A lpine was offi cially founded in 1882 , though cattlemen had been pitching tents alongside their herds there since the late 1870s . Located on a broad plateau between the Davis Mountains to the north and the Chisos Mountains to the south , the rich volcanic soils and strong water lent themselves to farming and ranching . It was initially called Osborne after the railroad section , but the best spring along the line belonged to the Murphy brothers . The railroad entered into an agreement with them to call the settlement Murphyville in exchange for control of the springs .
The Murphys registered a town plat with Presidio County in 1883 . By 1888 , the townspeople petitioned to change the name to Alpine ; when this change was affected , there were a dozen houses and a handful of businesses ( including no less than three saloons ) dotting the foothills of the Davis Mountains . When Brewster County was created in 1887 , Alpine was made the county seat .
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From its humble beginnings as a cluster of tents to its current status as the center of activity in the Big Bend region , much of Alpine history has been preserved rather than written over .
The Museum of the Big Bend , located on the campus of Sul Ross State University in Alpine , presents a variety of high quality exhibits each year and tells the compelling story of the Big Bend region of Texas and Mexico in our permanent display Big Bend Legacy .
Call or check our website for current hours of operation . Closed major holidays . Admission : $ 5 / person . Free for Museum members , children under 12 , and current SRSU students , faculty & staff . Free Parking .