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Alpine

Trip Planner USA  /  Texas  /  Alpine
(4.4/5 based on 850+ reviews for 5 attractions)
Things to do: nature, museums, nightlife
Alpine is a city in and the county seat of Brewster County, Texas, United States. The population was 5,905 at the 2010 census. The town has an elevation of 4,475 feet, and the surrounding mountain peaks are over a mile high. The university, hospital, library, and retailing make Alpine the center of the sprawling (12,000 square miles) but wide open Big Bend area (combined population only 12,500) including Brewster, Presidio, and Jeff Davis counties.HistoryThe area had been a campsite for cattlemen tending their herds between 1878 and the spring of 1882, when a town of tents was created by railroad workers and their families. Because the section of the railroad was called Osborne, that was the name of the small community for a brief time. The railroad needed access to water from springs owned by brothers named Daniel and Thomas Murphy, so it entered into an agreement with the Murphys to change the name of the section and settlement to Murphyville in exchange for a contract to use the spring. In November 1883 the Murphys registered a plat for the town of Murphyville with the county clerk of Presidio County.The town's name was changed to Alpine on February 3, 1888, following a petition by its residents. At this time a description of the town mentioned a dozen houses, three saloons, a hotel and rooming house, a livery stable, a butcher shop, and a drugstore, which also housed the post office.Alpine grew very slowly until Sul Ross State Normal College (now Sul Ross State University) was opened in 1920. The development of Big Bend National Park in the 1930s and 40s further spurred further growth. The population was estimated at only 396 in 1904, but by 1927 it had risen to 3,000. The 1950 census reported Alpine's population at 5,256, and a high of approximately 6,200 was reached by 1976. In 1990 the population was down to 5,637. In 2000 the population grew modestly to 5,786 and 5,905 by 2010.
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