World’s Smallest ‘Target Store’ in Marathon, Texas
If you’re going to be near Marathon, Texas (approx 7 hours south of Dallas), look for this tiny Target store! A former railroad structure, this art project is a sought-after photo-op for locals and visitors alike.
If you’re driving down the highway near Marathon, Texas and see that familiar “bullseye” in the distance, you might think you’re seeing a mirage and get a jolt of excitement. Fantasies of more “Dollar Spot” acquisitions and maybe even scoping out Joanna Gaines’ latest collaboration with the superstore, will surely fill your head. But hold your horses…what you’re likely seeing is the world’s smallest Target store (which isn’t actually a functioning store) which quietly “opened” in a former railroad structure along US 90 west of Marathon, Texas.
Sometime in early 2016, someone painted a bullseye and the word Target on the side of a former railroad structure. Considered an art installation – similar to the Prada store in Marfa – according to locals, the empty store carries little more than a beehive and the occasional rattlesnake. It’s still a mystery as to who is behind the inception of this latest tiny store art installation, as no artist has come forward to claim this project, and there’s no telling how long it will last. Currently, (like the Marfa Prada store) it’s become a sought-after photo-op for locals and visitors alike.
Marathon is an area of Texas that remains one of the most unpopulated parts of the state (the 2010 census counted only 1.5 people per square mile with a current population of 430). A peaceful, serene community under one of the darkest and starriest skies in the country, Marathon was founded in 1882 by Capt. Albion E. Shepard, a former sea captain, who said the surrounding terrain reminded him of the plains of Marathon, Greece.
Marathon, the second-largest town in Brewster County, is located on the Southern Pacific Railroad at the intersection of U.S. Highways 90 and 385, twenty-six miles southeast of Alpine in the northern part of the county. The town was founded when the Galveston, Harrisburg, and San Antonio Railway built across what was then part of Presidio County. A crew building east of El Paso reached the townsite in March 1882. At that time the area had already attracted a few settlers
Incidentally, it appears as though the closest legitimate Target to Marathon is in Odessa, Texas, which is more than a two-hour-long drive one-way, but there are plenty of other things to do in this part of the state that are more exciting than a visit to Target. Visit the Facebook page for Marathon to learn about events happening in that area.