Off the hidden path of hill county roads rest a town known as the “Cowboy Capital of the World.” Those who have visited this town quickly understand why it is given this prestige title. Many visitors take the town in to get away from the big city life. Some come for the slower pace living. Even more come to visit one of the dozens of ranches near by. The town is known for great country music, the cowboy life and has a history of western culture.
Several cities have desire to laid claim to the title “Cowboy Capital of the World.” Granted, each seems to proclaim the title for good reasons and the list of cities is large. The true Cowboy Capitol of the World might surprise the average green horn. One might believe it would likely be
Oklahoma City or perhaps since both host great Rodeo’s and Cowboy culture. Cheyenne
Fort Worth, Texas also is home to famous Cowboys and maintains “The Cowboy Way,” with the famous Stockyards were they run Longhorn cattle daily down the streets just as Fort Worth did over one hundred years ago for visiting tourist.
host features like Billy Bobs, the grand dance hall of modern ages, Hell’s Half Acre and the renowned White Elephant Saloon, once owned by F.A. Borodino in the 300 block of Fort Forth Main Street. Western card shark — Luke Short ran the gambling tables for Borodino of the White Elephant to the likes of famous men on the western frontier like Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, Charlie Coe and ’s local bad boy Timothy Isaiah Courtright. A bitter feud grew between Courtright, a former City Marshall of Fort Worth known by his nickname “Long Hair Jim” and “Little Luke” Short. On the night of February 8th, 1887 Courtright called Short out which turned into a gun fight on Ft. Worth Main Street as bullets flew and shots echo the street. Even then, Fort Worth merely claims to be the City of and Culture. Cowboys
The “Cowboy Capitol of the World” is a small town 35 miles northwest of
Bandera has a history of what once was the Wild West. It first starts in 1733. General Bandera, a Spanish Military Commander, defeated a large body of Apache Indians that used the small mountains located outside of the current town of
The Comanche’s became problematic to the new nation
By 1852 the area was being surveyed for township. “Bandera” meaning flag in Spanish received the name for the township. Although it is unclear today if the name came from the flag once placed at the pass or for the Spanish General who first fought off the Apache Indians. A sawmill was built along the near by
The mill cut mostly cypress wood shingles that were sold in
As the great cattle drives wandered down, the cattlemen turn to sheep herds by 1889. Sheep were easier to feed on the sparse vegetation in the county, gradually replaced cattle. The local economy declined after 1900; a series of floods destroyed sawmills, gins, and businesses, and the cattle drives ceased. Population would decline for years to come. In 1920, Ranchers Cora and Ed Buck began taking summer boarders at their ranch on
Today, the town continues to promote the many Dude ranches in the area which offer everything from rustic camping, chuck wagon cooking, trail rides or to the elegant spa retreats and golf courses. It also again attracts immigrants to its western culture and living.
Andrea McGilvray found Bandera by accident. Born in Bad Hall,Bandera also host great western shopping at the store front of GUNSLINGER DRY GOODS owned by Melissa Benge who has been featured in several magazines for her creative designs in jewelry and western fashion wear. Home deco, boots, hats, or something special, Gunslinger likely will you’re your western fashion needs. Recently, Melissa worked with Kathie Lee Gifford of “The Today Show” featuring Texas Vacation Spotlight. Melissa holds degrees in Commercial Art and Fashion Marketing launching her multi-faceted career including interior design, painting, photography along with her clothing and jewelry. She even books and promotes talented
Oberoestereich, Austria before moving to she became a gourmet chef graduating from the culinary school of Southern Institute of Technology. Although, in 1988 she moved to Ottawa, Ontario starting a high tech business that specialized in Custom Screen Printing of CD/DVD. A long time client purchased a press which Andrea had engineered and built for him. He had moved to Utopia, Calgary, Alberta, Canada in the fall 2002 needing assistance programming and set up. Andrea agreed to assist in the set up unknowing she would meet the man of her dreams. She met David who worked full time with the Uvalde County Sheriff’s Department and at the business. “We fell in love,” states Andrea getting married to the Cowboy of her dreams. However, during the move, her Canadian company left under a General Manager suffered selling off the business and entering Texas Real estate. Andrea owns Cowboy Capitol Realty 251 Lost Oak, Texas PO Box 1923 Bandera TX 78003 Office Phone: 830-796-4711 as a successful Broker Realtor. While assisting one client sell a Bandera property, she decided to purchase it herself. The home had a large oak tree growing from the floor of the living room through the roof. The house also was formerly rented to Willie Nelson and his band.
Today the western Cowboy atmosphere lives on in Bandera. The town host “Cowboys on
The Dude ranches also host Rodeo’s every Friday night offered by both the Twin Elm Guest Ranch and the BR Lightning Ranch located in near by
Country music also plays a big part of Bandera. Several Honky-Tonks (night – clubs) offer local musicians along with many big name country artist. Jerry Jeff Walker lyrics “Banks of the ole Bandera” said it all, states one bar owner. Once home to the likes of Willie Nelson, Robert Earl Keen and hometown to singer-songwriter brothers Bruce and Charlie Robison, the Saloons of Bandera offer live music every weekend with jam sessions on Sundays. Don’t be surprised by the horses tied out front of any saloon nor a line of Harley Davidson motorcycles in front of any given establishment. Bandera is often the rally point for “Poker Runs” by many biker clubs that help support charities like the American Breast Cancer Association and the “Biker for Boobs” poker run fund raiser or the often Sunday morning “Breakfast run.” One of the best known saloons is Arkey Blue's Silver Dollar. Don't miss the sawdust-covered floor (to encourage plenty of boot-scoot in'). Also others like 11th Street Cowboy Bar which states they are the biggest little bar in
So if you want to escape the world of big cities and bright lights, to Cowboy Up, Bandera likely will be holding what you’re looking for. Be it to take on the near by river for some summer inner-tubing down stream, eating great barbecue or listening to some good country tunes, or find yourself a new pair of boots you just might need to find yourself in BANDERA, TEXAS the real “Cowboy Capital of the World.”
Story by: Roger Edison