Terlingua School, Photo Gallery

The Last One-Room Schoolhouse In Texas

1973 to 1978

Terlinugua Teacher, Trent Jones

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Our First Desert Home, Trent, Olga and baby Anna

Our first 6 months in Terlingua were not easy. Once city dwellers use to such luxuries as running water, central air and heat, trash pickup and good plumbing we were now basically living off the land. It was perhaps as close to camping out as you could get. We were hauling our water to our small one bedroom mobile home in a 50 gallon barrel. I would fill up the barrel at the school house and on my drive home the water would splash out of the open top. When I arrived home I was lucky to have half of my collected water. Once at the house I would then pump the water into another container that would in turn supply the house with water. One day a violent desert wind storm nearly blew our un-anchored mobile home away giving us a new healthy respect for the raw elements of nature. When I went off to teach school each day Olga was left alone with baby Anna with no telephone or access to transportation. For her it was a lonely existence. She read every book she could get her hands on, listened to records, cooked and played with baby Anna. There were times when she was just down right lonely and longed for company. Out of pity for our situation a few members of the community came together to help us. Bob Graves built us an addition onto the mobile home that added a bedroom and screened in porch. Glen Pepper built us a rock back patio with a shaded cover. Glen also helped me rig up a makeshift trailer with a large metal tank that I could haul water in. This 200 gallon tank was a vast improvement on the fifty gallon barrel. The Terlingua Ranch community provided us with a small wooden cabin that had been used as a temporary hotel room. Then my parent showed up on the scene and purchased us a 1800 gallon water tank. Oh what a joyous day that was when the large tank was delivered and Glen Pepper showed up with his water truck and filled it with water. The county commissioner improved our road and damned up one of the dry creaks so that we could capture water during the once a year rain storms. Within a year we had a reasonable place to live. The biggest problem we had was that Olga was alone each day with our new 6 month old child with no way to communicate with the outside world.
My mother, Helen Jones holding baby Anna. My parents came to visit us and stayed in their airstream trailor trailer.
Glen Pepper helped us build this back patio where we had a place for a washing machine and could grow a small garden. The shaded patio also helped keep the trailer from getting so very hot during the day. Below is the 1800 gallon tank that my parents purchased for us to store water.

Moving to the old school house 1975.

Two years after living in this make shift house and after the new school building was finished we were able to take up residence on the school grounds in the old school house. It too was very basic living quarters but it was a welcomed relief for Olga and Anna who would now have people in their life each day as the events of the school came and went. Of course fixing up the old school house and making it livable is another story all of which you can find in our book, Terlingua Teacher.

In our new home made kitchen, now happy to be living on the shcool grounds.
Your comments are welcome. Do you remember any Terlingua stories of this time that you want to share. If so send us your comments/stories and we will post them below. Send to lifeisverygood@live.com
Terlingua Teacher and family 1975
In front of our new castle in the desert. Terlingua School Teacher residence.