During our trip to Big Bend National Park, we made a stop in Terlingua. This historic ghost town, whose name means “three languages” in Spanish, became a booming mining town after the discovery of Mercury.
Once the boom ended, the town basically dried up. While all of the wooden structures are long gone, there are several detiorating rock, and adobe structures still standing.
In the 1970’s, some musician, artists, and a few ‘free-spirited’ individuals chose to make this their home.
During the boom time, the town had a butcher, ice cream parlor, and a post office. They also had the Chisos Mining Company store which was where the residents went to buy whatever they needed.
Now, the Terlingua Trading Company occupies that space. It is one of the largest adobe structures in Texas. The shop sells cold drinks, gift items, and a fairly wide variety of books.
Next door to that, sits the Starlight Theatre Restaurant & Bar. It was originally the Chisos Movie Theater, which was built in the 1930’s as a motion picture house, and performance theater. It was abandoned when the mine went bust.
The theater’s roofing material was sold as scrap, and the building fell into major disrepair. Despite not having a roof, Terlingua locals began hosting parties, dances, and even live theater in the building. That is how it came to be known as the Starlight Theatre.
In 1991, the building was completely restored and became a Restaurant and Bar. They serve dinner seven nights a week, and brunch on Sunday. Live music can be heard several nights a week and live theater performances are held on special occasions.
Our stop in Terlingua didn’t include spending the night, but the La Posada Milagro Guesthouse provides accomodations for any one wishing to spend the night in the ghost town.