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Texas Pecos Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Grandfalls


THE FALLS OF THE GRAND AND THE GREAT

The tiny community of Grandfalls was established along the Pecos River by settlers in the 1880s. At the time, the Pecos River cut a wide berth and offered a reliable water source. Grandfalls’ particular stretch of river featured both an upper falls (Grand) and a lower (known as Great), providing a natural power source for settlers R. I. Carr and J. T. Sweatt to operate their cotton gin. Carr and Sweatt were Grandfalls’ community leaders, building a school for the children of surrounding settlements. The building was also used as a church by the over half-dozen denominations operating in the area. Despite a major flood in 1894 that destroyed the dams built at both upper and lower falls (the cotton gin’s source of power) and changed the course of the Pecos, many Grandfalls settlers including Carr remained to rebuild. New arrivals established homes and businesses including Dr. Charlotte Bergman, one of few female physicians operating in west Texas at the end of the 19th century.

Just two miles south of Grandfalls on State Highway 18, travelers will find a Butterfield Overland Stage Line historical marker. The stage route, one of the longest in the history of stage lines, provided service from St. Louis to San Francisco and back twice a week from 1858 to 1861. Today’s State Highway 18 reflects the route the line took through present-day Ward County. Within Grandfalls town limits, history enthusiasts will see the Grandfalls Union Church, built by three Protestant groups in 1910.


Contact

  • Contact: Grandfalls Chamber of Commerce
  • Phone: 432-547-2331

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