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BLEWETT, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
Uvalde County, Texas Hill Country

FM 1022
3.4 miles S of Hwy 90
16 miles SW of Uvalde
Population: 0

Blewett, Texas Area Hotels >
Uvalde Hotels

Blewett, Texas Topics:

  • History in a Pecan Shell
  • My Hometown of Blewett, Texas by Raul Nolasco, Jr.
  • Blewett Photos
  • TE’s search for Dabney and Blewett next page
  • Blewett TX - Blewett Cemetery1
    Blewett Cemetery
    Photo courtesy of Raul Nolasco, Jr., 2012
    See Texas Cemeteries

    History in a Pecan Shell

    Blewett, is perhaps an improvement over the original name of Carbonville. Originally a consortium of investors from New York opened a bitumen mine in 1888, but failed to find a market for the product. They even tried handing out free samples at local grocery stores, but no one knew what it was and no one was interested. Enter John BLEWETT Smyth, a man from the Beaumont area who realized the limestone rock asphalt would make a good paving material when blended with petroleum-based asphalt. He started mining it in 1912 and by 1926, there was enough asphalt being produced to justify a railroad spur from Cline, Texas (just west of FM 1022 on US 90).

    John Smyth’s son George oversaw the Houston operation which employed 150 men and paved many important Houston streets including Bissonett, Reisner and Westheimer. Their office in Houston was at Baker and Cedar Streets.

    The town/ mine produced over a million and a quarter tons of high grade asphalt rock in 1927 alone. The population ebb and flow was directly tied to production. Fifty residents were reported in 1940 and by 1948, there was little more than “scattered dwellings”. The Missouri Pacific discontinued rail service to Uvalde
    (city) in 1966, but kept trains rolling to the mines. The Handbook of Texas states that in 1990, there were 25 residents listed.
    Blewett TX - 1940s Marion Electric Shovel
    1940s Marion Electric Shovel
    Photo courtesy of Raul Nolasco, Jr., 2012

    MY HOMETOWN OF BLEWETT, TEXAS
    As I remember it from 1948 through 1969

    by Raul Nolasco, Jr.

    Back in the 1950's and 1960's, at the junction of Highway 90 and FM 1022, there appeared a large sign that read, "UVALDE ROCK ASPHALT COMPANY.....THE LARGEST MINES IN THE WORLD." This mine was indeed the largest rock asphalt mines in the world. Exactly three miles south on FM 1022, where Turkey Creek goes under FM 1022, one can see the site of the mining town where the Uvalde Rock Asphalt Mines employees lived. On that site from 1911 to 1969 the mining town of Blewett, Tx. existed. In the late forties and early fifties there were as many as fifty homes inhabited. I lived here the first twenty years of my life. The town had a company store that sold tools, groceries, meat market, gas pump in the back and, clothing. This is were my parents would buy my school clothes at the beginning of each school year. This is where my parents got me started on Wrangler 13MWZ cowboy cut jeans. These jeans sold for $3.00 a pair. They were very stiff and could practically stand up by themselves. Also, in the store was the office for the Uvalde Rock Asphalt Plant. The town also had at one time a clinic/infirmary, a two story, horsehoe shaped hotel where at one end was the post office. Blewett also had a school house. I remember ringing the bell that was outside the front door. This town also, had a cemetery, and it is still there. I had a great childhood! Raised on 10,000 acres! I was raised with a rifle in one hand and a rod and reel or a cane pole on the other. Below our house was Turkey Creek. Turkey Creek was full of bass, catfish, perch, turtles, frogs, snakes and, ducks. I have fond memories of my childhood and into adulthood. I can describe it by saying that it was PARADISE! I truly miss Blewett. I am a third generation Blewite. Early family members were great-uncles of mine, aunts and uncles, and cousins. Out of this town of Blewett I have two cousins thar are physicians. One graduated from Harvard Medical School, the other from Baylor. I received a B.A. degree from Southwest Texas State University and a Mortuary License from the Dallas Institue of Mortuary Science in Dallas, Tx. Approximately one half mile from the town of Blewett were the Uvalde Rock Asphalt Mines.

    ABOUT UVALDE ROCK ASPHALT MINES:
    This mine started in Blewett. There still exist a big pit a few yards from our house. Later, a new site was started for the mines approximately one half mile from the town of Blewett. Some of the early shipment of this asphalt went to pave streets in San Antionio. Also, shipments of this asphalt went to Cuba. My father was a supervisor there. He worked at the mines for over 30 years. In the beginning, the mines were producing so much asphalt that there were three big mixing plants. These plants were operating 24/7. There were many days where as many as 65 or more railroad cars full of asphalt were shipped out. The summer of my junior year and the summer of my senior year at high school, I worked at the mines. My job was to sweep railroad cars. These cars had to be cleaned out before they could be loaded with asphalt. This was very, very, hard work. Imagine out in the hot sun, working inside these metal cars. I never complained. I enjoyed it. My parents taught us kids some good work ethics, which are hard to find these days. I was saving my money to go to college. I put myself through college, never got a loan, graduated debt free. In th 1970's Uvalde Rock Asphalt Mines was bought by Azrock Industries. In my early 30's I was offered the position of buyer for the mines. My job was to see that there was minimal interruptions in production due to breakdowns in equipment. I ordered replacement parts for the plants, equipment, and anything else that needed to be ordered. It was also, my duty to weigh the railroad cars before they left the plant. After more that 80 years of the mines being in operation we were bought out by White's mine. Later, they were bought out by Vulcan. I clearly remember the day that we got bought out. It was a sad day, I was there. The day was a Friday, June 14, 1984. We were told that the mines were sold to White's mines and, that they were not hiring anybody. We were told not to return the following Monday. We were all laid off.
    Blewett TX -  1920 Truck Cab
    1920s Truck Cab
    Photo courtesy of Raul Nolasco, Jr., 2012
    Photographer's Note:
    "No town to see but the mines in the area are still active. A Blewett Ranch sign and an intersection are about it for Blewett. Not much to see at the end of the road at Dabney." - William Beauchamp, June 22, 2012
    Blewett TX Ranch Sign
    Blewett Ranch Sign
    Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, June 2012
    Blewitt TX - Mines Roads and Tracks
    Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, June 2012
    A view of the mine
    TE Photo, April 2001

    A view from FM 1022
    TE Photo, April 2001

    See
  • Dabney, Texas
  • TE’s search for Dabney and Blewett
  • TX Uvalde County 1940s Map
    Uvalde County 1940s Map showing Blewett & Dabney ( in SW Uvalde County)
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office
    Blewett, Texas Area Towns:
    Uvalde
    Sabinal
    D'Hanis
    Brackettville
    San Antonio
    See Uvalde County
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