Alpine, Texas Community Guide 2017 - Page 13

Take a Shine TO ALPINE of the city, linking Murphy Avenue south of the railroad tracks, to Holland Avenue north of the tracks. Historic Murphy Street Historic Murphy Street has grown by leaps and bounds since revitalization began around 2007, according to Alpine historian, resident and unintentional business developer Betty Gaddis Yendo. At one time, Murphy Street was a major business artery, but over time, activity dwindled, Yendo said. In the mid-2000s, Yendo bought a little adobe house on the long-neglected Southside. “The Southside has the best views—Sul Ross to your right and the mountains to your left,” Yendo said. She became a cheerleader and developer of Murphy Avenue. Since the buildings wouldn’t qualify for bank loans, she also became banker, and offered 30-year loans with low interest rates to individuals who might want to start a business and restore the old structures. Since then, all the loans have been paid back in full, and business on Murphy has tripled. “I no longer own any of them, but I got so involved,” Yendo said, explaining her continued interest in the area. “Now I’m most interested in unification of both sides of the tracks,” Yendo continued. She envisions broad, cross-cultural participation in city celebrations, from Cinco de Mayo to Fiesta del Barrio and 4th of July, just a few of Alpine’s many festivals. Among the businesses sprouting up on Murphy Street are Alpine Farmers’ Market, a year-round open-air market open Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. until noon, across from Hotel Ritchey at the corner of 5th and Murphy Streets. The market has grown to include around 23 consistent vendors since it moved to the more visible market square, according to Mark Foster, manager along with wife Deborah Tout. Alpine used to have competing farmers’ markets at two locations, but as of October 2016, they united under one flag. “We’re now one big happy family,” announced Foster. Fresh vegetables, canned goods, pastries, breads, eggs, prepared foods, handmade items, and locally sourced organic meats are among the many offerings. There’s a play area for children, including a sandbox and concrete canvas for sidewalk- chalk drawings. Foster and Tout wanted to make the experience a social event in addition to a market. “It’s my high point of the week for socializing,” he said. Anchored at the other side of the business district is Cheshire Cat Antiques at 301 East Avenue E, and every second Saturday of the month, a rambling flea market sets up on the lawn. Craftsmakers and expert “pickers” set up wares for the approval of those passing by. There’s a little bit of everything in between Murphy and East Avenue E—gift shops, vintage clothing boutiques, a record store, a guitar store, coffee shops and restaurants, to name a few. And the growing list of art galleries is cementing Alpine’s reputation as a destination for art lovers. Visit Alpine and enjoy the fruits of this town’s growing grassroots movement of locals who invest their time, energy and enthusiasm on developing projects in the city center. Alpine’s 2016 Vision Plan can be found in its entirety at content/uploads/2016/09/Alpine-A-Vision-for-t he-Future-2016-sm.pdf. 2017-18 Community Guide & Chamber of Commerce Directory | alpine TEXAS 13