NAME: Castolon or Santa Helena
COUNTY: Brewster
CLIMATE: Warm winter, hot summer
Winter, spring, fall
COMMENTS: In the Chisos Mountains.
REMAINS: Many Structures.
Located just above the flood plain of the Rio Grande close to the Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park, Castolon was an agriculture and ranching community on the American side of the river. It was first settled in 1903. Land ownership in the area changed hands a number of times until much of it came under the control of a Wayne Cartledge in 1919. Cartledge was responsible for introducing scientific agriculture to the valley as well as cotton production. The Madero Revolution in Mexico in 1910 prompted the residents of Castolon to request protection from the U.S. Army as Mexican bandits began attacking settlements on the American side of the international boundary. In 1911 a troop of cavalry was stationed in Castolon. In 1919, the War Department began construction of a permanent army post to include barracks, officer's quarters, etc. The construction of the post was completed in early 1920 but was never occupied by the troops. The army vacated the area due to restoration of order along the border. Cartledge purchased the fort buildings from the government in 1925 which aided in the development of the town. The end came in 1944 with the creation of the Big Bend National Park with all private lands coming under federal ownership. Most of the structures from the former town remain intact. SUBMITTED BY: Henry Chenoweth