city, Cameron county, southern Texas, U.S., 28 miles (45 km) northwest of Brownsville, with which it forms an industrial-agribusiness-port complex. Founded in the early 1900s and named after Harlingen, Netherlands, by its pioneer settler, Lon C. Hill, Sr., it became a station on the St. Louis, Brownsville, and Mexico (now Missouri Pacific) Railroad. The city, modern and well planned, is located in the centre of an intensively cultivated agricultural region. It has food-processing plants and is a major transport and distribution hub for cotton, citrus fruits, and vegetables of the lower Rio Grande valley. Port Harlingen, with a grain elevator, oil terminals, chemical plants, and other industries, is on the Arroyo Colorado Canal, a spur of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. Immediately south is Six Shooter Junction (a reconstructed frontier village); the Confederate Air Force Ghost Squadron and Museum, featuring historic combat aircraft, is at Rebel Field, 4 miles (6 km) northeast in Harlingen Industrial Air Park. The Rio Grande Valley Museum, including the restored Lon C. Hill home, contains documents and artifacts relating to the area's history. The Marine Military Academy (1963) is close by, as is the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, which harbours large numbers of migratory and resident birds. Inc. city, 1910. Pop. (1990) city, 48,735; Brownsville-Harlingen-San Benito MSA, 260,120; (2000) 57,564; Brownsville-Harlingen-San Benito MSA, 335,227.
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