Aerial Tramway from Mexico to Texas
From 1915-1919, an aerial tramway spanned the desert landscape. Carrying zinc,
silver, and lead ore, the tramway started at the old Puerto Rico Mine above
Boquillas, Mexico, and terminated in the Ernst Valley, a six-mile-long journey.
Four 6-mile-long cables were strung between massive wooden towers and
could carry 90 buckets at a time, delivering 7 tons of ore per hour to the
discharge terminal in the Ernst Valley.
From the Ernst Valley terminus, it was an 85-mile wagon or
truck trip to the railhead in Marathon, Texas. Cables are still
visible on the ground across the road. A short trail behind
this exhibit leads to the foundations of the first tower on the
north side of the Rio Grande.