San Angelo, TX Honored as Top True Western Town by True West Magazine!
The rush of westbound settlers after the Civil War led to the founding of Fort Concho in 1867. With military protection, a settlement sprouted around a trading post across the North Concho River. The area got a boost in 1888 when the Santa Fe railroad came through. The fort closed the following year, but cattle and sheep ranching had already established a solid economic base.
Today, Fort Concho is a National Historic Landmark featuring 23 original and restored buildings. Along with museum exhibits, artifacts, and the well-preserved buildings, Fort Concho is one of the many reasons why San Angelo is #2 among True West Magazine’s 2021 Top Western Towns. San Angelo will be featured in the February-March 2021 issue, hitting newsstands in February 2021.
Along with the story of San Angelo’s Historic Fort Concho, there are ample reasons why San Angelo took the Top Ten True Western Town’s number two spot. The San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo, held since 1932, is dedicated to preserving the Western way of life and promoting agricultural education to kids. Today, it draws more than 150,000 to the county fairgrounds. The association that puts on the show also hosts the Cinch Roping Fiesta in October, a livestock show in November and a quarter horse show in January.
San Angelo is known as the adopted town of famed Western writer Elmer Kelton. In 1948, the Texas native moved to San Angelo to be the farm-and-ranch editor for the San Angelo Standard-Times. His storied career as the author of over 40 books is celebrated in a mural at 118 S. Chadbourne St.
To get a feel for San Angelo, head downtown and see more than 80 fiberglass sheep standing on the sidewalk and outside businesses. They’re the town’s calling card, an homage to its agricultural prowess, specifically its status as a major wool producer.
Another distinction is the abundance of water from the river, a reservoir and two lakes, which gives San Angelo a prettier, greener look than other places in West Texas. And the cowboys in town from the surrounding farms and ranches are the real deal. Stop at Miss Hattie’s Restaurant & Cathouse Lounge for a Brothel Burger, named among the best in Texas. At Legend Jewelers, see items made with Concho pearls, taken from Tampico mussels in the Concho River. The mesmerizing colors of this highly prized jewel range from light pink to rich purple.
San Angelo State Park features 50 miles of trails and part of the official state longhorn herd. Some of the longhorns roam free.
“Hikers and bikers have a good chance of seeing them,” says Assistant Superintendent Tony Wheeler. “Sometimes you’ll go down a trail and a longhorn will be staring right at you.”
This is the 16th year True West has presented this annual award. Editors base their selection on criteria demonstrating how each town has preserved its history through old buildings, museums and other institutions, events, and promotions of historic resources.
True West magazine is in its 69th year of leading the way in presenting the true stories of Old West adventure, history, culture and preservation. For subscriptions and more information, visit TWMag.com or call 888-687-1881.
To view the article, visit https://truewestmagazine.com/article/san-angelo-texas/.