"Chicano writers from El Paso are the most progressive, open-minded, far-reaching, and inclusive writers of them all."

Octavio Romano

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

New El Paso History Titles

There are a few El Paso history titles I wanted to mention.

One came out last year, but I think it's been published before:

Historic Photos of El Paso by Sandra Fye.

Book description: El Paso is a city with an international history and culture that is tied to the Rio Grande. Native Americans followed the river and traded with other groups that lived near it. With the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, in 1848, the Rio Grande became the international boundary between the United States and Mexico.

Historic Photos of El Paso is a gorgeous photographic history of this important American city spotlighting photographs collected from the most prominent local and state archives. The multicultural diversity of the area adds to its rich heritage and economic success, as these striking photographs demonstrate. In rarely seen black and white photography, this handsome coffee table book details the historical growth of El Paso up to recent times. Filled with nearly 200 beautiful black-and-white images, Turner Publishing's Historic Photos of El Paso offers a unique and compelling look into the past for any resident and/or history buff alike.

About the Author: Sandra Fye has a Bachelor of Art degree in Geography, with an English Minor, from the University of New Mexico. Her favorite place in El Paso is the El Paso Museum of Art. She became interested in the history of El Paso when she saw an Otis Aultman photograph album about the Mexican Revolution; a book about the architect Henry C. Trost added to her interest. She likes photography, history, and art.

Street Railways of El Paso (Images of Rail) by Ronald Dawson

Description: Spanish explorers traveling north from Mexico in 1581 crossed the Rio Grande at present-day El Paso and called the area El Paso Del Norte, or “the pass of the north.” Two cities were linked together: Ciudad Juarez and El Paso. In 1881, the railroad brought even more people to El Paso. What had been a sleepy adobe town became a vibrant, bustling city. Public transportation was established with a mule-car system in 1882 and ran for 20 years. The first electric cars were introduced in 1902 and were also very successful, serving all parts of the city and establishing neighborhoods. At the zenith of the system, there were 63 miles of track, 17 routes, and over 100 streetcars. In those days, everyone used the electric cars.

I've really liked these Arcadia Publishing books such as the Mexicans of Chicago and so forth. Dawson had an earlier book on streetcars of El Paso published at the beginning of the decade.

El Paso:: 1850-1950 (Images of America) by James R. Murphy

Book Description: Located at the far western tip of Texas, the city of El Paso is bordered on the north by New Mexico and on the south by the city of Juarez, Mexico. The area’s recorded history dates back more than 400 years when Spanish missionaries gave the region its name: El Paso del Norté, or The Pass of the North. Between 1850 and 1950, El Paso’s growth was influenced by a variety of people and events. The “four dead in five seconds” shootout in 1881 gave El Paso the short-lived nickname “Six-Shooter Capital” until the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, happened later that year. When the railroad arrived, El Paso was abruptly transformed from a sleepy, adobe village to a vital international crossroads. The Mexican Revolution influenced the city in the early part of the 20th century, and the 1920s saw Prohibition energize the local tourist trade with barrooms and gambling available just across the border. El Paso also became an inland Ellis Island, with thousands of immigrants entering the United States eager for a new start. This book examines the early years of El Paso’s evolution.

Author James R. Murphy is the director of development for the El Paso Museum of History. Along with the assistance of many individuals within the El Paso historical community, Murphy has created this early pictorial history of the region by showcasing more than 200 vintage photographs.