GYP HILLS. The Gyp Hills are thirty miles northeast of Van Horn in south central Culberson County (with a center point of 31°20' N, 104°25' W). The range stretches, roughly in the shape of the letter T, for eight miles from east to west and six miles from north to south. The highest elevation in the hills rises 4,954 feet above sea level. The steep slopes of the hills are surfaced by shallow, stony soils that support creosote bush, cacti, and sparse grasses. In 1968 the Elcor Corporation announced plans to construct a $26 million plant, the first of its kind, in the Gyp Hills to recover sulfur from gypsum. The news was met with considerable excitement in Van Horn, where residents anticipated a major wave of prosperity. The Texas and Pacific Railway built a twenty-seven mile spur from San Martine in Reeves County to the Rock House plant. The plant, however, failed and was closed in November 1970.
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Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.