Front Street Books owner Jean Hardy-Pittman is originally from Houston but visited the Big Bend National Park as a kid in 1954. West Texas made such an impression on her that it never quite left her imagination.
Carrying her Brownie camera on that family vacation, Hardy-Pittman photographed the native plants, exotic to the native Houstonian. This would foreshadow the future journalist’s later endeavors and passions in photography of native plant life. Little did she know that the unforgettable scenery of the West Texas region would eventually be her home for good.
As fortune would have it, Sul Ross offered her the opportunity to study native plants, and she graduated with a Master’s degree in Biology. While working on her thesis, and after spending more time in Alpine, Hardy-Pittman recognized the need for a bookstore that catered to every genre and interest in the community.
She and her husband opened Front Street Books in 1995 in its current location, with a grand opening that featured Robert James Waller, the author best known for “The Bridges of Madison County.”