Author Larry McMurtry described Lonesome Dove as a “dried-up little . . . town . . . far out in the chaparral flats, a heaven for snakes and horned toads . . . . There was not even a respectable shade tree within twenty or thirty miles.” Production designer Cary White wrote, “This part of Texas was poor country, the settings reflected their situation.” To draw the town for the use of everyone on the set, White said, “I studied nineteenth-century bird’s-eye views of farms, ranches and towns.” Bird’s-eye views remained a popular way to represent large spaces before the advent of photography. White continued, “Westerns are so much about place . . . and places where most people have never been.” In order to be as accurate as possible White said he used the Time-Life series of books The Old West and period photographs from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission for visual source material.