“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Pharr in Hidalgo County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Historic Pharr

The Hub City of the Valley

Historic Pharr Marker - English side image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, January 27, 2021
1. Historic Pharr Marker - English side

Located on lands originally known in the 1600's as the Seno Mejicana, the City of Pharr was founded 1909, during a period of great social and economic transition in the Rio Grande Valley.

Amidst the explosive growth caused by the introduction of irrigation, the coming of the railroad, and the Mexicon revolution, the City incorporated in 1916, and become a hub for the confluence of Tejana, Anglo and Mejicano influences in the region.

Centrally located, Pharr played a key role as the agricultural frontier pushed into the brush and cattle country in the early 1900's to form a new fertile land dubbed the Magic Valley. As water from the Rio Grande was being diverted for irrigation, Pharr served as the headquarters for the Louisiana-Rio Grande Canal Company owned and operated by Pharr co-founders John C. Kelly and Henry N. Pharr. The company built the historic Hidalgo Pumphouse that initially irrigated 40,000 acres of land known as the Pharr-Kelly tract.

Pharr, served by two state highways and the St. Louis, Brownsville and Marico Railway Company, became a hub and a natural shipping center for the transport
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and the produce industries. By the early 1950's, Pharr was home to 22 processing and shipping plants including the Valley Fruit and Vegetable Company, the largest packing facility in the world.

Pharr is situated along a 43-mile corridor, U.S. Business 83, once known as the longest Main Street in America. The city's image as the Hub City was firmly established when the Texas Highway Department chose Pharr as its District 21 headquarters in 1932. The 13,869 sq. mile district is composed of ten counties and is larger than the District of Columbia, Delaware, Connecticut and Massachusetts combined. Since the early days, Pharr sat at the cross-roads of the two most important highways in the Valley: highways 4 and 66, known today as Memorial Highway U.S. 281 and U.S. Business 83, respectively. They intersect Pharr's historical Main Street district and are the basis for Hidalgo County's historical trails, making Pharr the region's historical hub as well.

Pharr is also a center for international trade. The city boasts the longest international bridge in the world and is the gateway to Latin America along U.S. 281. Pharr will be the terminus for Interstate Highway 69, the NAFTA Corridor, linking Mexico, the United States and Canada. As local tradition has it... All roads lead to Pharr, the Hub City of the Valley.
Los Caminos del Rio 2005

Historic Pharr Marker - Spanish side image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, January 27, 2021
2. Historic Pharr Marker - Spanish side
version on reverse side

Pharr Histórico: La Ciudad Eje del Valle del Río Bravo
Localizada en terrenos conocidos en el siglo XVI como la Costa del Seno Mexicano, la Ciudad de Pharr se fundó en 1909 en un período de gran transición social y económica en el Valle del Rio Bravo.

Por su ubicación céntrica, Pharr acquirió un papel clave a medida que la frontera agrícola se abría entre la maleza y el territorio ganadero formando una tierra fértil que luego se conocería como el Valle Mágico. Al utilizarse el Río Bravo en el riego de la zona, Pharr pronto se convirtió en eje de este proceso y pasó a ser sede de la Louisiana-Rio Grande Canal Company, empresa establecida por los mismos y fundadores de Pharr, John C. Kelly y Henry N. Pharr. La compañía construyó la histórica planta de riego de Hidalgo (i.e. the Hidalgo Pumphouse), que logró inicialmente irrigar 40,000 acres de tierra conocidos como el Pharr-Kelly Tract.

En medio de un crecimiento explosivo impulsado por la introducción del riego a gran escala y la llegada del ferrocarril al valle, ademâs de la Revolución Mexicana, Pharr se constituyó en municipio en 1916. En poco tiempo, la ciudad se convirtió en confluencia tricultural de los influencias Tejano, Anglo y Mexicana del Valle del Río Bravo.

Ubicada en el crucero de las dos únicas carreteras estatales del valla y conectada al país
Historic Pharr Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, January 27, 2021
3. Historic Pharr Marker
por la compañía ferroviaria St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway Co., Pharr se convirtió en eje y centro natural para el transporte de la industria de frutas y verduras. A principios de 1950, Pharr era ya la sede de 22 plantas procesadoras y empacadoras incluyendo la empresa Valley Fruit and Vegetable Co., cuya planta se convirtió en la más grande del mundo en 1958.

Pharr se sitúa a lo largo de un corredor de 43 millas, considerado como la Calle Principal (i.e. Main Street) más larga de E.U. La imagen de Pharr como Ciudad Eje se estableció firmemente cuando la Secretaría Vial de Texas designó a Pharr como sede del Distrito 21 en 1932. Este distrito de 13,869 millas cuadrados se compone de diez condados y su superficie es mas grande que el conjunto de los estados de Delaware, Connecticut y Massachusetts, y al Distrito de Columbia. Desde el principio, Pharr se ubicó en el cruce de las dos carreteras más importantes del sur de Texas: la 4 y la 66, conocidas hoy como U.S. Memorial Highway 281 y U.S. Businesses 83, respectivamente. Dichas carreteras cruzan el centro histórico de Pharr y son la base de los antiguos caminos del Condado de Hidalgo y el sur de Texas desde tiempos remotos. Pharr es entonces eje histórico por excelencia en la región.

Pharr as tambien eje del comercio internacional en la región. La ciudad posee el puente internacional más largo del mundo
The view of the Historic Pharr Marker from the road image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, January 27, 2021
4. The view of the Historic Pharr Marker from the road
y es el puerto de entrada a Latinoamérica por la carretera U.S. 281. Pharr será el terminal de la carretera federal I-69, parte del llamado Corredor NAFTA, que conectará a Mexico, Estados Unidos y Canadá. Así que, como se mantiene en la tradición local..."todos los caminos conducen a Pharr, la Ciudad Eje del Valle del Río Bravo."
Los Caminos del Rio 2005
Erected 2005 by City of Pharr.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureIndustry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1909.
Location. 26° 11.649′ N, 98° 11.057′ W. Marker is in Pharr, Texas, in Hidalgo County. Marker is on South Cage Boulevard, 0.1 miles south of Business U.S. 83, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Pharr TX 78577, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. City of Pharr (a few steps from this marker); Old Pharr City Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); Pharr Volunteer Fire Department (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Kiwanis Club of Pharr (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Pharr School (approx. 0.2 miles away); Buell School (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Pharr Riot (approx. 0.4 miles away); Guadalupe Cemetery (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pharr.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 2, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 1, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 179 times since then and 62 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 2, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 7, 2023