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Hell's Half Acre

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Offline Alto Relex

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Hell's Half Acre
« on: December 10, 2009, 06:57:49 AM »
Recently on my map software, I stumbled across an area southeast of Marathon labeled "Hell's Half Acre."  All I could find out about it online was this very brief description in the Handbook of Texas:  http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/HH/rjh11.html

Peeking at it from the air via Google Earth it looks like the most chopped up, scrambled up, barren land I've ever seen in Texas, with no practical means of ingress or egress and not a hope of a level camping spot or a reliable water source.  In other words, WOW.   :cool-thumb:
 

Do any of you know more about this place?  Whose land is it on?  Anyone been there?  Dunno why but I'm intrigued by it.

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Offline txhiker

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Re: Hell's Half Acre
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2009, 09:30:29 AM »
The short answer is I don't know either...

My longer answer is...

When you mentioned Hell's Half Acre it made me think of caddo lake as there is a place there called like that http://www.clidata.org/SpillMaps/boat_rd.pdf

When googling it, the reference to the old red light district of Fort Worth (and other towns) came up as that is what it used to be called. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/HH/hph1.html

Another things I found was a mention of a working quarter horse ranch near Hell's Half Acre back in the days http://www.santaannanews.com/stuff.html

Another thing I found was an article on the geology of Marathon with mention of Hell's Half acre. http://www.geo.umass.edu/structure/StrSem/Hickman%20et%20al_JSG_2009_WTexas.pdf

So my guess is that the area belongs to some ranching family that liked the name and gave it to that area or the ranch. I remember driving down 385 and seeing a ladder sign a lot, when I got home and googled them, it was a ranch called La Escalera ranch http://escalera.us/index.html which is 20th in USA as far as land ownership and if you click on media, they have some interesting videos.

Hope you find the answer,

David
"I wasn't born in Texas, but, I came here as fast as I could"
<---- Eating a prickly pear cacuts fruit as seen on Man Vs. Wild.
Mesquite, TX

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Offline Alto Relex

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Re: Hell's Half Acre
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2009, 02:36:59 PM »
Thanks, David.  La Escalera Ranch has a great website.  Very well done.  Just for grins I contacted the business manager asking if he knew anything about it.  He actually replied back and we had a little chat about it.  Turns out he had never heard of it, but figured Hell's Half Acre to be about 15 miles away from his ranch.  

I'll just continue to wish for the answer and know it will materialize eventually!

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Offline aggiehiker

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Re: Hell's Half Acre
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2010, 02:01:11 PM »
Wow, what a great website. Lots of good history there!

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Offline brian67761

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Re: Hell's Half Acre
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2010, 12:55:33 AM »
I believe the opening scene of the film Paris, Texas was filmed in or near Hell's Half Acre. &nbsp;The scene shows hoodoos, steep sided ridges and barren desert. &nbsp;On the DVD commentary, director Wim Wenders says the scene was filmed in southwestern Texas in the Big Bend area. &nbsp;He says it was difficult to get to the location. &nbsp;Having visited the Big Bend area many times, I am sure the scene was not filmed in Big Bend National Park itself.

Edit: I found a still from the scene I described:

« Last Edit: February 26, 2010, 10:31:08 AM by brian67761 »

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Offline MacEntyre

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Re: Hell's Half Acre
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2010, 06:49:11 AM »
The OP's satellite image from Google has a most interesting hairpin canyon NW of the red 'pin'... with swirly circular formations along the edges. Fascinating!
- MacEntyre
  rides airhead & thumper, sleeps in hammock

 


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