Welcome To KEY TO THE CITY's Page For
Jeff Davis County, Texas
Highest Town in Texas - Where the Stars Come Out to Play
Chamber of Commerce.
Though Native Americans were located here for thousands of years, The first explorations were by the Spanish in about 1583. It wasnít until the mid 1800ís that Americans came into the area. The area began to be settled extensively after the Mexican war that ended in 1846. Because of the Indian raids in the area, the need for a military outpost was very evident. The Overland Trail, linking the east with the west, had a major stopping point in Fort Davis. Before becoming Fort Davis, the area was known as Painted Comanche Camp because of the inscriptions on the cottonwood trees here. As the military presence grew here, small settlements grew up around the installations. The one along Limpia Creek was named for the nearby fort, Fort Davis. The fort, itself, was named for Jefferson Davis who was the Secretary of War at the time. When the Civil War began, the fort was abandoned for about five years. It was re-established by one of the Buffalo Soldier Regiments and new facilities were built. The main lines of the railroad bypassed Fort Davis, going through Alpine and Marfa instead. The two towns began to grow while Fort Davis had less business. By 1891, the post was closed and the town stabilized as a ranching and tourism center. Efforts were begun in 1961 to renovate Fort Davis and the historical site was opened in 1963.
Fort Davis is known as the highest town in Texas because it is! It's elevation of 5,050 feet above sea level makes this community almost as high as Denver. Due to the clear skies and height, numerous stars may be seen in the night sky
Learn more about Fort Davis at this informative site.
The McDonald Observatory
This observatory houses the 107" Harlan J. Smith telescope on Mt. Locke 6800 feet and the Hobby-Ebberly Telescope HET with the World's third largest mirror 433" made up of ninety-one 40-inch mirror segments on adjacent Mt. Fowlkes. Programs are offered several nights each week.
Due to the beautiful and unspoiled countryside here, many films are shot here including Lonesome Dove, the Good Old Boys, the Streets of Laredo and others.
Four Greenhouses here are 26 acres each, making them some of the world's largest.
Fort Davis National Historic Site
P. O. Box 1379
Fort Davis Texas.
Administered by the National Park Service.
Hours are 8:00am to 5:00pm.
Christmas Day- December 25
New Years Day - January 1
Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Observed - Third Monday in January - Jan.19,2004
Thanksgiving Day - Last Thursday in November - Nov. 25, 2004
Overland Trail Museum
Fort St. and 3rd St.Fort Davis, Texas
historical records, pictures items of historical interest relating to Jeff Davis County, culture and physical history of Fort Davis and the Big Bend area. Museum owned and operated by The Fort Davis Historical Society.
Davis Mountain State Park
south of State Highway 118 including restrooms with and without showers,and other features. A visitor's center offers maps and other information.
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