Alamo Village is located in Brackettville, Texas. The village was an active movie set and the first built in Texas. The set was constructed for The Alamo, the 1960 movie starring Wayne Richard, Farnkie Avalon and directed by John Wayne.
Construction of the range began in 1957 by James T. "Happy'' Shahan who Governor George W. Bush named the "Father of the Texas movie industry'. The set was built on his ranch for John Wayne who had tried for several years to make the move about the Battle of the Alamo only to be successful when he formed his own production company. Filming of the movie began in August 1959.
During construction of the set John Wayne ran out of money and construction was stopped. Shahan continued to work on the set while Wayne raised more money. This agreement was made if Wayne would allow Shahan to build full sets - four walls, floors and roof - rather then facades of the exterior of the building.
To build the set over 1.5 million adobe bricks were required along with 14 miles of gravel road and a 4,000 foot runway. The set was a full scale re-creation of the Alamo compound as it was in 1836 and a representation of the village, San Antonio de Bexar.
Once production of the film was finished, Shahan preserved the set so that more movies could be filmed on the set. Over 100 western movies, documentaries, music videos and commercials have been filmed at the site.
The primary use of the village has been as a tourist attraction. A cantina and restaurant, trading post, Indian store, church, jail, blacksmith shop, a celebrity gallery and the John Wayne Western Museum are also located at the village. A large collection of antique tools, period props and vehicles are on show for visitors. During the Labor Day weekend the village hosts the Labor Day Horse Races along with many live shows and performances throughout the summer.
Happy Shahan's widow, Virginia Shahan sold the village in 2004 for three million dollars. Virginia passed away in 2009 at the age of 93. The village closed temporarily while it was evaluated if keeping the village open was justifiable in the late 2000's recession.
The village re-opened in 2009 only for Tulisha Shahan Wardlaw, Happy and Virginia's daughter, to pass away in September 2009 at the age of 67. Unfortunately this meant the end of an era. The Alamo Village had to close its doors and their website has been removed from the web.
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