The town grew from a wayfaring stop on the historic Bankhead Highway and Old Spanish Trail from San Antonio to California in the mid-1800s. It is still a primary road junction of I-10 (U.S. 80), U.S. 90 and Texas 54, and it is a hub to several state and national parks.
In a broad basin devoted to irrigated farming, it is surrounded by the Van Horn, Sierra Diablo and Apache mountains. Mining includes talc, sulfur and marble, plus undeveloped indications of copper, uranium and feldspar.
A popular stop for travelers, it also caters to longer-staying vacationers with its sunny climate, interesting mineral deposits, hunting for mule deer, pronghorn antelope and upland game birds.
John Madden, former colorful television football broadcaster, designated the Chuy's Restaurant in Van Horn as his "Haul of Fame." Just before Super Bowl weekend, he would name his "All-Madden Team." Plaques and photos of "All-Madden Team" inductees are hung in the restaurant. 1200 W. Business Loop 10.