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 surroundings—together with a glimpse of what was, at one time, in Texas. Enjoy.