Contrabando, Texas

Doesn’t this place look like it belongs in an old cowboy movie? That’s because it does! It’s an abandoned movie set known as “Contrabando” located right along the Rio Grande in Big Bend State Park, Texas.

(By the way, sorry for the lack of large size images lately. I have terrible internet and it is almost impossible to upload my blog posts and small images let alone large images.)

Contrabando Movie Set, Big Bend State Park, Texas

The set is probably best known for the 1996 movie “Lone Star,” a border town murder-mystery, and “Streets of Larado” in 1995. It was built in 1985 for the comedy “Uphill All The Way” and was also appeared in many other movies including “Rio Diablo,” “Dead Man’s Walk,” and “Journeyman.”

Contrabando Movie Set, Big Bend State Park, Texas

Big Bend State Park, Texas

This is the cantina where there was a shoot out in “Uphill All The Way.”
Contrabando Movie Set, Big Bend State Park, Texas

The church is nearest the river and you can see how flooding has marred the facade.
Contrabando Movie Set, Big Bend State Park, Texas

I really enjoyed photographing this fake ghost town, but the place where we stayed on the west side of Big Bend National Park is a real ghost town and I’ll show you some images from there tomorrow.

In the aging beagle saga…

Well Oscar is still coughing after a month and 3 vet visits. The last vet seemed to know what he was talking about and actually made him stop coughing for a whole 24 hours and gave me some cough suppressant for him for the time being. Now I have to take him to Phoenix today to get a very expensive ultrasound to find out what is really going on with his heart. It is so hard to know when they get this old whether getting tests and things is too much. But I can’t watch him cough himself to death. I want him to be comfortable at least. I know he is old (15.5) but I promised him I would take care of him for his whole life. Poor old guy.

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    • says

      Hi Sid, haha, did I have you fooled? Actually there are some places like this, my next post will be on a real ghost town. Not sure it will be ready tomorrow though, it might be wednesday.

  1. Kathy says

    Awwww, poor dog! I can relate. My son’s Yorkie is 11 and suddenly has started having seizures. They have been having a lot of tests run to diagnos why this suddenly began, to no avail. For now, she has to take an anti- convulsant med until/unless they figure out the cause. Best wishes Oscar!!

    Great photos, Anne. You take such clear pics. Could you share what kind of equipment you used for these, and what settings?

    • says

      Hi Kathy, Thanks for the best wishes for Oscar, I think he’s going to be ok! On these images I used my Canon 7D with my 24-105L lens. They were all fairly long exposures around 1/10 to .5 second on a tripod of course.

  2. Beate Dalbec says

    Cool, I never would have guessed this is just a movie set. And I hope Oscar will be feeling better soon! Poor old guy…

    • says

      Hi Toad, thank you so much for the compliment, I know these kind of historical stories are right up your alley – even when its kind of fake history! Oscar is doing much better now, I think all the well wishes worked.

  3. Gina says

    That’s something interesting. It is really like those creepy cowboy place with lots of cactus everywhere. Great shots anyway. Plus, sad to hear about Oscar’s condition. He’s lucky that he has you.


  1. […] Contrabando, Texas – a ghost-town is a ghost-town, even if it was built and used as a movie set.  This wonderful series of images as captured and shared here by Anne McKinnell takes us all on a journey back to the Wild Wild West.  Without all the gunplay. […]

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