Texas is big, but it used to a be a lot bigger. In this photo essay, see the dramatic mountain landscapes that were once within the Republic of Texas.

At One Time, in Texas: Creede, Colorado

In this new series, At One Time, in Texas, we present images from American regions and towns that fell within the boundaries of the historic Republic of Texas.  

Photos courtesy of Bev Chapman, John Gary Brown, and Sarah Wallace. Special thanks to Avery Augur for his assistance. 

Compared to the current shape of Texas that people everywhere know so well, the shape of the former Republic of Texas (1836-1845) looks a little strange. There was no stout panhandle like we have today; instead, the Republic featured a scrawny stovepipe that meandered, awkwardly, in a narrow, northwesterly stretch through Colorado all the way into southern Wyoming. 

At the base of the stovepipe is where you'll find the beautiful area that includes present day Creede, Colorado. Just north of the Rio Grande river, nestled amid the rugged elevations of the San Juan Mountains, lies this small historic mining town of 300 or so people. Creede itself had not been incorporated during the time of the Republic of Texas; that didn’t occur until 1892. But settlers were already planting their roots in the area by 1840, likely unaware that they were technically—albeit temporarily—settling in Texas. 

The silver mining boom that formally put Creede on the map ended just before the turn of the century, although other mining sustained the town well into the 1960’s. Today, Creede is valued more as beautiful off-the-beaten-path adventure destination, and is renowned for its award-winning Creede Repertory Theatre, named by USA TODAY as “one of the 10 best places to see the lights way off Broadway.” We're particularly enamored with the architecture of the new Creede America neighborhood, a picturesque development that makes you want to sell everything and move to a valley in the San Juan Mountains.

Thanks to the generosity of Creede residents Avery Augur, Bev Chapman, John Gary Brown, and Sarah Wallace, we're able to share with you these images of Creede and its majestic natural surroundingstogether with a glimpse of what was, at one time, in Texas. Enjoy.

- VF



Christy Hansen:

What a delightful surprise to find that the state that I currently call home and the little mining town that my heart would love to call home are one in the same! My family has spent the last 45 summers, a few falls and some winter and spring break ski trips just outside of Creede. There is absolutely nothing that compares to the beauty of this piece of heaven on earth! the experiences I’ve had there have shaped who I am today. My husband proposed on stage during a play at the creede theater! Thanks for sharing this interesting story!

May 11, 2015

Stefanie Wilson Gannon:

My family has been camping/fishing in Creede for over 56 years and still going. It’s peace and beauty never cease to regenerate the soul. It always begs you to come back for more, and of course we keep returning. Love it.

May 11, 2015

Richard Nevills:

I went to Creed about 15 years ago. I was a cool little place. If you go you should check out the fire station. It was carved out of and into the side of the mountain.

May 11, 2015

Sharon Garrison:

Nice. Love the photos, history etc.

Apr 29, 2015

K Dozierkdied@aol.com:

Great series. Thanks for sharing.

Apr 28, 2015

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