Delbert Trew began building a small town in Bull Canyon on his ranch near Pampa, Texas, with the idea of using it as a movie set, but the town has grown over the years.
It’s in a box canyon where springs feed a small creek and water the cottonwoods.
Trew’s family bought the place in 1947, from the nephew of Larry McMurtry, author of Lonesome Dove and other books reflecting the history of the area.
“We’ve had family reunions here since about 1980.”
Little by little, over the years, buildings were added along the creek. Trew’s daughter-in-law said that when the family gathers, tents dot the flat below the town.
“We have my family reunion one year,” Trew said, “and my wife’s family reunion the next.”
Today, north of the campground, there’s Bert’s Hotel, the mercantile and stage stop, and the Red Dog Saloon, which started as a gathering place for kids at reunions. Adults camped at the other end of town to sleep, while the children wanted to stay up late.
There’s also a laundry, an undertaker’s parlor, the marshal’s office, and a fire pit where they cook out. “I used to have a ranch shop,” Trew quipped. “I now have a production studio.” There is a working blacksmith shop where Trew’s stepson, Mike Oldham, Lefors, Texas, is a blacksmith and a gunsmith.
From a story in the Pampa News, Pampa, Texas