A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 26, 2011
Marfaite (inhabitant of Marfa)

"Marfaite” is the name of an inhabitant of Marfa, Texas. The name “Marfaite” has been cited in print since at least 1910.

An inhabitant of Marfa has also been called a “Marfan” (cited in print since at least 1933). Although “Marfaite” is older, “Marfan” is currently more popular.


Wikipedia: Marfa, Texas
Marfa is a town in the high desert of far West Texas in the Southwestern United States. Located between the Davis Mountains and Big Bend National Park, it is also the county seat of Presidio County. The population was 1,981 at the 2010 census.

Marfa was founded in the early 1880s as a railroad water stop, and grew quickly through the 1920s. Marfa Army Airfield (Fort D.A. Russell) was located east of the town during World War II and trained several thousand pilots before closing in 1945 (the abandoned site is still visible ten miles (16 km) east of the city). The base was also used as the training ground for many of the U.S. Army’s Chemical mortar battalions.

Despite its small size, today Marfa is a tourist destination. Attractions include the historical architecture and classic Texas town square, modern art at the Chinati Foundation and in galleries around town, and the Marfa lights.

Amateur etymologist Barry Popik has shown that Marfa is named after Marfa Strogoff, a character in the Jules Verne novel Michael Strogoff and its theatrical adaptation; the origin was reported in the Galveston Daily News on December 17, 1882, after the Marfa railroad station was established but before Marfa received a post office in 1883.

The Handbook of Texas states that the wife of a railroad executive reportedly suggested the name “Marfa” after reading the name in the Fyodor Dostoevsky novel The Brothers Karamazov.

The Portal to Texas History
18 March 1910, El Paso (TX) Herald, “Marfa Freight Shows Increase,” pg. 5, col. 4:
Uncle Hick O’Neal, an old time Marfaite, was here on a visit.

The Portal to Texas History
5 September 1910, El Paso (TX) Herald, pg. 4, col. 2:
MARFA SUNDAY SCHOOL
HOLDS A PICNIC THERE
Dance Given by the Young Men of the
Town; Marfaites Moving to Okla-
homa and Other Points.


The Portal to Texas History
8 January 1912, El Paso (TX) Herald, pg. 12, col. 1:
Marfaites never fail to avail themselves of an opportunity to visit the Pass City.

15 September 1922, Deming (NM) Headlight, “Visits Marfa After Five Years Absence,” pg. 4, col. 2:
Mr. Guyon is some booster for Deming and if some of his old Marfa friends don’t call him down we are afraid he will be carrying away with him several of our Marfaites.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Monday, December 26, 2011 • Permalink