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Pecos in Reeves County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

The Pecos Cantaloupe

 
 
The Pecos Cantaloupe Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, October 25, 2012
1. The Pecos Cantaloupe Marker
Inscription. Nationally famed melon, originated in this city. Residents from 1880s grew melons in gardens, noting sun and soil imparted a distinctive flavor. Madison L. Todd (March 22, 1875-Sept. 10, 1967) and wife Julia (Jan. 30, 1880-Feb. 5, 1969) came here from east Texas and New Mexico. In 1917 Todd and partner, D.T. McKee, grew eight acres of melons, selling part of crop to dining cars of Texas & Pacific Railway, where Pecos cantaloupes first became popular and in wide demand. McKee soon quit business, but Todd remained a leader for 41 years.

Famed lecturer Helen Keller, Presidents Eisenhower and Johnson and many other distinguished persons have ordered and appreciated Pecos cantaloupes. Exclusive clubs in New York, Chicago, St. Louis and other cities are regular clients of Pecos growers.

Genuine Pecos cantaloupes begin ripening in July and continue on the market until late October. The varieties are the same as those grown in other areas. Climate, soil and special cultivation methods account for the distinctiveness of Pecos melons. 2,000 acres are now planted annually.

M.L. Todd was known in his later years as father
The Pecos Cantaloupe Marker (on the right) image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, October 25, 2012
2. The Pecos Cantaloupe Marker (on the right)
of the industry. He and his wife and family were leaders in civic and religious enterprises.
 
Erected 1970 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 5397.)
 
Location. 31° 25.658′ N, 103° 29.734′ W. Marker is in Pecos, Texas, in Reeves County. Marker is at the intersection of East 1st Street and South Cedar Street (U.S. 285), on the left when traveling west on East 1st Street. Touch for map. Marker is in front of West of the Pecos Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 120 East 1st Street, Pecos TX 79772, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Reeves County-Pecos, Texas (here, next to this marker); Orient Hotel (here, next to this marker); Spanish Explorers (here, next to this marker); Mrs. Lillie W. Cole (a few steps from this marker); Emigrants' Crossing (a few steps from this marker); George R. Reeves (approx. ¼ mile away); First Christian Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); First Baptist Church of Pecos City (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pecos.
 
Also see . . .
North American "cantaloupes" are actually a type of muskmelon image. Click for full size.
Courtesy USDA
3. North American "cantaloupes" are actually a type of muskmelon
 The Origins of the Pecos Cantaloupe Industry. “Patrons in the T&P Dining Cars were impressed with the look, texture, and taste of the breakfast cantaloupe they were served, and some asked where they were grown. The T&P graciously provided them with Granddad’s address, and some began to send in orders. Granddad saw a new way to make his business grow: specializing in shipments of Pecos melons to individuals. Shipments were made directly to their homes by Railway Express. As these shipments continued through the twenties, the word about ‘Pecos Cantaloupes’ began to spread and the small industry grew. More acres were planted, and other growers joined the business.” (Submitted on March 3, 2013, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.) 
 
Categories. Agriculture
 
The Pecos Cantaloupe Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, October 25, 2012
4. The Pecos Cantaloupe Marker
One of five markers in front of West of the Pecos Museum.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 21, 2012, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 609 times since then and 85 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 21, 2012, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.   3. submitted on March 3, 2013.   4. submitted on November 21, 2012, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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