Flickr/ Nicolas Henderson

Valentine, Texas: How the Lone Star State's Most Romantic Town Got its Name

West Texas has long been a popular getaway spot for Texas residents. From the beautiful landscape and charming small towns, what's not to love? But there's more to West Texas than Big Bend National Park and the Instagram hot spot Prada Marfa. The little town Valentine, Texas, is located in Jeff Davis County, and they definitely take advantage of their unique name during the most romantic time of year.

According to the stories, a railroad crew was laying down tracks for the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1882 and got to a stopping point. They would need to provide a stop for fuel. Since it was Valentine's Day, they named the gas station Valentine. Other stories say Valentine was named after John Valentine, who was the President of Wells Fargo and a significant stockholder in the railroad. Either way, the small town between Marfa and Van Horn is undoubtedly unique.

According to the sign, Valentine has a population of 217, but mayor Jesus Calderon tells The Texas Standard that it's most likely less than that. Even with a tiny community, the town still has a school district. The mayor was a teacher before he became mayor. 

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But the tiny town really shines on its namesake holiday, Valentine's Day. The Valentine Post Office is bustling as people from all over the country send their valentine's to get a new postmark in Valentine before February 14th. It's a lot of hard work for the residents, but they fully embrace their claim to fame while making the holiday of romance a little more special for people all over the United States as well as residents in over 30 other foreign countries.

Luckily, it's not all work and no play for the residents of Valentine. Every year, Big Bend Brewing Company in the neighboring town of Alpine hosts a Valentine's Day Party. Next Valentine's Day, consider giving your Valentine a specially postmarked letter from this Texas town.


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