On a wet morning in January, I attended the liquidation sale of Alamo Village. I spoke with Jamie Rains about her father, Happy Shahan, the visionary rancher who courted Hollywood studios to film in his drought-stricken corner of Texas. Shahan managed to lure John Wayne to Brackettville. It was on Shahan's ranch, that the Duke constructed his replica of the Alamo—the most expensive movie set ever built at the time. After Wayne's film crews left, the collection of Western buildings became a popular tourist attraction and served as the backdrop for at least a hundred other productions. But now sixty years later, Alamo Village is closed for good.
My dispatch from its final day: Texas Monthly