San Angelo Named “Best of the West” by True West Magazine
The City of San Angelo, two local businesses, and a historic attraction were selected by the editors of True West magazine’s “Best of the West” January 2020 publication.
The city was named the “Best Place to Live Like an Old West Cowboy.”
According to Mayor Brenda Gunter, “San Angelo has a history of supporting and celebrating our great heritage. I am so proud that we have been recognized as a city with a western history. Our forefathers would be proud that their efforts and lives are being honored with this award.”
True West selected Fort Concho National Historic Landmark as the “Best Preserved Historic Fort of the West” for 2020.
Established by the United States Army in December of 1867, Fort Concho served Texas and the west for almost 22 years, commanded by such officers as Ranald MacKenzie and Benjamin Grierson. It served as headquarters for the 11th and 16th Infantries and the 4th and 10th Cavalry Regiments. All four regiments of the Buffalo Soldiers, the famed African-American troops of the frontier, called Fort Concho home. The post closed in 1889 when frontier settlement and better communication and transportation systems made many scattered forts unnecessary to secure the west.
Noted Fort Concho site manager Bob Bluthardt, “this honor reflects the dedication and hard work of generations of Fort Concho board, staff, and volunteers who have tirelessly worked to preserve and improve this site since the preservation efforts began in the late 1920s.” Fort Concho Museum Board President, Kathy Keane, also cited the San Angelo City Council, who recently approved several funding plans to re-roof most of the site and fix the exteriors of 16 buildings, work that began this fall and will continue for the next year.
Bluthardt noted that the fort staff have created a very diverse slate of programs, displays, and events for next year that will help share the fort’s legacy and that of our community and the American west with the thousands of guests who come to the site annually. “We appreciate this honor by True West,” said Bluthardt, “and we trust our future work on site will show we are worthy of this distinct recognition.”
Two businesses in downtown San Angelo were also recognized. Old Central Fire House Bed & Brew was awarded “Best Heritage Bed & Breakfast” and the Cactus Book Shop was named “Best Western History Book Store.”
Del Velasquez with Downtown San Angelo, Inc. stated, “San Angelo exemplifies the true west spirit though its history and its western culture. The proud western heritage that has existed since the city was founded is still alive and demonstrated through it’s “cowboy attitude!”
Diann Bayes, Vice President of the San Angelo Convention & Visitors Bureau, a Division of the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce, said “Our western heritage plays a significant role in the marketing of San Angelo to visitors and businesses. We offer an authentic view of the cowboy way in our community and it shows when visitors spend time in San Angelo. From Fort Concho to the San Angelo Stock Show & Rodeo, our western heritage shines through and we are so fortunate to have businesses who embrace that heritage like Old Central Fire House Bed & Brew and the Cactus Book Shop.”
True West magazine is a monthly publication started in 1953 and is headquartered in Cave Creek, Arizona. For more information on True West magazine, visit their website, www.truewestmagazine.com.
For more information about the fort, check the website at www.fortconcho.com.
For additional things to see and do in San Angelo, visit www.discoversanangelo.com