20 June 2010

Terlingua, part2

The earlier photos show the larger buildings, but most of the remains are of much smaller size. Some are nothing but a pile of rubble, others have fragments of wall remaining. Most were simple one room huts, few are still being lived in today.

What's so great about the ruins is that you can see what different construction techniques were used. Above, the front blocks are a mixture of clay/dirt/hay bricks and they're clearly mortared with what looks like a similar mix. The wall behind it consists of stacked rocks. They're thin, flat pieces, so they're pretty stable. But there's no mortar. I'll try not to think of the number of spiders living in them...

Time has worn away the bricks, a shrub now inhabits an old room. The stacked walls remain.

One small building looked like it was still viable, so we investigated.

The walls on either side of the door were lightly mortared with concrete, but the process had been abandoned before completion.

The back walls were well mortared, but the highest points hadn't been touched.

The awning? Made of rows of yucca stalks. Construction materials on hand are often enough well suited for the region. Perhaps it's a lesson we still haven't learned very well.


  1. If you ever have opportunity to visit Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island outside of Charleston, SC, you will have an opportunity to see fortification made of local Palmetto palms. The palms are springy, unlike the hardwoods used for other forts created by the invading Europeans. When the British fired on Fort Moultrie during the "colonial rebellion", the cannon balls bounced off the logs and did no damage.

    Another vote for using what is local ;-)

  2. Kitty, thanks for the suggestion! It sounds like a fantastic accidental perk of local resources =D [also, as a bit of a history nerd, it sounds equally delicious for the historical value!]