Thursday, September 29, 2022

Castalon (in Big Bend National Park)


Hello!  Glad you're here!  I posted some pictures of Castalon yesterday.  When I take vacations, I like learning about the history of a place.  In Big Bend, there is still a convenience store located in Castalon, within the National Park boundaries.  They were closed for lunch when we were there, but we got to look around and read about the impact Castalon had years ago.  I bet you didn't know this!
The view from Castalon

1.  In the early 1900's people came to live and farm the land downstream from the Santa Elena Canyon.

2.  They grew corn, beans, wheat, squash, tomatoes, and melons.

3.  In 1901, Cipriano Hernandez started the first store in the area.  He also lived at the store.

Image Credit
Settling of the area begins

4.  During the years 1912 to 1920, there was revolution in Mexico causing many Mexican families to move North.

5.  The National Guard was brought in to defend residents against raids, and one of their outposts was set up in Castalon in 1916.  It was called Camp Santa Helena.

Image Credit

6.  Soldiers lived in tents while their barracks were being built, but they never got a chance to use them.  The barracks were completed in 1920, but by then, the revolution in Mexico was over, and the soldiers were sent elsewhere.

7.  In 1921, La Harmonia Company moved into the barracks and established a frontier trading post.

8.  La Harmonia was also involved in ranching and farming. They tried to grow cotton, but the environment wasn't good for that.

9.  As mentioned above, a concession store still exists at Castalon and has been run by the National Park Service since 1961.

Image Credit

10. Castalon boasts the oldest standing adobe structure in Big Bend National Park.

11.  The structure is called Alvino House, and it used to be someone's home.

Alvino House in the background

12. In 2019, fire in Mexico jumped the Rio Grande and embers ignited La Harmonia Store and Latrine sustaining extensive damage.

13.  The National Park Service is currently researching what items may be salvaged for rebuilding.

Image Credit
This is one of the structures that burned.

Want to learn more about Big Bend?  Try the book Enjoying Big Bend National Park or Big Bend: A Homesteader's Story.

For more fun lists, visit Thursday Thirteen.


  1. Believe it or not I had to look up what state Big Bend was in. And I lived in Texas for 7 years! Colleen @ looseleaf here.

  2. I didn't know what state that was in, either. Looks interesting, though. I appreciated the history lesson.

  3. We made a trip to Big Bend many years ago. You've reminded me of many things about the area, and the pictures bring back a lot, too. Thank you!


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