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On Building the Pecos High Bridge in the 1890s

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No matter where humans go, even if it's out in the middle of nowhere, they still want to have a good time. Here's a description of the shenanigans around the building of the Pecos High Bridge.

"Three separate 'frogtowns' sprang into existence [frogtowns were camps that 'hopped along,' keeping up with construction]. Although these "towns" were only 300 feet apart they might as well have been 50 miles apart, for you had to go either up or down if you went visiting and it was dangerous climbing.

There were 13 saloons around the Pecos bridge while we were building it, some on the west rim of the canyon, some on the east rim and some down in the canyon. Blaine and Sinclair had a big tent saloon with boarded sides on the east rim and there was another operated by a man named Sikorski.

Supplies were let down from the west rim on a derrick. Torres, the justice of the peace who defeated Bean, had build a saloon and 'frontier amusement palace' down in the canyon. When he opened it up he let 13 women over the side on the derrick and was ready for business.

The saloon building and all of the smaller rooms were build of ocotillo stalks for walls, with brush roofs. There used to be some high old times in that place, I'll tell you, especially around pay day. Some of the boys who lost their money quickly at faro or monte could always sneak around and peak through the ocotillo stalks and see how the rest of the crew were spending their money."


----- James McMullen, one of the builders of the Pecos High Bridge in the 1890s, interviewed by Sam Woodford and quoted in the "San Antonio Light," 1955

Beauty is only skin deep but Texas is to the bone.

Posted : 25th December 2019 11:15 pm