No Yellow Brick Road to Emerald, Texas

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Although the Emerald City only exists in the Land of Oz, Texas once had its own town called Emerald (also referenced as Emerald Grove). Established in 1889 as a railroad colonization project and the first settlement in Crockett County, Emerald is now a lost ghost town, with nothing remaining. Even the community’s elevation and exact geographic coordinates are without record, but local legend places it between the hills of the Edwards Plateau, roughly eight miles east of the town of Ozona.

Emerald lost its bid to be the county seat in 1891, after an election was held and the people chose the newly developing area that would become Ozona (named for the high quality of air or ‘ozone’). With this decision, the railroad bypassed Emerald and the township eventually disappeared, with many of its buildings moved to Ozona. The last building moved was the schoolhouse in 1897.

Ozona, TX

Facebook/Ozona Paranormal Society

A surviving example of the architecture of Emerald is available for viewing. The Emerald House was moved to Ozona before 1897. Originally relocated to one of Ozona’s downtown streets, it was moved again in 1981, to Fairground Park between IH-10 and U.S. 290. It has changed many hands over the years and was often owned by prominent citizens of the area, including ranchers, a surveyor, and a newspaper publisher. It is even rumored to be a house of active spirits and has been investigated by the Ozona Paranormal Society. With such a long history, anything is possible! This structure serves as a solid reminder of the heritage of this area of Texas. Be sure to visit when traveling through Ozona, along with the town’s American Gothic style courthouse, which stands as a symbol of the death of Emerald.

Still in use