Redford Texas Visitor Info

Visit Redford Texas while you are down in Big Bend. 

Some neat lodging, and some historic sites including a Cavalry post. Scroll for vintage photos.

This 1974 Airstream is now available to stay in. Call us to book it.

Redford History

Redford, Texas is a small town on hwy 170 in the Big Bend region of West Texas, on the banks of the Rio Grande.

Named for the red rocks and boulders at the historic river crossing into Mexico, the “Red Ford” across the river, in Spanish the “Vado Colorado”.

In 1952 the Texas State Historical Association described it in it’s handbook thusly: “Redford, in a small farming community on the Rio Grande in southern Presidio county, had a post office, a school, a church, and about 110 inhabitants in 1947.” The school and post office have closed in the last 20 years and the church rarely has services these days; according to the 2010 census the population has dropped to appx. 90 persons.

Most of the fields lay fallow now but some farming, mostly alfalfa, still is harvested. The rich soil, plus access to the river, has made this one of the longest continually farmed communities in North America, for several thousand years by some estimates. Irrigated cropland on the Mexican side of the river are still very active, esp. around the villages of El Mulato, Palomas, El Viborero, and a few miles upstream at Monte Marqueno.

The adjacent community of El Polvo, Spanish for “the Dust”, is considered part of Redford, where the Redford cemetery is located and the historic site of a U.S. Cavalry Post (Camp Polvo) from appx. 1910-1920.

Polvo is also the site of a Spanish mission, referred to as the Tapacolmes site, established in 1683 and abandoned in the early 18th century (Charles Kelley, 1953). In 1747 a Spanish entrada led by Ydoiaga passed through Polvo and made written record of the abandoned adobe church.

Three major archeological excavations, tests and reports have been conducted and published on the site, the last one by the Texas Historical Commission in 1994.

In more recent history Voyageur Outward Bound has made their seasonal headquarters in Redford, as well as Angell Expeditions in Polvo; both outfitters conduct hiking, camping and river-running guide services in the Big Bend region and along the Rio Grande river.

The small general store in the heart of town closed doors many years ago but in 2017 the La Sierra Beerstore opened 5 miles east of town; the old Redford Elementary school has now become the Redford Community Center, available for special events. Several motion pictures have been filmed in Redford, most notably “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada”, and “The Ballad of Esequiel Hernandez”, the former directed and acted in by Tommy Lee Jones.

The Redford and Polvo community is rich in history and populated by warm, friendly folks who welcome visitors to the area, it’s location is on FM 170 just a few miles from the entrance to Big Bend Ranch State Park, on the drive National Geographic has called one of the Top Ten drives in North America.

Redford is also home to historian/scholar Enrique Madrid. Here is the definitive study of “the social and scientific implications of the perfectly round tortilla with Enrique Madrid”.

 

 

Historic Photos of El Polvo, Texas