Cibolo Creek Ranch
Cibolo Creek Ranch, one of the older ranches in Texas, is situated between Marfa and Presidio, TX about 20 miles from the Mexican Border. It is a working cattle ranch and operates a 37-bedroom historical boutique resort at three sites on the grounds. The property has appeared in such films as “No Country for Old Men,” “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada” and in other videos, movies and TV series. In addition, Cibolo Creek Resort hosts entertainers and artists regularly in public and private events.
Exhibited throughout the resort and in a dedicated museum are original oil paintings, historical artifacts and an extensive collection of bronze sculptures. Guests staying at the resort have access to Cibolo’s 30,000 acres of hiking, horseback and vehicle trails winding through canyons, springs, a waterfall and into the Chinati Mountains. There are several springs and pools throughout the ranch that are accessible on foot. Guest activities include Humvee mountain tours, guided horseback rides, ATV tours, fishing, and shooting sports. A separate division, Cibolo Outfitters, guides pursuits of upland game birds, mountain aoudad and various native and exotic species. Hunters typically operate from the Cienega Fort and Hacienda, which is a well-appointed 12-bedroom villa complex about 40 minutes from the main resort.
The founder of Cibolo Creek Ranch, Milton Faver, settled in this area of the Big Bend after emigrating from Missouri in the mid-1800s. Local lore says he fled to West Texas after emerging victorious from a deadly duel. Over decades, Faver established a flourishing trading business north of the Rio Grande on what is now Cibolo Creek Ranch. The forts built strategically across the property stood as strongholds against local bandits and Apache and Comanche raiders.
Faver constructed the first of his forts, El Fortin del Cibolo (“Fort of the Buffalo”), in 1857 as a trading and agricultural site along Cibolo Creek. Later, he built El Fortin de la Cienega (“Fort at the Marsh”), to serve as headquarters for his growing cattle operation.
Finally, he erected El Fortin de la Morita (“Fort at the Little Mulberry”), from which he built up his sheep and goat enterprise. From these three defensive centers, Faver cultivated extensive acreage and expanded his livestock herds. The forts supported Faver’s trade with Indians, local settlers, silver miners from the nearby town of Shafter and U.S. Army troops stationed around Fort Davis.
By the 1880s, Faver was recognized as one of the most successful pioneers of West Texas, with more than 20,000 longhorn cattle and sizeable sheep and goat herds. When Faver died in 1889, his estate was left to his wife, Francisca. His only child, Juan, died in 1913, followed shortly by his mother. The ranch exhibits five Texas Historical Markers.
John Poindexter acquired Cibolo Creek Ranch in 1990 and subsequently engaged in an intensive research and restoration campaign. He intends to donate the property to the Tidewater and Big Bend Foundation, where it will augment the Foundation’s historical resources and will provide convenient facilities for the Foundation’s staff, visitors and supporters.
The Shafter Silver Mine and ghost town border Cibolo Creek Ranch to the south. In the late 19th-century and early 20th-century, Shafter was a hub for economic, cultural, and social activity in the Big Bend Region. Much of this history is still visible in the derelict structures and adobe ruins scattered through the town. Because Shafter’s and Cibolo’s histories intertwine, Shafter is an interesting complement to Cibolo Creek Ranch, and the Foundation is currently in discussions to acquire and restore sections of the town.