City of El Paso

City Of El Paso

  • <p>Mesa and Texas Streets, ca. 1970 (Library of Congress)</p> <p>City street corner</p>
  • <p>International Bridge, 1922 (West Texas Historical Association)</p> <p>Small building and row of cars labeled International Bridge, El Paso Texas</p>
  • <p>Camp Louise, ca. 1920 (West Texas Historical Association)</p> <p>Row of small buildings labeled Camp Louise, E.D. Rackel, Prop. El Paso Texas</p>
  • <p>Mesa Avenue (Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries)</p> <p>Colorized postcard of street scene labeled Mesa Avenue, the heart of El Paso Texas</p>
  • <p>El Paso, ca. 1940 (TxDOT)</p> <p>City street</p>
  • <p>Several blocks north of the Bankhead Highway at Grant and Elm Streets is a great example of the restoration of an old gas station. (Library of Congress)</p> <p>Small round building with green clay tile roof and four gas pumps</p>

El Paso

Perhaps the epitome of the “Wild West” with numerous saloons, brothels, and gambling houses, El Paso was known as “Six Shooter Capital” and “Sin City” during its early years. The arrival of the railroads in 1881 had the biggest impact on El Paso in terms of transforming the dusty village to a bustling frontier town. By 1900, vice and lawlessness started to wane as El Paso evolved into a modern metropolis with significant industry, commerce, and transportation. The 1912 Fort Worth–El Paso Highway, designated part of the Bankhead Highway six years later, boosted the economy with an influx of business and tourists. El Paso stories, old and new, can be found not only in its many museums, but also just driving the streets of the city. The El Paso Mission Trail, El Segundo Barrio, and Concordia Cemetery are just a few of the places that will help you learn about the diverse populations and enterprises of the westernmost city of the Texas Bankhead Highway.

  • <p>Small blue building with sign saying El Torito Grocery</p>
  • <p>Cover of the 1949 edition of The Negro Motorist Green Book</p> <p>Rows of cars labeled The Negro Motorist Green Book International Travel Guide 1949 Edition. Carry your Green Book with you – You may need it.</p>

A. Winston Tourist Home (El Torito Grocery), 3205 Alameda Ave.

Today this building is home to El Torito Grocery, but in the 1940s it was known as the A. Winston Tourist Home. In the 1940s and 50s, African American travelers often did not have access to public hotels. Anderson and Gertrude Winston offered housing in their home, and operated a café and an auto garage. Publications like the Negro Motorist Green Book provided tourists a way to engage with African American-friendly businesses.

  • Listen to the audio

Destination El Paso

Union Depot Visitor Information Center
400 S. San Antonio
Visit Website