5 Things You Might Not Know About Barksdale, Texas

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Referred to as a “no stop light” town, Barksdale is an unincorporated community located near the Nueces River in Edwards County. Farm to Market Road 335 and State Highway 55 intersect in Barksdale, Texas. Barksdale can be found 26 miles West of Leakey and 24 miles Southeast of Rocksprings.

1. Barksdale Survived the Population Roller Coaster.

cactus and wildflowers

Photo: Glenda Thompson

Originally settled in the late 1840s, the town didn’t have enough citizens for a post office. They borrowed the name Dixie from a nearby Texas Ranger post in the 1860s. In 1880, when they finally had enough people in the area to request a post office, the residents of the area discovered the name Dixie was already taken. They chose to name the town Barksdale after Lewis Barksdale, the man who owned the majority of the land in the area.

In 1884, Barksdale boasted 20 citizens, one grocery store, and two general stores. The school lived in a private home. By 1887, the town built a new building to house the school. The building doubled as a church on Sundays.

Around 1900, the population of Barksdale reached 100 residents shortly after the bank opened and telephone service arrived. By 1940, the population had doubled to 200 residents and in the 1950s, Barksdale built a church and a new high school. After all, the baby boom was in full swing and those children would need some place to go to school.

The 1970s were hard on Barksdale. The population count shrunk to 71 residents and two businesses fought hard to keep their heads above water. They succeeded. As of the 2000 census, Barksdale is booming again with nearly 1,100 residents.

Today, the population has dropped back into the 600s.

2. Primary Businesses in Barksdale Include Hunting and Fishing.

White Tail Trophy Buck

Photo: Glenda Thompson

The FTW Ranch covers more than 12,000 acres of prime hunting property in the Barksdale area. Rugged but beautiful, in the spring time wildflowers carpet the area with gold and red cactus blooms popping up like exclamation marks emphasizing the natural wonder of the countryside. In addition to native whitetail deer, the FTW cultivates strong herds of exotic species including Aoudad, Axis, Mouflon, Blackbuck, and Nubian Ibex just to name a few.

The FTW Ranch also provides SAAM Training. SAAM (Sportsman All-terrain All-weather Markmanship) training prepares you for challenging, real-life hunting scenarios in all types of environments. SAAM improves your hunting and shooting skills out to 500 yards. SAAM also teaches you situational awareness. The more you learn, the more you will see viable shooting aids in the natural world around you.

For more information on the FTW Ranch, visit their website here.

3. Twisted Sisters Passes Through Barksdale.

Twisted Sisters Motorcyle Route

Photo: Flickr/mhlradio

Dubbed “one of the fifteen most scenic spots in Texas” by Texas Highways (Nov 1998 issue), Twisted Sisters is the motorcycle ride to top all motorcycle rides. Ragged hills, sharp drop offs and twisty curves – up to 65 of them in one fifteen mile stretch of road – provide even the most experienced rider a challenging and beautiful 96-mile ride through Texas paradise. Bring snacks, water, and a camera for those quick stops at panoramic vistas. Word to the wise though: don’t forget to top off your tank before you leave.

4. Patterson Knives Are Made in Barksdale.

Custom Knife Making

Photo: Flickr/Andrew Yang

Beginning in 1991, Pat Patterson began making custom knives in Barksdale, Texas. Using hollow grinds and flat grinds, Pat built his knives from 440C and ATS-34 steel. 440C is a high carbon martensitic stainless steel. It has high strength, moderate corrosion resistance, and good hardness making it perfect for straight knives or folders. ATS-34 is a premium grade, Japanese steel imported from Hitachi Steels and is used by many custom knife makers as well as high-end knife factories. Pat’s handle materials include Stag, presentation grade Stabilized Woods, Fossilized Ivory, Micarta, and G-10.

5. The Oldest Scout Camp in Texas is in Barksdale.

Map of Camp Fawcett

Photo: Camp Fawcett

Camp Fawcett, established in 1928, is the oldest Scout Camp still surviving and providing retreats for Scouts in the great state of Texas. Built on the Nueces River, Camp Fawcett served as a summer camp for the Boy Scouts of America from 1928 to 1996 and again in 2002 and 2003. Due to financial losses, Camp Fawcett is no longer being used as a summer camp but is still available for special events including Scout Reunions and Frontier Days. For more information, please visit their website.