The best reason to stop in Sonora, Texas isn’t even in town. It’s the Caverns of Sonora, eight miles away from town on I-10. Tours take about 2 hours, and since I was trying to make my way all the way across Texas in one day, I didn’t have enough time to spellunking. So, I settled with a visit to downtown Sonora.
Much like Rocksprings, down the road, downtown Sonora is built around a stately courthouse. The Sutton County Courthouse is perched on a small hill, overlooking the rest of downtown.
I discovered the doors to the courthouse were unlocked, so I passed through, on my way to see the rest of the town. As you explore, look for a pamphlet that points out Sonora’s historic downtown landmarks.
You’ll find the old Sutton County Jail in one corner of the courthouse square.
Behind the courthouse, you’ll see several historic homes, lined up on Prospect Street. Long ago, these homes were used as “Sunday Houses”. A Sunday House was a home used by ranchers on the one day a week that they came to town, instead of working.
There are several business to visit…
… as well as Bank Vault Park, a spruced-up alleyway between buildings.
Standing at Concho Avenue and Main Street, you get a good view of the entire downtown business district. In one of the buildings on the left is where the outlaw Will Carver was shot, in 1901. Carver rode with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, as well as other notorious wild-west bad guys. He was shot and killed by the Sheriff and his deputies, as they tried to arrest him for murder.