Monday, July 06, 2009

Movie Set, Poor Farm: You never know what you'll see at a historic marker

Sometimes you're rewarded richly for detouring for a historic marker. Take our experience on North Loop Road in El Paso County, as we followed Adventure Cycling Association's Southern Tier Route (runs from California to Florida and cuts through the Texas Mountain Trail region) from Sierra Blanca to El Paso.

We were looking for easy rest spots for cyclists, and wen we saw the sign in Socorro, we decided to take a break from the road. We could not believe our good luck, for not only was there a shady place to enjoy a picnic lunch, but an interesting "campus" of old adobe buildings. We learned this was the site of El Paso's second poor farm, named Rio Vista Farm. It housed the indigent, CCC and Mexican laborers, and was a location for the film, 'Traffic.' (see archway constructed for filming.) Rio Vista Farm is currently a center for social programs in the area, and there are hopes for full restoration of its buildings.

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