Description - Magoffin Home State Historical Site is central El Paso, El Paso County. This 1.5 acre day use park was purchased jointly by the City of El Paso and the State of Texas in 1976. The site has been operated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife since its purchase.
Copyright: Texas State Parks & Historical Sites
Entrance, Magoffin Home - the largest part of the home was constructed in 1875 for Joseph Magoffin
The Magoffin Home, built in 1875 by pioneer Joseph Magoffin, is El Paso's only historic house museum. The nineteen room, adobe home is a prime example of Territorial style architecture, a style that developed in the southwest in the mid 1800s. The 1875 construction included a large central hallway, two parlors, a sitting room, two bedrooms, and a dining room. The kitchen was located in a separate building along with the carriage house and servants' quarters. Additions were made to the home from 1880 - 1900, eventually forming a "U" shape around a central patio.
Joseph Magoffin (1837-1923) was active in civic and political affairs during the turbulent period that saw El Paso emerge from a raw frontier town to a bustling commercial center. Among his public offices were Justice of the Peace, County Judge, and Federal Customs Inspector-Collector for the Port of El Paso. One of the incorporators of the City of El Paso in 1873, he was elected mayor of the city four times, 1881, 1883, 1897, and 1899. During his tenure in city government, virtually all the utility companies were started, the first schools and hospitals were built, and the fire department was established. Joseph was also president of the first street car company to operate in El Paso/Juarez and was founder and vice president of the first bank to open. The Magoffin Home was the social center of El Paso for many years. Elaborate dinner parties, receptions, dances, and concerts were frequently held at the home.
The park is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., 7 days a week year round. The site is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Days.
- The Magoffin home is filled with many original family furnishings and decorative arts. A Victorian style parlor suite with unique Mexican influence is showcased in the formal parlor. One bedroom is graced with the 13-foot-tall, half canopy bed and four matching pieces purchased at the 1884 New Orleans World's Fair. Portraits of family members hang in virtually every room, including an 1852 portrait of El Paso pioneer James Wiley Magoffin, Joseph's father, by Henry C. Pratt, an employee of the US Boundary Commission.
Guided tours provide information on the three generations of Magoffin's to occupy the home. Information is also provided on James Wiley Magoffin, trader and merchant on the Santa Fe and Chihuahua Trails and founder of Magoffinsville, which later became El Paso. A tour fee is charged. Group rates are also available.
Facilities: Continuing the social tradition, portions of the home are available for receptions, dinners and special events. Call the Park office for more information. The Casa Magoffin Companeros also manage the park gift shop that specializes in books on local and regional topics.
Nearby are Hueco Tanks State Historical Park; Franklin Mountains State Park, and the Cities of El Paso and Juarez, Mexico. El Paso features include Fort Bliss Museum, El Paso History Museum, El Paso Art Museum, Wilderness Park Museum, Chamizal National Monument, and El Paso Zoo. El Paso's lower valley includes Tigua Indian Reservation, Ysleta Mission, Socorro Mission, and San Elizario Chapel. Within a day's drive are Balmorhea, Davis Mountains, Monahans Sandhills, and Big Bend Ranch State Parks, and Fort Leaton State Historical Park; White Sands National Monument; Guadalupe Mountains National Park; Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation; Big Bend National Park; Fort Davis National Historic Site; Carlsbad Caverns National Park; and McDonald Observatory.
For more details, call the park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112.
Recreation - In addition to the guided tours of the home, the Casa Magoffin Companeros (Friends of the Magoffin Home) host several annual events at the home including a Victorian Tea in May and a Holiday Tea and Reception in December.
Climate - Magoffin Home State Historical Site is located at an elevation of 3762 feet. Temperatures within the park range from an average January minimum of 30 degrees and an average July maximum of 95 degrees. The average annual rainfall is 7.8 inches. Current weather conditions can vary from day to day. For more details, call the park or Park Information at 1-800-792-1112.
Located just east of the intersection of Octavia Street (named for Mrs. Magoffin) and Magoffin Avenue, the home is eight blocks east of downtown El Paso and south of I.H. 10. West bound traffic on I.H. 10 exit at Cotton Street and turn left. Follow the brown directional signs. East bound traffic should take the downtown exit to Kansas Street and follow the brown directional signs.