Sunday, July 19, 2015

Vanishing Belcherville

Some of you may remember my photos of the Montague County ghost town of Belcherville from 2010-2011. I finally had a chance to take a friend of mine on a ghost town expedition through Cooke County and Montague County over the weekend after returning to college in January, and since Belcherville was the first Texas ghost town I ever discovered, I had to put it on our itinerary.

When we got out to the site, there were some drastic changes. A sturdy fence with numerous "No Trespassing" signs has been erected around much of downtown Belcherville, putting the remains of at least two churches and the Manley homestead on Elm Street off limits. In addition, the Vannoy gas station off Highway 82 has been wiped off the face of the earth. All that appears to be accessible in the original townsite are the old post office and the cemetery.

This appears to mark the imminent demise of the old Belcherville site for all time. My guess is the former downtown area will be razed and converted into farmland. Belcherville's population remains tiny, but the town also remains incorporated - the smallest incorporated city anywhere in the state of Texas. The locals have developed some farms and ranches on the old site, and it looks like we've stumbled upon the latest phase in what appears to be Belcherville's transformation from a collection of abandoned buildings into a quiet, dispersed farming community.

If anyone has further information on these developments, please feel free to share.