"Remember the Alamo Village!" might be the next rallying cry echoing across Texas.
Situated way out past San Antonio in the relative blip of Brackettville, the famous, 500-acre movie set was constructed by John Wayne for his 1960 paean to the Lone Star Republic, The Alamo. The site naturally features a replica of the Alamo, but the complex also includes pretty much anything else you'd need to shoot your standard Hollywood Western, from saloon to general store to blacksmith. Dozens of films and documentaries were shot onsite, and Alamo Village became a wonderful tourist trap, despite its relative remoteness. Now, after the 2009 death of owner Virginia Shahan and years in limbo, Alamo Village will host a liquidation sale of props and memorabilia from its collection at the end of the month.
Those interested have to register in advance if they want a chance to snag any number of wagons, canons, caskets, arrowheads, buggies, stage coaches, church pews, or even the hearse from cowboy shoot-em-up Barbarosa (1982). Joanie Sellers Edwards, the site's liquidator, tells Houstonia that nearly 1,000 people have RSVP'd to the sale from places as far as Utah, Kentucky, and beyond. She says plenty of the buyers tell her they visited Brackettville as children and hope to recapture some of that nostalgia.
"When we were all growing up, everyone would go to Six Flags or Astroworld, but this has been some very good vacation family time memories for a lot of the people coming back to Alamo Village," says Sellers Edwards.
As for village itself, future plans are not public, with a possible restoration on the horizon. But Sellers Edwards personally believes that people shouldn't expect it to last forever. These are movie sets, after all, and the construction can be about as flimsy as the plots of the Western movies filmed there.
"A lot of people are saying that it would be terrible to tear it down," says Sellers Edwards. "It’s actually tearing itself down and returning itself to dirt."
Alamo Village two-day liquidation sale. Jan. 27–28. Brackettville, Texas. More information at estatesales.org.