United States Air Force Tethered Aerostat Radar Site


61 Miles Away

About thirty-five miles from Marfa is the small town of Valentine, with a population that hovers around 200.

Valentine might seem to be a remote "suburb" of Marfa, but Valentine is actually an incorporated municipality, while Marfa is not.

Legend says that the town was founded by a railroad construction crew on Valentine's Day, 1882.

A major industry here is the small post office which offers a certified "Valentine" postmark, particularly sought after for February 14. And, there is traditionally a pretty good party that evening, drawing people from around West Texas to the celebration.

Local hustle and bustle is mostly attributed to the railroad and the U.S. Border Patrol.

Valentine is somewhat famous as the location of two major art installations, although Marfa usually gets credit for them. One is "Marfa Prada" and is inexplicable, as is the other, a desert tribute to the stars of the movie "Giant."

That 1956 epic was filmed at a local ranch that is roughly equidistant between Marfa and Valentine.

The movie "Cahill U.S. Marshal" was set in Valentine (but filmed elsewhere).

The Texans who choose to live in Valentine are quiet, but proud. The town is known to have an excellent -- if small -- school system. Some years there is a single graduate.

There are NO gas stations.