Then & Now
Harlingen, Texas was destined to become a crossroads from the moment Lon C. Hill placed his frontier town next to the St. Louis, Brownsville, and Mexico Railway track in 1904. Railroad crews had nicknamed the rugged settlement Six Shooter Junction before the train even arrived. At the center of fertile farmland laced with irrigation canals, Harlingen weathered bandit raids and floods to become an unrivaled agriculture shipping center by the 1920’s. World War II brought an aerial gunnery school followed in 1952 by Harlingen Air Force Base – whose property has since been redeveloped into Texas State Technical College, University Articulation Center, and Valley International Airport – the region’s largest and busiest airport. Today, Harlingen’s palms, parrots and picture-perfect subtropical climate welcome visitors to a fun-filled getaway. Enjoy year round golf and amazing bird watching. Go shopping at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, or in Jackson Street’s antique district. Visit the Iwo Jima Monument and Memorial – this stunning outdoor sculpture is on the grounds of Harlingen’s Marine Military Academy, and is the original from which the monument in Arlington, Virginia was cast. Explore the World Birding Center brimming with colorful Green Jays, wild Parakeets, and chattering Chachalacas – all this and much more, only minutes from the beaches of South Padre Island and the legendary Laguna Madre Bay.