Terlingua Images, Photo Gallery

1973 to 1978

Histiorical images from Terlingua and Lajitas

Site Menu

Scroll down to view historical images of Terlingua, Lajitas 1971 to 1978. Long ago and far away.

World Championship Chili Cook Off, Terlingua Ghost town 1975

World Championship Chili Cook Off, Terlingua Ghost town 1975
Terlingua Chile Cook off, Terlingua Texas C.V. Wood Jr. Judge Referee
Wick Fowler chili cook off judge 1975, Terlingua Texas
Wick Fowler tasting chili.
Texas Terlingua Chili Cook Off 1974
1974 Terlingua Chili Cook-off ... Above Terlingua teacher Trent Joens with baby Anna and friend Cindy Buchamon. Estimated number of people at this event was 10,000 +. Oh what fun they had and Oh what a mess they left.

Olga and I lived directly next to the ghost town of Terlingua, so the cook off each year was literally in our back yard. The cook off was good and bad. Good for the local economy and very bad for the environment. After the event was over the ghost town was covered in trash. As a Terlingua School class project I /we would take the students to the ghost thown and with bid trash bads attempt to clean the place up. It was like bailing out the ocean with a bucket. Most of the trash collected was simply dumped down the open mine shafts that covered the area. The ghost town is covered with these open shafts. No signs to warn people of the dangers of falling in. To this day I wonder how many bodies are down at the bottom of some of those mines. Drunks that simply wondered off and disappeared.

What first began in 1967 and organized by Texas historian and chili aficionado Wick Fowler and car manufacturer Carroll Shelby as a means to settle a storied feud between two journalists; namely Frank X. Tolbert who wrote for the Dallas Morning News, and a gentleman by the name of   H. Allen Smith who wrote a scathing article in Holiday Magazine entitled “Nobody Knows More About Chili Than I Do”.  

Below: From an old article I had saved 1975


Not sure who the auther is:

First chile cook-off was in Terlingua Texas 1967.

One of the most common questions by late-corners to Terlingua in post - chili days is “How in hell did it all get started?’’

It all got started as a kind of joke and whimsical proof of the efficacy of the practitioners of ‘‘public relations,’’ according to Bille Neale, president  of Dallas’s Point Communications, who has been in on every one of the chili­ fests  at  Terlingua.

Several members of the Chili Appreciation Society of Dallas were visiting over a bowl of red in Dallas one night in 1967 when somebody asked Tom Tierney, then a public relations man for Ford Motor Co., just what a PR man does.

Tierney replied that a good PR man could put a place like Terlingua (owned by former Terlingua service station man  David Witts, also of the CAS) on the map and offered to do so by whipping up a world championship chili  contest  at the unlikely  place.

Dallas Morning News sage and undisputed chilimmortal Frank X. Tolbert was among the group as were Neale and the late John King, then editor of  a  Dallas  Newspaper.

By November of that year the cadre included   racer   Carroll   Shelby,   all purpose wit H. Allen  Smith (living then and now in Alpine), and the late Wick Fowler, in whose memory recent cook-offs  have  been  conducted.

“We figured maybe we’d attract 150 or so people," Neale, recalls, "and I think the actual count that first  year was  224  people.”

The rest, as the saying goes, is history, with the crowds growing geometrically every year and feeder cooks-off as diverse as the Luckenbach “Hell Hath No fury” event, the “Sons of the Penatekas” at San Angelo, the San Marcos “Chilympiad” (said  to have attracted  40,000 “heads”  in 1975), and the U.S. Air Force whose official team was chosen in the cook-off at Goodfellow Air Force Base in September.

The granddaddy event, meanwhile, remains  the  cynosure  of  chilidom.

Estimating   crowds   is   problematical- -particularly when there are  no front or back “gates”, no tickets, no policemen to give an estimate, and nobody gives a damn about  statistics. But the 1974 crowd was conservatively estimated at 10,000 souls, and this reporter can give an estimate of the growth by the relative distance he had to park from the main drag each year.

Share your stories of the cook-off with us. Send to lifeisverygood@live.com

Terlingua National Chili Cook Of 1974 Terlingua Texas
Terlingua Chili Cook off 1974

Running the Rio Grande, Santa Elena Canyon, Big Bend National Park, for fun and profit. 1974-1978.
Rio Grande River Rafting, Terlingua Big Bend County 1975
Trent Jones, Terlingua Teacher, running the river to earn extra money. At the Rock Slide.
Send your Terlingua stories to lifeisverygood@live.com

A Terlingua legend, Daisy Adams
Above, Daisy Fulcher Adams and Charles Fulcher. Daisy Adams:1903-1995, a Terlingua Legend.

Daisy was the local postmistress. As part of the Fulcher ranching family she had been in this part of the world for as long as anyone could remember. Daisy turned out to be a great friend of ours. She served on the school board and was always there to support our efforts to improve the school. I would many times go to her for advice and councel on how to deal with the locals and manage the affairs at the school. Daisy always had a good story to tell and was always welling to take the time for a visit. Charles Fulcher, a student at Terlingua School lived with his aunt Daisy in their ranch house behind the post office. I remember Charles as being an amazing, bright and happy young man. He was our local zoologist and loved snakes, lizards and spiders. He would capture and keep them in glass fish aquariums in his bedroom proudly showing them off to anyone who would come by to visit. He was even known to capture and care for a rattle snake. So, if you wanted to know anything about snakes he was the local authority.

We were all sorry to hear of Charles' death in 2008.

We are looking for Daisy Fulcher Adam stories. Please Send to lifeisverygood@live.com

Daisy Adams and local character Travis Griffin at the Terlingua Post Office 1973
Article Daisy Adams retires a postmistress Terlingua Texas
The atricle above appeared in the Alpine Avalanche, 1976.

Villa de la Mina, Glenn Pepper's Big Bend resort, was the scene of a dinner party honoring Daisy Adams, the retiring Terlingua Postmaster, on August 31.

It was Daisy's last day as postmaster of the Terlingua, a job which has held for the past 15 years.

Present were Trent, Olga, Anna Marie and Cassandra Jones of Terlingua; Shirley Willard and Mary Wright of Study Butte; Ben and Muriel Simmons of Lajitas; John and Lillian Baker, Terlingua Ranch; Elvie Williams, Lee and Ellen Wood, Apline; the honoree, Daisy Adams, and the host and hostess Glenn and Donna Pepper, and their three children.

Who can tell us what ever happened to Daisy ... send your stories to lifeisverygood@live.com

Terlingua US Postoffice

Daisy Adams was the postmaster in Terlingua for 15 years. This is where you came to get your mail, local gossip and the news.

Terlingua Post Office 1973
1973-1975 Terlingua post office

Terlingua Post Office 1973. Check out the old gas pump in front of the post office. This really dates this building. If anyone has any information on what ever happend to this building or the ranch house behind it please let us know. We will post any good stories you have about this historical building. Send to lifeisverygood@live.com

Terlingua Post office 1975
Looking for good stories to post here about the Terlingua Post office and Daisy Adams. lifeisverygood@live.com
History of Terlingua Post office and Daisy Adams retires

Terlingua Post Master Daisy Adams retires

A history of Terlingua Post office.

by Roberta Christensen, Alpine Avalanche, August 31, 1976

A colorful mail route era draws to close. Daisy Adams, Terlingua Postmoster, retired on Aug. 31. Mary Wright, resident of Study Butte, has assumed charge of the post office.

The adobe poste office, located at Study Butte, and Daisay Adamsa are part of life along the border of yersteryear. Things will not be the same without the old post office and Daisy behind the window.

Daisy had been postmaters since for 15 years since 1961.

Terlingua Creek
Glenn Pepper, Terlingua Creek 1973
Glenn Pepper, Marcus, David, Trent Jones and baby Anna at the Terlingua Creek swimming hole, 1973 or 1974.
Trent Jones at Terlingua Creek

Young Glenn Pepper at Vill De La Mina, Terlingua Texas
Above, a young Glenn Pepper at Villa De La Mina
Glenn Pepper 2004
Glenn Pepper 2004 Villa De La Mina
Above, Glenn Pepper and Trent Jones 2004, Villa De La Mina, Terlingua Reunion

Below, Donna Pepper 1975-1978
Donna Pepper Terlingua Texas 1978
Above, Donna Pepper and David Pepper 1978
Donna Pepper and Olga Jones Terlingua Texas
Above, Donna Pepper 1974 driving the family jeep. Passsangers, Olga, Anna and Melissa.

Terlingua Characters

Terlingua Jack Hollis Cactes Burro Kid Terlingua Jack Hollis Cactes Burro Kid 02
The Terlingua area was full unique characters.

At one time, long ago, people could come and go across the border and no one ever asked any questions. We very seldom ever saw border patrol. I remember many times going down to Lajitas, getting on boat, crossing the river and having lunch at a small cafe. Now, I understand that is impossible.
Terlingua Open Border Migrant Working Crossing
Crossing the Rio Grande River
With an open border workers free came and went from one side to another. After 9/11 that all came to a stop.

Tio Tull Newton Terlingua Texas
According to Ken Barns this is Tio Tull Newton. He lived in the last house on the hill at the 248 mine, that was where the picture was taken. He did not get along with his brothers, they would come out to Terlingua every year in a Cadillac with a horse trailer and ride all over this area looking for buried loot that one of the brothers supposedly buried when he was drunk and never could find it again.

Tio Tull Newton, Terlingua Character

Tio Tull Newton Terlingua Texas

Gilbert Felts, Terlingua Texas

Gilbert Felts Terlingua Texas
As I remember the story Gilbert Felts ( "Gil" ) and Glenn Pepper arrived in Terlingua in the early 1960s to do some mining. Gilbert was a young teacher in Sabinal when Pepper was in school. They sold and mined bat guano and some other soil amendment to farmers before finding quicksilver mine in West Texas. As time went on Gilbert and Glenn would partner up on many wild adventures. Glenn assisted Gilbert in building the La Kevi by hauling the huge rocks that he needed. Glenn had a bulldozer and dump truck which was a rare resource at that time. I believe they began building La Kevi between 1975 and 1978.

Kathie Reynolds and teacher at Big Bend National Park and a friend of Gilbert tells the following story about his Gil's parrot Antilles. "I babysat his parrot "Antilles" when Gil was off on his travels. I loved that parrot. I was living in Panther Junction and Antilles would always perch on my shoulders. One day I opened the back door for a second and that darn bird flew off. I had just hopped out of the shower and was dressed in a kimono and my hair wrapped up in a towel. I saw that bird just take flight and head north. I ran all over the neighborhood knocking on doors. I recruited all the kids to help me find him. (still in kimono) We were calling him and scouring the desert for about an hour. I finally headed back to my house to put some clothes on and there was that crazy parrot...just standing there on my back porch. One of the happiest moments in my life."

Bob Burton, Traveling Preacher 1976
Bob Burton Terlingua Preacher 1976
Bob Burton Traveling Church 1976

Places to remember
Lajitas Trading Post, Lajitas Texas 1970-1978
Historical Lajitas Texas early 1970s

Mike Barclay Lajitas Texas 1977
Mike Barclay Lajitas Texas 1977

Historical Terlingua Places, Villa De La Mina. Dates on these images not known.
Villa De La Mina Terlingua Texas
Once the home of Glenn Pepper and family