Latitude / Longitude:
3,192 ft (973 m)
Central (CST) (UTC-6)
Tascosa, sometimes called Old Tascosa, is the former capital of ten counties in the Texas Panhandle. The town emerged briefly in the 1880s as an economic rival of Dodge City, Kansas. Located in Oldham County northwest of Amarillo, Texas, Tascosa is now a ghost town.
Tascosa, named for a nearby creek, was rooted in a local crossing of the Canadian River which cowboys passed on their way to the railhead and cattle markets in Dodge City. The role of Tascosa was comparable as a regional center to that of Mobeetie in Wheeler County further east. Tascosa was a town of tents and adobe, with a stone court house erected in 1884 at a cost of $18,000. It reached its peak in 1888 with cattle, farming, dairying, and general merchandising.
The coming of the Fort Worth and Denver Railway was expected to revitalize Tascosa. However, there were two miles of deep sand between the railroad track and the town. Though the editor of The Tascosa Pioneer believed the citizens could overcome all odds against them, this physical limitation proved insurmountable.
By the 1930s, the town was almost deserted. In 1938, Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch was built on the site. The old courthouse (now a museum) and the 1889 schoolhouse are the only buildings from the old town to survive into the 21st century. Tascosa was the setting for the showdown between Lin McAdams (Jimmy Stewart) and Dutch Henry Brown (Stephen McNally) in the 1950 American western film, Winchester 73.