents and three businesses. By 1969 some of the town's most picturesque old buildings had been abandoned, and the population was 160. In 1990 the population was forty-five.
    Catarina TX School
    Catarina School Today
    Photo courtesy Robert Vahle, June 2011

    Catarina Today

    (From Catarina by Mike Cox )

    In 1997, new owners reopened the long-boarded structure for the first time since the early days of the Cold War. It has had two owners since then, but the property has been renovated and does a steady business during the South Texas dove, quail, deer and turkey seasons.

    Just across the highway, to give hunters a place to pick up a gift for the wives they left behind, a combination antique and gift store has been in business for several years.

    A few blocks past the antique store, partially hidden by mesquite, is the old Catarina School. The building has fallen to ruin, but its poured concrete structure assures that the skeleton will survive for years to come.

    Farther down the highway, the town’s once lavish swimming pool — part of the Catarina Farms development — is debris-filled. The country club building adjacent to it is long gone.

    The Catarina cemetery, located at the end of a winding unpaved road a couple of miles from town, is overgrown with mesquite, though some burials occurred there in the 1980s and 1990s. But the location of the final resting place of the woman who gave the area her name is as uncertain as the existence of the ghosts who supposedly haunt the old hotel. Read full article
    Catarina TX School interior
    Catarina School in a sad state of deterioration
    Photo courtesy Robert Vahle, June 2011
    Catarina TX School Gym
    Catarina School Gym
    Photo courtesy Robert Vahle, June 2011
    More Texas Schoolhouses
    Catarina TX -  Catarina  Hotel Courtyard
    Photo courtesy Robert Vahle, June 2011
    Catarina Hotel Ghost
    Catarina, Texas old photo - street scene
    Catarina street scene, 1927
    Photo courtesy texasoldphotos.com
    Catarina  Texas - Catarina Winter Garden Farms 1929 old photo
    A Tour for Prospective Landbuyers, Nov. 9, 1926
    Click on image to enlarge
    Photo Courtesy Jason Penney
    Catarina TX - 1926 Catarina Winter Garden Farms Excursion
    Closeup of above 1926 photo showing Catarina Winter Garden Farms Excursion
    Courtesy Jason Penney
    Catarina TX - 1926 Catarina Winter Garden Farms Excursion
    Closeup of above 1926 photo - 2
    Courtesy Jason Penney
    Catarina TX - 1926 Catarina Winter Garden Farms Excursion
    Closeup of above 1926 photo - 3
    Courtesy Jason Penney
    Catarina TX - 1926 Catarina Winter Garden Farms Excursion
    Closeup of above 1926 photo - 4
    Courtesy Jason Penney
    Catarina TX - 1926 Catarina Winter Garden Farms Excursion
    Closeup of above 1926 photo - 5
    Courtesy Jason Penney
    More Texas Vintage Photos
    Catarina, Texas water tower
    Catarina standpipe
    Photo courtesy Jason Penney


    Subject: Catarina Hotel

    My parents ran the hotel and restaurant back in 1978 - 1979, so it had been open since the cold war.

    The first and second story were open, the other floors were closed. We had many fireplaces. Our cook's name was Manuella. It was a magical place to live. - Thank you, Lana Jones, September 11, 2018
    Dimmit County TX
    Dimmit County 1940s map showing Catarina
    E of Asherton, SE of Carrizo Springs
    From Texas state map #4335

    Courtesy Texas General Land Office

    Take a road trip
    Catarina, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Carrizo Springs the county seat
    Asherton | Artesia Wells | Uvalde | Eagle Pass
    See Dimmit County | South Texas

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    Book Hotel Here:
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    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, landmarks and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.



















































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