SMELTERTOWN, TEXAS. Smeltertown is an industrial area on Interstate Highway 10, U. S. Highway 80, the Southern Pacific and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroads, and the east bank of the Rio Grande, just west of downtown El Paso in western El Paso County. The community came into being with the construction in 1887 of the Kansas City Consolidated Smelting and Refining Company (later the American Smelting and Refining Company, or ASARCOqv) copper and lead smelter, after which it was named. In the 1880s the Mexican employees of the smelter began building houses west of the smelter, beside the Rio Grande. San Rosalía Church, named after the Chihuahua town from which most of the first parishioners came, was built in 1891, and E. B. Jones School was established later. The church was later renamed San José del Río Grande, but burned in 1946 and was replaced by the San José de Cristo Rey Church. In 1938 the population of Smeltertown was estimated at 2,500; a post office was established the following year and closed four years later. In June 1945 the El Paso Herald-Post called attention to the poverty in Smeltertown, which included a cluster of small adobe dwellings with dirt floors and windows without glass.
Report this entry
More from the same community-collection
American Canal - P&H Shovel; view north. Photo taken on April 21, 1937 at 1:30pm.
American Canal - Northwest dragline excavator; view north. Photo taken on April 14, 1937 at 10:15am.
American Canal - Near Smelter under-pass; view west from hillside. Photo taken on March 31, 1937 at 10:20am.
American Dam. Photo taken on March 27, 1937 at 1:20pm.
American Dam; view from southeast. Photo taken on March 27, 1937 at 12:45pm.
American Dam; view from northeast. Photo taken on March 27, 1937 at 11:20am.
American Dam, site of smelter from Arroyo improvement; view E. of Rio Grande. March 22, 1937 at 4:25 p.m. El...
American Dam; panel No.6 , unit 3, ready for concrete view S. from , upstream dyke. March 30, 1937 at...
American Dam; building W. bank levee opp, W. abutment of Dom. March 29, 1937 at 4:00 p.m. El Paso, Texas.
American Dam; E. cofferdam. N. W. draqline ex carting unit 1. March 30,1937 at 8:30 a.m. El paso, Texas.
American canal; view N. from Sta. 93+00 ; p.8c H. shovel at Sta. 91+50
American Dam; view from hill on west side, at boundary line. El Paso, Texas March 31,1937 El Paso, Texas at...
American Dam; view from S. W. El Paso, Texas March 20, 1937 at 4:45 p.m.
American Canal; Excavatina inlet; El Paso, Texas March 20, 1937 at 2:00 p.m.
Note: 6-26-37, 1:41pm, El Paso, Texas; American Canal; sta. 69-82
Conduit sec. "B" View S. from 200' E. of...