Early Marfa

Dublin Core


Early Marfa


The town of Marfa began as a railroad stop in the late 1800s. These images depict the town's beginnings through early images of some of its buildings, cattle ranches, oil fields, and influence of Mexican culture.

Items in the Early Marfa Collection

Burro Named "Gansole"
Photograph of "Gansole", a faithful burro on the Brite Ranch in 1928. This animal served as transportation and night horse.

Brite Ranch Headquarters in the 1920s
This panoramic photograph from the 1920s of the Brite Ranch headquarters. This was a 125,000 acre ranch in Presidio County in West Texas. The photo shows (L-R): the main house, the barn, the shed, the fort, and the store.

The Brite Home during Winter
This photograph shows the Brite home in Marfa, Texas on a snowy day. The house is a two-story stucco home with a tile roof. Trees surround it as well as an iron fence. The home was built in 1917 by an early ranching family.

Border Patrolmen and Smugglers in Presidio County
Photograph of U.S. Border Patrol Agents coming upon some smugglers during prohibition.

Bootleggers in the Big Bend Area
This photograph shows bootleggers, most likely during Prohibition. These men have a barrel and some bottles of alcohol on the ground next to them. Sotol, a drink similar to tequila, was regularly smuggled across the border near the Big Bend area of…

Camp Marfa
Photograph of a series of one-story white buildings making up part of Camp Marfa, viewed from across a large, open, grassy field. The image accompanied a written speech, with the caption: "Camp Marfa, later Ft. D. A. Russell, housed cavalry troops…

Marfa Headquarters of the U.S. Border Patrol with Officers
This photograph shows the U.S. Border Patrol Headquarters in Marfa, Texas built in 1924. An automobile is parked outside the building near a picket fence, and two officers stand near the fence.

Marfa Headquarters of the U.S. Border Patrol
This photograph depicts the U.S. Border Patrol Headquarters in Marfa, Texas built in 1924.

Marfa, Texas Main Street with Unpaved Road, 1918
In the foreground of this photograph, four people in cowboy hats sit in the shade of a tree. Behind them is what appears to be an unpaved main street of Marfa, circa 1918, with storefronts, telephone poles, and cars of the time period. Some of the…

Carolina Borunda Humphries Cooking on Her Wood Stove
This photograph shows Carolina Borunda Humphries cooking on the wood stove at her Mexican restaurant, The Old Borunda Cafe, in Marfa.