Val Verde Memorial Gardens

Hidalgo Co. Cemeteries of Tx

Submitted by Frances Isbell

With Permission  of Hidalgo Co. Historical Commission (2006)

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LOCATION: 2,5 miles north of the Expressway on Val Verde Road, Donna. Mailing address is PO Box 671, Donna, Texas, 78537.

SURVEY: Pending

HISTORY: Val Verde (Green Valley), two miles west of Donna on Business Highway 83, was a large farming and produce shipping complex in the 1920s. At one time, it was the Rio Grande Valley’s finest resort, developed by Mr. Henson. Henson was killed when his touring car ran into an unlighted buggy on the Reynosa Bridge.

Val Verde featured deluxe cottages and an Olympic-size swimming pool, where the rich and famous came to play. Movie stars Esther Williams, Dorothy Lamour and Bette Davis were among its visitors, as well as members of a Chicago syndicate.

As late as the 1960s, the pool was utilized by local families on a club basis (there were no municipal pools available). In time the pool cracked and deteriorated, and was filled in. Part of the recreation hall, some remodeled cottages, and the packing shed remain. The complex is now an RV Park.

Val Verde Memorial Gardens was founded in 1991, on 36 acres north of the Expressway. It is privately owned, by Danny Mills, and is non-denominational.