Cave Dwellings: Let’s visit Roma…and I DON’T mean Italy!
Cave Dwellings

Buckhorn Creek, Lake O' The Pines, Jefferson, TX

Friday, March 25, 2011

Let’s visit Roma…and I DON’T mean Italy!

  First of all, we need to welcome a brave new follower, Mactrailer…I couldn’t find any links to a blog…So, jump in the truck, Mac..and don’t worry about getting it’s a real pig inside and out..Ya just gotta love Illinois winters and all the salt they dump on the roads..!!  

In February of ‘08, on one of our trips to Falcon Lake State Park, we decided to spend some time sightseeing in the border town of Roma, TX.  I need to say that you have to really search to find the historical side of Roma….You know…look past the Church’s Chicken, Pizza Hut, Whataburger and the many Taquerias.    In 1993, a 9 square block area around the town plaza was designated an Historic Landmark District (and this area is off the main drag)… We had never actually walked around and really experienced the old history of Roma.


They also have a World Birding Center there..It is housed in one of the old buildings, and you can still see remnants of the Spanish painting on the cracked adobe in the rooms…

For anyone who is a birder..(HELLOOOOOOO  Judy), you will really enjoy the center..They operate solely on a volunteer basis, and there are a gazillion books on the birds of the Rio Grande.  McGuyver and I don’t actually consider ourselves birders…Ya gotta have the suspenders…or whatever those things are…Do you hang your binoculars from them, or what?  At any rate, Dennis and I  don’t have the correct hats and gear…but we do take lots of bird photos!


Roma was settled by the Spanish in1760, and it sits right ON the Rio Grande, as you can see by these photos..

We took the above photos of these people across the river, in Mexico, swimming in the Rio Grande…You can see how narrow it is here.


I just love these old buildings .  In the photo on the right, I am channeling beer history…Actually, the movie Viva Zapata was filmed here in 1952, using lots of these old buildings as a backdrop…Remember that movie? It had Anthony Quinn and Marlon Brando in it….Oh yeah, I forget that McGuyver and I are pretty old…

You can see how the grass has overgrown this unique building…Look at that ironwork! …And would ya look at that Iron man!! …Smile

  There isn’t really much to do in Roma….There used to be an old suspension bridge that you crossed into the Mexican town of Miguel Ale’man.  They built a new one right next to the old one, so now the old one is not used (but I’m sure some people from across the border try to sneak in after dark).



The old bridge is on the left and the newer one is on the right. We crossed into Mexico.. only once…walked across.  For those of you who have crossed at Progresso, TX….this is NOTHING like it. The little town here across the Rio Grande has very few people on the streets…and we were the only “Gringos” over there.   You wouldn’t have known we were, not at with my Kodak hanging around my neck and Dennis in his baseball cap with an American flag embroidered on it…NOT TO MENTION OUR WHITE SNEAKERS!! Now keep in mind, this was in 2008, and it was  still considered fairly safe to cross at most of the border towns… McGuyver and I did a quick..(and I DO mean QUICK) walk up one street and down the other….and WE WERE OUTA THERE!! DIDN’T EVEN BUY ANY KAHLUA!

…..there was evidence of the past at almost every corner….



This was a neat old Catholic church that had this painting on it’s wall…It is the Calvary of Christ on the Rio Grande…The calvary were circuit riding priests who traveled through Texas spreading Christ’s word.  They established a headquarters in Brownsville in 1849, and a second headquarters in Roma in 1854…If you want to read more use this link.



Our campground was about 15 miles North of Roma, and we passed through Roma on our way to Rio Grande City every week to get groceries…Other than a random run to Church’s Chicken, we had never stopped to see what great history was there until that trip….As you probably know, I LOVE  history and was very happy we took the time to find the Spanish roots of this little town of Roma…



  1. Great blog and history of the town of Roma. Can't say I'd ever heard of it, but your pictures sure brought it to life in a fun way.

    Looks like those kids could just swim, or walk, across the Rio Grande without any trouble at all.

  2. Wonder what the area is like now, your tour was great, hopefully they have escaped the drug wars. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna....

  3. One of my greatest travel surprises was seeing the Rio Grande for the first time in Big Bend, Texas. It was near the campground & I thought it was a creek because it was so narrow. I have pictures of Max chasing sticks across the river. Had never heard of Roma before & it's really too bad what has happened along the border to all those little towns. Dam drugs!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Thanks for the tour of Roma. Sounds like one of those wonderful jewels you find along your travels of this fascinating country.

  5. That was a great story with pictures.I to wonder what it's like now.

  6. Those "suspender things" for binoculars are great for us older folks that tend to get birder's neck! I have a little trouble controling the bobbing up and down they do as you walk, though. Worse than bouncing boobs! :)

  7. thanks for the tour of 'Roma'! and the history lesson..have a great weekend..Cheers!!

  8. Never been anywhere in Texas other than San Antonio so this was all new to me. That was a great tour and really fun photos. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Loved your tourist description :) Even with your suntan, you'd never be mistaken for anything but a gringa! LOL!