Marfa was founded in the early 1880s as a railroad water stop. The town was
named "Marfa" at the suggestion of the wife of a railroad executive.
Although some historians have hypothesized that the name came from a character
in Fyodor Dostoevsky novel The
, etymologist Barry Popik found that Marfa was
actually named after Marfa Strogoff, a character in the Jules Verne novel Michael Strogoff
. The town grew
quickly during the 1920s.
The Marfa Army Airfield served as