Big Bend Saddlery
2701 East Hwy 90 Alpine, Tx 79830
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 5:30 pm
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
A calaboose is, quite simply, a tiny jail. Designed to house prisoners only for a short time, a calaboose could be anything from an iron cage to a poured concrete blockhouse. Easily constructed and more affordable for small communities than a full-sized building, calabooses once dotted the rural landscape. Though a relic of a bygone era in law enforcement and no longer in use, many calabooses remain in communities throughout Texas, often hidden in plain sight.
In The Texas Calaboose and Other Forgotten Jails, William E. Moore has compiled the first guidebook to extant calabooses in Texas. He explores the history of the calaboose, including its construction, use, and eventual decline, but the heart of the book is in the alphabetically arranged photo tour of calabooses across the state. Each entry is accompanied by a vignette describing the unique features of the calaboose at hand, any infamous or otherwise memorable occupants, and the state of the calaboose at present. Most have been long abandoned, but because many remain on city or town property, some have been repurposed into storage buildings or even government offices.
In certain ways, these small jails encapsulate the history of outlying communities during a time of transition from the “Wild West” to the twentieth century. Some of the structures have been preserved and cared-for, but despite the stories they can tell, many more are endangered or have already been lost. This definitive guide to tiny Texas jails serves as a record of a unique and disappearing feature of our heritage.
Order with Confidence from Big Bend Saddlery. We make only top quality products from the best materials that money can buy. We stand behind all our products with a guarantee against defects in materials or workmanship. We want you to be 100% satisfied with any product you buy from Big Bend Saddlery. If not, simply return it to us for a credit, refund or exchange. Items eligible for returns must be received by to our store within 30 days and items must be new, unused and contain original product packaging and accessories. Some items are non-returnable such as CD's, DVD's, Video Tapes, Books, and Customized Items. Shipping charges will not be refunded unless we are at fault in shipping incorrect or damaged merchandise.
We stock or have access to many products not shown on our website, and would be happy to help you find anything that we can. We do custom leatherwork and custom silverwork.
As far as we can tell, our shop was opened in 1905. It was named for this area, the Big Bend Region of Texas, which got its name from the bend or turn made by the Rio Grande River just south of us. We are located in the Davis Mountains with the 800,000-acre Big Bend National Park to the south. We are a small shop located on the east side of Alpine, Texas with employees who feature personalized, friendly service. Let us help you any way we can.