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Val Verde County TX
Val Verde County

SHUMLA, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
Val Verde County, West Texas

Highway 90 Between the Pecos River and the Rio Grande
About 29 Miles E of Langtry
About 32 Miles W of Del Rio
West of Comstock
Population: 0

Shumla, Texas Area Hotels > Del Rio Hotels
Shumla, Texas ruins
Come back to Shumla, Tracy Henderson. All is forgiven.
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, March 2008

History in a Pecan Shell

The region was inhabited some 6,000 years before Shumla first appeared as a section station on the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railroad in 1882. The unusual name supposedly comes from a Turkish fort that that was situated in terrain not unlike this portion of Val Verde County.

In early 1883, just east of town, a ceremony was held to commemorate the completion of the southernmost transcontinental railroad route. In 1892 it was discovered that the roadbed of vibration-sensitive limestone was an accident waiting to happen. Although it was just a 25-mile stretch, the railroad decided to reroute their tracks. After the alignment, Shumla found itself without a railroad. But it didnít stop the town from receiving a post office in 1906. It took them three years to discover the town was dying and in 1909 the post office shut it doors. (See 1907 Val Verde County postal map.)

For years the town consisted of a freight station and little else. The highway was resurfaced and both the Devilís River and Pecos River received new bridges Ė but progress ignored Shumla as it had ignored most towns along Highway 90. Population figures are not available, but by 1973 Shumla became a mere flag-stop. Shortly thereafter the former town decayed into the ruins that you see here.

Shumla TX Rio Grande Sunset Railroad
Sunset Railroad by the Rio Grande, a few miles S of Shumla
Courtesy The John J. Germann Collection

See also
Shumla by Mike Cox

Itís been a long time since a train stopped at Shumla, a West Texas ghost town as ethereal as steam escaping from a coal-fired locomotive... more

Ghost town Shumla, Texas ruins

Shumla's "Westside" Neighborhood
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, March 2008

Ghost town Shumla, Texas ruins

The "Westside" seen from the East
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, March 2008

Shumla TX 1909 postmark
Shumla TX 1909 postmark
Postcard cancelled with Shumla, TX 1909 postmark
Note "a big dance at Langtry" on July 4th

Courtesy The John J. Germann Collection
TX - Val Verde County 1907 Postal Map
1907 Val Verde County post map showing Shumla
(Below "V" in "VAL", SE of Langtry)

Courtesy Texas General Land Office

See Shumla by Mike Cox


Shumla, Texas Area Destinations:
Langtry | Comstock | Del Rio
See Val Verde County | West Texas Towns

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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 and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.


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