Greetings from Bandera, Texas

Here at J.Forks Designs, quality is of the utmost importance. Whether we are looking at stones to incorporate into our line, adding the finishing touches to one of our unique denim jackets, or carefully hand tooling leather. Quality is not an option, it is our standard. So undoubtedly, after we outgrew our production space and decided to search for a new home, we chose to move further into Bandera, Texas. We love the rich western history of this town and know its citizens treasure quality of life as much as we do! As of a few weeks ago, we officially moved into our new space on the “new” Main Street in Bandera, Texas Cowboy Capital of the World.

Bandera was founded in 1853 and not long after, had the reputation as a “cowboy town.” According to a historical marker on Main Street- “The tradition of the Texas Cowboy originated from northern Mexico with the vaqueros, individuals mounted on horseback who herded livestock, mainly cattle, through the open prairie. These men became legends in Bandera county.”[1] In 1874, cowboys drove the first herd of Texas longhorns along The Great Western Cattle Trail (which is also known as the Old Texas Trail and The Dodge City Trail). “Although the trail was less well-known than the Chisholm Trail, The Great Western Cattle Trail carried cattle for longer than all other trails.”[2] The seed stock driven up The Great Western Trail can be attributed to establishing the ranching industry in the entire west. [3] The last herd went up the trail in 1894. Conservatively, by this time, between seven and ten million cattle, one million horses, and around 30,000 cowboys rode the trail.[2]

Since then, Bandera’s history and claim to the “Cowboy Capital” continued to develop. “Bandera had its first rodeo in 1924 at Mansfield Park where rodeos have continued through the years. The Buck and the Bruce ranches took in summer guests holding rodeos as entertainment. Others that followed were the Dixie Dude, Bennie’s U-Bar, and the Twin Elm ranches.”[1] There are currently eight guest ranches in Bandera. “Bandera cowboys became famous by earning world champion titles and being inducted into the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. In 1938, Toots Mansfield was Bandera’s first world champion in calf roping, earning this title on six additional occasions. He later became the first president of the National Rodeo Cowboy Association which was organized in 1945. In 1948, a San Antonio newspaper referenced Bandera as the “Cowboy Capital of the World”. Since then, this title has been mentioned in numerous newspapers and magazines throughout the world.” [1]

As of recent, the Texas Senate and Texas House of Representatives have recognized Bandera as the “Cowboy Capital of the World”. [4]

Unlike many western towns, Bandera is not a “through town.” There has never been a railroad or major public transportation, and yet the town has always thrived on tourism. Though Bandera’s reputation is rooted in the history of the cowboy, this town offers even more. We are very excited to call Bandera our home!

Come visit our production studio, explore our lifestyle accessory line, and collections of work from local vendors. We strongly suggest spending some time in Bandera, experiencing the local rodeos, staying at a local guest ranch, visiting the three museums, grabbing a bite to eat from the fantastic restaurants, and dancing the evening away at a bar and/or dance hall. This town truly has a little for everyone!

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References:

  1. Historical Marker. Bandera, “Cowboy Capital of the World” 2013, Main Street Bandera, Texas. July 3, 2018.

  2. Historical Marker. Great Western Cattle Trail. 2014. Main Street Bandera, Texas. July 3, 2018.

  3. Recorded BCHC Historical Marker. Bandera, Texas USA Cowboy Capital of the World. 2012. Main Street Bandera, Texas. July 3, 2018.

  4. BCHC Historical Marker. Bandera, Texas USA State of Texas Resolutions. Nd, Main Street Bandera, Texas. July 3, 2018.

  5. Historical Marker. Great Western Cattle Trail. Nd. Main Street Bandera, Texas. July 3, 2018.