Population 800

Altitude 4,043


Historical evidence in the West Texas Chihuahuan Desert region indicates habitation for centuries prior to arrival of white men. Fort Pena established there 1879 to guard frontier against Indian uprisings; town developed 1882 with arrival of Texas and New Orleans railroad. Name suggested by sea captain who said the area reminded him of Marathon, Greece. Today the town on U.S. 90 at the junction with U.S. 385 is a tourist crossroads, a major gateway to Big Bend National Park, and a headquarters for vast ranching activities. Ft. Pena/Colorado County Park, locally known as "the post," 4 miles south of town, is surrounded by mountains: a popular place to picnic and swim.


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