Bead-Marfa Striped Glass Rectangle TB
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Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Texas, United States
In Geocoin and Travelbug HEAVEN
This is not collectible.
Use TB7ENX4 to reference this item.
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Please drop this item in rural OR Premium Member Only caches. Do not place it in an urban cache or abandon it at a caching event. Transport the bug in the original plastic bag for as long as the bag lasts; this prevents tangling with other items. Otherwise, take this travel bug anywhere you wish. No permission needed to leave the U.S.
Travel bug photos included with the logs will be posted here.
About This Item
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.
Marfa is a town in the high desert of far West Texas and the county seat of Presidio County. Located between the Davis Mountains and Big Bend National Park, the population was 1,981 as of the 2010 United States Census. Marfa was founded in the early 1880s as a railroad water stop. The town derives its name from the wife of a railroad executive, who reportedly suggested the name "Marfa" after reading the name in the Fyodor Dostoevsky novel The Brothers Karamazov.
It is the site of the former Fort D. A. Russell, active from 1911 to 1946. It was established in 1911 as a base for cavalry and air reconnaissance units sent to protect West Texas from Mexican bandits after the Pancho Villa raid. Air patrols were in biplanes. It is said the first aerial dogfight took place here, between rival pilots who shot pistols at each other.
The base was expanded WW I. In the interwar years, the base became the headquarters for the Marfa Command. During World War II, the post was again expanded and used as an air base, a base for a WAC unit, a training facility for Chemical mortar battalions, and a base for troops guarding the U.S.-Mexican border. The Marfa Army Airfield was constructed nearby and was used as pilot training facility. German prisoners of war were also housed in a camp on the base.
The fort was closed during America's demobilization after WW II. It was transferred to the Corps of Engineers, then the Texas National Guard, but in 1949, most of the base's land was divided up and sold to local citizens. Both roads south out of Marfa pass by portions of the former facility.
Marfa, is still a small ranching town but it is also a retirement and arts community. It has several other claims to fame. The book store is the finest in the region and the sometimes pink, sometimes yellow courthouse is a must-photograph. James Dean's last film, the 1956 epic, Giant, was filmed here. The cast, including Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson, stayed at the Hotel Paisano downtown. It is also home to the "Marfa Lights." These are mysterious bouncing lights that have been seen in the town's flat fields since the 1880s, attracting conspiracy theorists and alien-hunters. There is a viewing center, nine miles east of town the best times are between two and four hours after sunset.
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