Bead-Valentine Brown Wood TB
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Sunday, April 14, 2013
Texas, United States
This is not collectible.
Use TB5KG25 to reference this item.
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Please drop this item in rural or Premium Member Only caches. Do not drop it in an urban cache or leave it behind at a caching event. Transport the bug in the original plastic bag for as long as the bag lasts; this prevents the chain and tag tangling with other items. Otherwise, take this travel bug anywhere you wish. No permission needed to leave the U.S.
About This Item
Small Wood Focal. While the TB owner lives on the Southern High Plains in the Panhandle of northwest Texas, he has spent considerable time in what many Texans would call Far West Texas. It remains a favorite part of the state. Much of it is the Chihuahuan Desert. In the desert are remotes outposts of civilization and even mountains that rise high enough to harbor junipers and pines. This travel bug commemorates a favorite place in the region, partly because the history and partly because of memories.
Valentine, the smaller of Jeff Davis County's two towns, is on US Highway 90 and the Southern Pacific Railroad in the southwestern part of the county, thirty-six miles west of Fort Davis. It was reportedly founded and named when the Southern Pacific Railroad crew, building east, reached the site on February 14, 1882. Valentine became a significant shipping point for the railroad because of its location between El Paso and Sanderson (Texas). Its location allowed railroad crews to lie over for a few days.
It is one of several cities named Valentine in the United States where one may send envelopes in order to obtain special holiday postmarks for Valentine's Day from the US Postal Service. Children from the school help have a contest and the best design becomes the unique postmark for that year. However, at this writing, the continued existence of the post office is in jeopardy.
Valentine is also home to the unusual sculpture Prada Marfa, which mimics a Prada store and which was installed in 2005 on the town's main street, California Avenue (US Route 90). Within its walls are shoes and other items from the fall 2005 Prada collection. In time, the earth friendly building will decay and the display will become a ruin, but for now security alarms buzz at attempts to tamper with the “art”.
Valentine ISD has one school building that serves students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through twelve. The district also offers advanced core classes, night school for students and adults, and a number of optional education enhancements. Because of its isolation, Valentine School also has one of the lowest high school enrollments in the state.
In 1900 Valentine had two saloons, a butcher shop and a general store. Area ranchers shipped cattle out of Valentine but by the 1950s with the increase of trucks being used to haul cattle, Valentine’s railroad depot was closed down. At that point Valentine was no longer a thriving railroad community and the majority of the businesses closed down.
The writer was through Valentine many times in the 1960s and ‘70s while working in Jeff Davis and Presidio counties. He even ate at the HiWay Café on two occasions, when it was still open.
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