An El Paso Landmark – The McKelligon Canyon Amphitheatre: Who was McKelligon?
Cool Canyon Nights happens again tonight at the McKelligon Canyon Amphitheatre. Who was Mr. McKelligon? Maurice J. McKelligon was a rancher, land explorer, banker, ex-sheriff, and a local writer. Maurice came to El Paso in 1880, where he developed a drove of cattle, and improved a spring of water inside what is now called McKelligon Canyon. In 1880, El Paso had a population of 300 people, and no schools. Maurice later sold the land and a house to Pete Kern, which would later became Kern Place. Years later in 1931, El Paso County purchased McKelligon Canyon for 30 thousand dollars. The Amphitheatre was built and inaugurated on July 4th, 1976, to commemorate the U.S. Bicentennial.