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CANDELARIA, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
Presidio County, West Texas

Farm Road 170 (dead end)
On the Rio Grande
12 miles N of Ruidosa
48 miles NW of Presidio
42 miles SW of Marfa
Estimated population: 55 Estimate

Candelaria Area Hotels > Alpine Hotels | Van Horn Hotels

History in a Pecan Shell

Originally known as Gallina, Candelaria is in a rugged portion of the Chihuahuan Desert on the end of a road that was only opened in 1985.

The post office was granted in 1901 and by 1910 the town had a healthy 543 inhabitants. A cavalry post was established there during the 1916 Mexican Revolution.

In August of 1919, elements of the 8th Cavalry crossed into Mexico on the last punitive U.S. foray during the Mexican Revolution. The post was closed shortly thereafter and the town's population declined with the loss of its economic foundation.

By 1925 there were only 250 people living there and only 75 for the 1940 census.
Old Presidio County Jail in Candelia, Texas
Old Presidio County Jail in Candelaria, Texas.
"It is the same one that now sits at the Presido County Jail in Marfa."

1969 photo courtesy Barclay Gibson
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Candelaria Texas Forum

  • Subject: Ruidosa, Tx church picture
    The picture of the church ruins is of a church in Ruidosa, Tx as you are leave heading toward Candelaria, Tx - Florencio Garcia, March 26, 2008

  • Subject: Candelaria
    Dear TE, Even though I was born in Alpine, Texas in 1952, we lived occasionally across the river from Candelaria in San Antonio Del Bravo. While Dad was working on a ranch outside Alpine, Mom would send me to school in Candelaria for the week and I would stay with an aunt across the river. That did not work out too well because I would just simply swim across and walk back "home." Later we permanently moved back to the U.S. and went to elementary school in Van Horn. To this day when I see images of Candelaria and the the Big Bend Country, they bring back memories of a time that was just pure innocence and care free. I now live in Austin but visit every now and then. Thanks for your magazine! - Oscar Olivas, Austin, TX, May 26, 2007

  • Subject: Photo of the Old Church
    Last year about this time I visited Ruidosa, Texas and noted with interest the Old Church in ruins there. Today while revisiting the area via the Internet I find the stories about Ruidosa and separate location Candelaria showing photographs of that same church. Mistake?

    Thanks for making these stories of these interesting places available. I'm fascinated by that country down there. - Jim Horn, April 02, 2006

  • Subject: Candelaria, Texas
    I thank you for your invitation to write on Candelaria, Texas. However, I just couldn't be brief enough to suit you I'm afraid. I loved the placed. To me, there was no border. When we would go there, I could think of nothing else other than to saddle a horse as fast as possible and ride as much as possible for as long as possible, be it, five days, a week or two weeks. To me, it was magical, it was freedom. I would cross the river at will, going to wonder and marvel at that store that Nellie and Mariana operated, buying ice cream, or fulfilling an errand by buying something only they had. The hot springs in the foothills on the Mexican side was also a favorite, the slow flowing water would drop from a small waterfall into a swimming hole. There were wild honey bees, from whose hives would ooze honey! Night skies with bright, infinite stars. Well, it was all great stuff there in Candelaria and San Antonio El Bravo, before people starting talking border, immigration, and security. Those intangibles that stifle the spirit and choke freedom. - Joe Solis, El Paso, Texas for far too many years! March 27, 2006

  • Subject: Candelaria, Texas
    My grandfather Pablo Flores also known as (Don Pablito) lived and raised a family there from before 1900 to 1978 when he passed away. I lived there for about two years when my father moved us there from Arizona to be by his side. I attended the two classroom school there in the fourth grade about 1977. I remember the two old ladies Nellie and Marianna that ran the only little store in town. They used to go to Marfa and buy bulk items and sell them to the rest of the townsfolk. I lived there with our family and then moved to Presidio. I'll never forget all the nice memories of my grandfather as we sat in the dark outside hearing stories of the soldiers that were living in tents at the base of the mountain behind his adobe house. My father visited Candelaria often until about five years ago when his vision started to go at the age of 83. Your friend - Paul Flores, August 17, 2005

    See Presidio County
  • Presidio County TX 1907 Postal Map

    Presidio County 1907 Postal Map showing Candelaria
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office

    Candelaria, Texas
    Area Towns:

    Presidio County Towns >
    Ruidosa
    Presidio
    Marfa
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