What is: Marathon Texas, The train doesnt stop anymore and the corral and cattle chute are empty. A dusty little ranch town is being turned into a new tourist destination.
What was: Marathon was founded after the Southern Pacific railroad came through Texas in 1882 after threats of Comanche and Apache attacks were squelched in the region. Marathon was a major shipping center for cattle. One rancher ran as many as 25,000 head of cattle in the open range around Marathon. The train also picked up silver, zinc and quicksilver. Around World War I it also had a processing plant for a desert shrub that was used to make rubber. The town had its own newspaper, a bank, several mercantile stores, and a bustling main street. Until recently Marathon was a string of empty storefronts with tumbleweed blowing across the highway and the trains passing through.
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