by Cliff McSparran, President
Sanderson Community Development Association
If this is your first visit to Sanderson, welcome! If you are returning to watch or participate in this year's version of our exciting Big Bend Open Road Race, welcome back! We know you will enjoy the scenery, people, and food.
Here's a little about our past and surroundings: Sanderson, the county seat of Terrell County, located 15 miles from the Rio Grande and Old Mexico, sits on the very edge of the vast Chihuahuan Desert. As you descend off the Stockton Plateau, you enter an area with a storied and fascinating history. Early man lived in the area, as evidenced by burned-rock mounds, called middens, and hillside caves blackened by hundreds of years of smoke in which arrowheads, remnants of matting, baskets, sandals, and skeletal remains are still found. Terrell County contains many examples of Native American cave art, called pictographs. Spanish explorers crossed what is now Terrell County in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Between 1871 and 1905 the area was part of Pecos County, and the region was opened for settlement in the early 1880s when the train tracks came through. Early Sanderson was a wild place, with more than its share of bank robbers, horse thieves and gunfighters. It was truly the "wild west" town you see in the movies until about 1905 when Terrell County was formed and lawmen arrived. Judge Roy Bean found the place too wild and wooly and moved to Langtry, thus lassoing us with the moniker, "The Town Too Mean For Judge Roy Bean." Early pioneer ranchers began settling the canyons and hills, bringing with them sheep, goats cattle and horses, which did well on the tall grass present then. By the 1920's, Sanderson had become a bustling, prosperous town with fine stores, a movie theater, many churches and clubs, and a busy railroad terminal with a depot, roundhouse and fueling station. Ranching was a profitable business from the 1880's through the 1960's. The natural gas industry became important to Terrell County's economy after the Brown-Bassett gas field was discovered in 1957. Sanderson suffered tragedy in 1965 when much of Sanderson was inundated with floodwater. Twenty-eight people died. Two of them were never found.
1995 was a seminal year for us, as two events slammed Sanderson's fragile economy: Union Pacific Railroad eliminated more than 50 jobs here and wool and mohair subsidies were phased out, affecting ranchers' ability to compete with foreign wool production. Seven years alter, the effects of these changes are obvious on Main Street - many storefronts remain closed and population has dropped to about 1,000.
Now, our future: In the face of these obstacles, Terrell County and Sanderson have responded by launching an aggressive effort to develop our natural resources, improve the look of town and stop more of the 360,000 tourists who travel Highway 90 each year. We're planning and have funds for improvements to our medical clinic.
We hope you will spend a moment looking at our town and what it has to offer: well-funded exemplary schools, clean air, pure, delicious water, lightning-fast Internet access, no crime to speak of, very affordable land and homes, professional emergency medical service, wide-open spaces, and, best of all, friendly people.
Hwy. 90 E. (432) 345-2541
Call for rates
|Desert Air Motel
Hwy. 90 W. (432) 345-2572
Call for rates
|Outback Oasis Motel
Hwy. 90 W. (432) 345-2850
From $30 single, $50 double & $60 for a family room
|Sunset Siesta Motel
605 Hwy. 90 E.
Chris and Dana Davis
|American Legion Post 160
East Hwy 90. 345-2254
Open Sunday to Friday, 11 - 8:30
American and Mexican food
|Eagles Nest Café
109 E. Oak
|Town & Country
W Hwy 90. 345-2747
Open 24 hours
Gas, Food, Groceries and ATM
|Uncle's Convenience Store
East Hwy 90. 345-6718
6:30 - 9:00 Mon to Sat, Sun 7:30 - 8:00
Gas, sodas, snacks and beer
|Sanderson Tire Center
214 W Oak, 345-2303
Mon - Fri 8 - 6, Sat 8 - 12
Oil changes, flats, tires, road service, batteries, state inspections
823 W. Oak Hwy 90
Proudly Serving BBORR for 5yrs and counting
|Speedy's Towing Service & Body Shop
Hwy 90 345-2574
Mon - Fri 9:00 - 5:00
Body shop, auto glass, 24-hour wrecker, towing services.
PUBLIC INTERNET ACCESS
|Adult Education Center
Historic Bank Building
102 Persimmon Street (432) 345-3058
9a.m. - 7 p.m. Mon - Fri, Sat 9 - 12
|Terrell County Public Library
Courthouse Square (432) 345-2294
|Terrell County Visitor Center
Corner US 90 and Third Streets
OTHER SERVICES AND ATTRACTIONS
Hwy 90 (432) 345-2844
Sun 9 - 9 p.m., M - F 1 - 9 p.m.
Fruits, vegetables, groceries, assorted gifts.
Bunkhouse Groceries and Gifts
Kenn's Antique Shop
Mama Maria’s Restaurant
Corner of 2nd street and Hwy 90
Papalote Antiques and Thangs
220 E Oak
Antiques and Thangs
Owners Randy Feille and Kile Bauer
Papalotes has antiques and things. Also carries Texas wines.
'Tis the Reason - gifts for all occasions and flowers.
a branch of Pecos County State Bank
216 W Oak, 345-2511
432-345-3331 or 432-345-2511
Drive Up ATM
Sanderson Wool Commission
Plumbing supplies, hardware, animal feed
Terrell County History Walk
Next door to the Visitor Center.
Terrell County News Leader
412 East Oak
‘Tis the Reason Flowers & Gifts
202 E Pine
All occasion gifts and fresh flowers.
Cnr of Oak and Third, 345 -2324
Information on Sanderson and surrounding areas
Gifts, maps etc