Tour Terlingua’s past: Saturday, February 11
SOUTH BREWSTER COUNTY—This Saturday, February 11, Last Minute Low Budget Productions will present its first Historic Terlingua Tour. Unlike its previous visits to Terlingua homes, this tour will visit two of Big Bend’s most iconic sites.
The Perry Mansion overlooking the Terlingua Ghost Town and the Villa de la Mina off Highway 170 are associated with two of Big Bend’s most famous mines and will give participants a look back 100 years and more to the days of mercury mining in Big Bend. In the first half of the 20th Century, the Terlingua Mining District was the largest producer of mercury in the U.S. But the mines closed and years and weather are taking their toll on the buildings.
Terlingua owner Bill Ivey has long wanted to restore the grand two-story mansion that Howard Perry built at the Chisos Mining Company town he won in a poker game. Perry was rarely there but during the 1918 influenza epidemic that filled the Terlingua cemetery, the house became a hospital. In recent years it has threatened to crumble completely away. Now Ivey is restoring the mansion as a lordly guest house on the hill.
The Villa de la Mina was created as a resort at the site of the abandoned Waldron Mine west of Terlingua. Many cabins and other structures, a restaurant, and swimming pool were built, but the resort did not prosper. Again neglect and the elements seem bent on un-making what man built up. Now owned by Herman Everett and Deanna Castillo, the property includes the charming cabin owned for years by the late author Blair Pittman.
Vans will take participants to the two sites where knowledgeable guides will be available. Tours begin at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and should last about an hour and a half. The $20 per person price also includes a catered social hour when the tours are done. For information call 432-386-3178 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Minute Low Budget Productions is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) community theater group that began putting on plays in the Terlingua area in 1989.