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Los Ebanos Ferry

Brief History

A brief history of the City of La Joya and surrounding communities on the United States border with Mexico.

Chapter 4:
High Waters in the Wild Wild West

The West is Wild

During the war in 1862 Mexican rebels clashed with Confederate forces in nearby Cuevitas, Texas.  The international incident resulted in the death of three teamsters driving a wagon train.  In retaliation, homes were burned, devastating the small community.

After the war in 1874 Texas Rangers would illegally cross at Los Ebanos into Mexico in pursuit of alleged cattle rustlers.  And, in 1875 U.S. Customs fought alleged cattle rustlers at Los Ebanos. 

Cross-border violence is not new.  The Catarino E. Garza War against Mexico's President Porfidio Diaz regime ended near La Joya in 1891.  The western part of Hidalgo County has been wild for long a time.

Havana Grows as Outpost

Havana was a growing outpost.  In 1886 the Havana Post Office was opened, and St. Joseph’s Church was built in 1891.

In 1904 a branch of the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway reached Tabasco and Havana to the “End of Line” where a new settlement called Sam Fordyce was established.   The Havana Post Office was moved there in 1905, but the new settlement would not long last.  John Conway attempt to promote the new community was unsuccessful due to defects in title to the property.  The Post office would close in 1931 and Sam Fordyce became a ghost town.

Classic train engine

Flood Forces Relocation -- Again

Tabasco historic Cemetery

A century after Reynosa was flooded and relocated and Tabasco established, flood waters from the Rio Grande would wreak havoc again.  In 1908 and again in 1909 Tabasco flooded.  Residents moved to higher ground, along the hills to start anew.

The historic Tabasco Cemetery is all that remains of the original settlement.  The graves of Tabasco’s original settlers and of great-grandparents of La Joya families are all but forgotten as the property sit in an unmarked tract in what is now mostly surrounded by U.S. Fish & Wildlife property – inaccessible to descendants and the public.

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