At first, I thought about a buzzard…
The Terlingua Ranch logo has this rabbit which looks like what you would see on a European coat of arms. Originally I sketched some ideas using various other critters that lived in the area around Terlingua and the Rio Grande River. Among the other critters that I tried on the first design was a buzzard, which was pretty neat. But then I thought, the jackrabbit is really more of a Texas critter…and the design just naturally developed. His ears have a classic look and he has fur up around his neck. Many people wonder why he’s holding up his right foot, but the reason is simple. He’s saying, “No more peppers in my chili please!!!”
The three feathers underneath the rabbit represent the three Indian tribes that populated the area prior to the days when cinnabar ore was mined to produce mercury. The three Indian tribes were the Kiowa, Apache, and Comanche. The tribes gathered in an area around the only source of water, now called Terlingua Creek, and while living together they developed one language. The name of the region comes from these three languages or “Tres Lingues”, later adapted as “Terlingua”.
Also on the logo is the sun, which I included primarily because it is so bloomin’ hot down there! Midday temperatures of 110º-115º are typical. I picked the color yellow because it just seemed appropriate for that area. Most areas down there are either bright earth colors or brown. In the upper left hand corner there is the date 1860. In the mid 1800’s, mercury or “quicksilver” mining made Terlingua a boom town. 1860 was the date of the first race ever held in the Terlingua area. That first race was between two mercury ore wagons pulled by 6 mules each and it was held on the road which is now the center of Terlingua. When I told that to Shelby he said, “Neale, that’s a hell of a story. Where did you find it? What book was it in?” And I said, “Shelby, I didn’t read that in a book. I made it up!”
~ Bill Neale