View of Fort Davis

So Where’s Downtown?

09/20/2021 By Gwen

Downtown★ Uptown★ Midtown★
In a Small Town

This post is at least partly by way of continuing my whine about all the attention that goes to one end of Fort Davis, often at the expense of the remainder of this sweet West Texas town. Granted, with some few (and Notable) exceptions most of the Business District is clustered around TX Hwy 118, or State Street, once you’re in Fort Davis. 

The Business District in Fort Davis actually stretches from the two junctions of highways 118 and 17 at either end, and in reality, a bit beyond. In a town the size of Fort Davis, I see no point in dividing up the business pie into Uptown, Downtown or Midtown. It’s all just Town, and if you classify Downtown as the primary business district, we are all of us, from the Dollar Store on the south end, to Poco Mexico, the Fort Davis Inn and the RV Parks at the opposite extremity, part of that business district.  We’re just not big enough, or specialized enough to designate a specific area.

Now, if you live here you probably know that Fort Davis is an unincorporated town in Jeff Davis County.  It is also the county seat. There are several other unincorporated communities, and Valentine, the only incorporated municipality in Jeff Davis County. However, the population of that tiny town was just 134 at the 2010 Census, compared to Fort Davis’ still admittedly lightweight 1201.

Business in Fort Davis and much of the surrounding area relies heavily on Tourists and Visitors. Fort Davis is adjacent to, in  addition to the Fort, the McDonald Observatory, the Chihuahuan Desert Research Center and the Davis Mountains State Park.

The natural beauty of this area is beyond compare. There are opportunities here for camping, hiking, and biking (both bicycles and motorcycles love the roads in this region), horseback riding, swimming (Prude Ranch and Balmorhea, about 37 miles away) and more. And let us not forget— shopping at the small and unique  businesses that dot this area. 

Downtown Fort Davis

The whole point of this post is, that Fort Davis is ever so much more than just a few blocks adjacent to the Court House. I am on a mission, I suppose, to get the entire Town noticed, to have all the shops, restaurants and other businesses spread up and down State Street in Fort Davis recognized as being part of Downtown. It would seem that Google Maps agrees with me. The Downtown District is clearly centered at and about the midpoint of town.

I want to encourage visitors to venture beyond  the intersection at Fourth and Cemetery. With this in mind, I will continue to feature Local Businesses from this town, and those nearby. In an area as sparsely populated as this part of west Texas, we need to have a larger, less focused #Local.

In Fort Davis, there are some amazing shops and too often those of us down this way get overlooked. However, we need to Work to get noticed, to make our shops stand out and shine. We need to beautify and improve our own spaces and the surrounding areas as well. We need to encourage and support each other, and new businesses that come into our area. We are stronger and more effective together.

#ShopLocal #Live Local #SupportSmallBusiness

I will admit readily that I am unabashedly in Love with West Texas in general, and Fort Davis in particular. However, that said, I see room for improvement, and want to be part of that. I’m just getting started. I know the kind of positive and sustainable growth I’d like to see here. Now I just need to explore different ways to accomplish this. I am certain that anyone who follows this Blog or gets to know us at Somewhere Over the Rainbow will be hearing much more on this subject in the future. 

Happy Trails!