TexasEscapes.com HOME Welcome to Texas Escapes
A magazine written by Texas
Custom Search
New   |   Texas Towns   |   Ghost Towns   |   Counties   |   Trips   |   Features   |   Columns   |   Architecture   |   Images   |   Archives   |   Site Map

Culberson County TX
Culberson County

Texas Towns
A - Z



The Ghost Town with a Swimming Pool

Culberson County, West Texas

30 48' 51" N, 104 45' 11" W (30.814167, -104.753056)

On U.S. 90
12 miles S of Van Horn the county seat
24 miles W of Valentine

Lobo, Texas Area Hotels › Van Horn Hotels

Lobo TX - Lobo Valley Stock Ranch, El Paso Co, 1909 Letterhead
Lobo Valley Stock Ranch, "The only Exclusive Breeders of Black Mooley Cattle in El Paso Co" July 10, 1909
(Click on image to enlarge)

Letterhead courtesy General Land Office

History in a Pecan Shell

Lobo with an empty swimming pool is appropriate, since Lobo lived and died on the availability of water.

The original Van Horn Wells were not far from present day Lobo and the town (Lobo) was once a rival with Van Horn for the Culberson county seat. The town actually appears on the 2000 Official Texas Department of Transportation Map, but the sad truth is: the vacancy sign is up, out in Lobo.

mother with baby
This may or may not have been the first child born in Lobo
TE Archives

In 1907 Lobo had it's own post office and enough water to sustain the people who had been lured there by land promoters a few years later. The promoters lied, which is nothing new, but the buyers sued and won, which is noteworthy. The promoters were forced to built the hotel (later destroyed in a 1929 earthquake) and amenities that they had promised.

The town's water had been discovered before the Civil War and the wells were the reason for the town to be on the San Antonio-San Diego Stagecoach Mail Route. The water even seemed abundant enough to make the town a water stop for steam locomotives in the 1880s.

The town lost population after the seat went to Van Horn in 1911 and the 20 remaining inhabitants lay in a sleepy twilight until efficient pumps came into being just after WWII. (The post office had already closed in 1942). Enough water was produced to irrigate hundreds of acres of cotton and still have enough left over for an occasional shower. The pumping proved expensive, though, and wells were shut by the late 1960s.

When the population approached 90 people, the water table fell. The population was estimated at 40 in the mid 1970s when a man named Bill Crist bought the entire town. He opened the store for awhile, but crime reared its familiar head and the building was burned. The entire town with motel, diner, several houses and a gas station were offered for sale in 1988 for $60,000. As you can see by Mr. Penney's photos, the place remains as it was. A modern ghost town, with limited water and an annual rainfall of 13.2 inches.

The Culberson County map shows a cemetery for Van Horn Wells, but none for Lobo.

Lobo TX - Hotel in Lobo, ca. 1910
Hotel in Lobo ca. 1910
(Click on image to enlarge)

De Golyer Library, Southern Methodist University, Wikimediacommons

Lobo, Texas owner and highway sign
"Albert A. Ivy 1970's at that time owner of Lobo Texas. We used it for housing for Evergreen Farms for a time in the 70's"
Photo courtesy Howard Ivy, January 05, 2008

Lobo Texas, 1915-1917

"My father (Bert E. Bailey) and his family lived in Lobo, Texas 1915-1917. My grandfather, Lee Bailey ran a small cattle and horse ranch there. My Dad said that a couple of times, all the children of Lobo were taken to the court house in Van Horn for safety during raids by Mexican bandits.

There was a school in Lobo at the time. Fewer than a dozen kids attended.

My grandmother, Lena Bailey, bought a camera somewhere and took all of the old family photos. She was actually a pretty good photographer. I don't know where the negatives were developed.

I went with my Dad to Lobo in 1956 to locate the old place. We found the location, but there was very little left of it."
- Wayne Bailey, Richardson, Texas, November 25, 2011

Bailey children on seesaw, Lobo Texas old photo
"My Dad, Bert Bailey, with Sister Orla and brother Buster enjoying themselves at the Bailey property in Lobo." - Wayne Bailey

Home from school,  Lobo Texas old photo
My folk's place in Lobo. On the back of the photo "Bert and Sis just home from school & Mrs. Bettersons chaps come home with them". - Wayne Bailey

Lobo Texas T&P yard. Old photo
"The T&P yard at Lobo" - Wayne Bailey

Locomotive in T&P yard, Lobo TX old photo
"T&P" photo enlarged - "A locomotive is being serviced" - Wayne Bailey

Cattle & cattle cars, T&P yard, Lobo TX old photo
"T&P" photo enlarged - "cattle cars are in place to receive cattle" - Wayne Bailey

Lobo, Texas Today
Photos Gallery

Lobo, Texas today is a private property. Three Germans from Frankfurt, Germany purchased Lobo on November 5, 2001.

Lobo - A favorite stop for photographers:

Lobo Tx - Closed Gas Station
The closed gas station behind barbed wire fence
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, May 2009

Lobo Tx Closed Business
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, May 2009

Lobo Tx Closed Motel
Signs of the Times in Lobo
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, May 2009

Lobo Texas swimming pool
The swimming pool in Lobo
Photo courtesy Rob Hann, 2001

Lobo Motel, Texas
Photo courtesy Rob Hann, 2001

lobo hotel
The desert reclaims the motel
Photo courtesy Jason Penney
Lobo for sale
Lobo For Sale
"Originally a truck stop owned by Buddy Griffin, a farmer in Lobo Valley" - Ron Segura

Photo Courtesy Jason Penney

Culberson County Texas 1920s map showing Lobo, mountains and rail line
Culberson County 1920s map showing Lobo
Near Jeff Davis County line

Courtesy Texas General Land Office

Lobo Texas Nearby Destinations

12 miles north on Hwy 90 to Van Horn, another 55 miles north on Hwy 54 to The Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The park contains Guadalupe Peak, the highest elevation in Texas (8749 ft.).

Book Hotel › Van Horn Hotels

Guadalupe Peak from US180
Photo Courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
The Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Peak

Lobo, Texas Forum
  • I think my Great Aunt, Vivian Hackett, was born in Lobo Texas, January 1899. My Great grandmother was Ida Belle Hackett. J. D. Hackett would have been an employee of the railroad, probably telegrapher. I have never been able to find Vivian Hackett's birth certificate though. Any ideas on how I could find a birth certificate or record for Culbertson county? - Kimberly Ammeter, December 28, 2016

  • My family and I lived in Lobo from 1978-80. I had a welding and mechanic business set up in the old service station. I provided services to the local farms. In '79 Miller Beer made a commercial in Lobo. It was called Jack's Chili Bus. Ruth Bussy was there because her husband was in the commercial. She parked her motor-home along side of my shop. They were very nice people and stayed for about 5 days. We really enjoyed it. I can't remember the owners name but it was a couple who sold rocks. In fact they moved to Marfa and set up a rock shop and left us to take care of the town.

    I just recently visited Lobo in October, 2004. There are three Germans (I think they are Alexander, Claus and Annette) who now own Lobo and are doing some restoration and repairs to some of the buildings. ... It's right on Highway 90. Interesting place to visit and sets in a beautiful valley. - Clarence Louviere, November 09, 2004

  • My uncle, Edward Eugene Johnson, was a section foreman in Lobo, Texas in the early 1930s. His father, my grandfather, William R. Johnson lived there with him. They lived in the Railroad Section House. Uncle Eugene took my grandfather to Valentine to a doctor and he died there in March, 1936. The Section house probably dose not exist now but sure would like to find a picture of it or even of the water tower for the railroad there. - Jane Johnson Taylor - September 10, 2003

  • It has come to my attention some people are trying to resurrect Lobo, Texas. See web site www.lobo-texas.com - Lon Braselton, Allen, Texas, August 01, 2003

  • In searching for information on nearby, Candelaria, Texas, I came upon the article on "Lobo For Sale", this particular building was originally a truck stop owned by Buddy Griffin, a farmer in Lobo Valley, I worked the truck stop during summer vacation and Christmas vacation 1958 while a student at Texas Western College (now UTEP) in El Paso, Texas. A great place to save money since there was no place to spent it! - Ron Segura, April 29, 2002

  • Subject: Albert Ivy owned Lobo
    My name is Howard Ivy. Albert Ivy was my dad. Even named my hound dog after the town. We used it for housing for Evergreen Farms for a time in the 70`s - Howard Ivy, April 28, 2002

  • Well, except for seeing it in person to totally round out my final decision, I am, and let me make this clear, 95% positive that I will purchase LOBO, Texas !!!! - Mike G., Pennsylvania

  • I enjoyed your article immensely. Can you point me to any other information about Lobo? Is it still for sale, and who owns it today? I'm actually interested in buying it if it's available. I've always wanted my own town. ;) - Larry T., Charlotte, NC

  • Take a road trip

    West Texas

    Lobo, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Van Horn the county seat
    See Culberson County | Jeff Davis County | Hudspeth County

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










































    Texas Escapes Online Magazine »   Archive Issues » Home »
    Texas Counties
    Texas Towns A-Z
    Texas Ghost Towns

    Central Texas North
    Central Texas South
    Texas Gulf Coast
    Texas Panhandle
    Texas Hill Country
    East Texas
    South Texas
    West Texas

    Rooms with a Past

    Gas Stations
    Post Offices
    Water Towers
    Grain Elevators
    Cotton Gins

    Vintage Photos
    Historic Trees
    Old Neon
    Ghost Signs
    Pitted Dates
    Then & Now

    Columns: History/Opinion
    Texas History
    Small Town Sagas
    Black History
    Texas Centennial

    Texas Railroads

    Texas Trips
    Texas Drives
    Texas State Parks
    Texas Rivers
    Texas Lakes
    Texas Forts
    Texas Trails
    Texas Maps

    Site Map
    About Us
    Privacy Statement
    Contact Us

    Website Content Copyright Texas Escapes LLC. All Rights Reserved