Population: 4,087 (2010 Census)
Concho County, the northwestern-most county within the Central Texas Hills & Rivers Region, gets its name from the Concho River that flows through it. The river’s name, Spanish for “shell,” was derived from early Spanish explorers who traversed the area during the 17th century, finding large quantities of shells in its waters.
For thousands of years the county was inhabited by nomadic Indians, who found the Concho River to be an important food source. It was also on the banks of the Concho River that shamanistic ritual training was performed by Comanche Indian tribes. Approximately 1,500 pictographs were painted on limestone bluffs that overlook the Concho River.
In 1882 Comanche Indians were still active and raiding settlers in Concho County. Frederick Ede, of English descent, however, platted the town of Eden encouraging more settlers to establish in the area. Families from the East coast, Midwest and throughout Europe came to Concho County during the 19th century, drawn by the romance of the undiscovered American west and the lure of land. Agriculture and livestock reigned, with Concho County being the largest sheep and wool producing county in the United States up until 1988.
The county straddles the northern edge of the Edwards Plateau and features two major rivers: the Concho River and Colorado River, which forms the northeast county line. Concho County’s elevation ranges from 1,600 feet to 2,100 feet above sea level. The two principal cities in Concho County include:
Paint Rock (pop. 273 - 2010 Census) is the county seat (US Highway 83) and approximately 30 miles east of San Angelo and 150 miles northwest of Austin. Some of the most noted Indian pictographs in the state are found at Paint Rock Excursions. Visitors can see approximately 1,500 markings by Comanche Indians and other nomadic groups who originally occupied the area. Other activities in Paint Rock include Ingrid’s Custom Hand-Woven, Inc., where 100% sheep’s wool rugs and saddle blankets are made.
Eden (pop. 2,766 - 2010 Census) is 17 miles east of the geodetic center of the state. It is home to the Don Freeman Memorial Museum, which details a time line of the county’s development, from early Native American settlements through the present; a large portion of the museum is devoted to Eden’s military heroes, highlighting General Ira C. Eaker, inventor of the 'artificial horizon'.
Other Concho County communities are Millersview in the East, Eola in the West, and Lowake (the smallest) is located in the Northwest.
THINGS TO DO:
Paint Rock Excursions: An estimated 1,500 Indian pictographs were painted by Comanche Indian tribes just North of the Concho River, on Paint Rock Ranch. Tours by appointment. Paint Rock. (325)732-4376.
Don Freeman Memorial Museum: County history museum that interprets Concho County’s development from Native American days and agricultural pursuits to pioneer families and county’s military veterans. Eden. Open Saturday and Sunday only. (325)869-8803.
Barrow Museum: The Earnest and Dorthy Barrow Foundation Museum is located East of Eola, on FM 765, Open Friday - Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday 1p.m. - 5 p.m. CLOSED HOLIDAYS - P. O. Box 607, Eola, TX 76937 - (325) 469-3361
Comanche Spring Game Ranch: 5,400 acres of year-round exotic trophy hunting. Eden. (325) 869-3221.
Concho Springs Golf Course: Nine holes overlooking scenic Brady Creek, Eden
Seifert Cellars & Wild West Vines: Started in 2005 as a dream to grow quality grapes and produce quality wine in the Concho Valley region of West Texas, the winery's first plantings were of Lenoir Grapes, brought to Texas by Spanish Missionaries in the 1600's. Come and experience their wide selection of award winning wines, Millersview, 325-234-7272.
Chaparral Ranch of Concho County
Dry Hollow Hideaway, seven miles west of Paint Rock
Duck Creek School House, Paint Rock
Hardin Creek RV Park, Eden
Lipan Ranch, Paint Rock
Paint Rock Cabins, Enjoy a weekend gettaway to central west Texas. 2 - 6 person cabins available. Daily or seasonal leases. Choose from two rustic cabins with all the amenities of home. All bed linens and towels furnished. Kitchens fully equipped, with all kitchenware. Great fishin is available within 12 miles, at Lake Ivie and if you're in the mood for some of the best steak, Lowake's Steak House is a short drive away. Call Ben or Reita Bowman (325) 365-2668 for more information.
Peach Tree Guest Haus, Located in downtown Eden, just across the street from the beautiful park and gazebo, Peach Tree Guest Haus is artistically decorated and outfitted with well-chosen art and furnishings. Accomodations to sleep up to eight wth two bedrooms - one with two queen beds and one with two full beds. Teh Guest Haus is air-conditioned and has cable television, DVD player, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, exquisite linens and plush towels. The large walk-in shower is separate from the bathroom. A kitchenette equipped with a microwave, refrigerator, sink, dishes and a coffee & tea bar allows for dining en suite. A quaint privately fenced courtyard is located out back and is set for grilling and outside dining. Covered parking is available just beyond the rear courtyard. High speed Internet access is available a few steps down the street at the library. Smoke Free. Quiet, mature clientele preferred. Private, European style of accomodation, a perfect combination of the elegance and charm of a bed and breakfast with the privacy and comfort of your own home.
Ranchero RV Park, Eden
Slumber Inn, Eden
The Foreman's House, Millersview
The Eden Flower Shop, gifts and interior décor, Eden
The Fig Leaf, resale shop, Eden
Hoffman Mesquite Mill, Paint Rock
Ingrid’s Hand Woven Rugs, Paint Rock
Kiser Iron Works, custom metal work/art, Paint Rock
Schumann’s, women's boutique, Eden
Venison World, wild game meats and related gift items, Eden
Chuy's BBQ, Eden
City Limits, Eden
Dairy Queen, Eden
Lowake Steak House, Lowake
Morocco Cafe, Eden
Sonic Drive-In, Eden
Spring Stampede & Adam's Rib Cook-Off, Eden
Summer Solstice at Paint Rock Excursions
July 4th Fireworks, Paint Rock and Eden
Fall Fest Celebration and World Class Bull Ride, Eden
Concho County Hunters' Appreciation lunch, Paint Rock (First Saturday of November)
Camouflage Cotillion, Eden
Christmas on the Square, Eden
Winter Solstice at Paint Rock Excursions