Sunday, November 12, 2006

Eat here and get gas

The little town of Shamrock, Texas was once a bustling little burg. In its heyday, Shamrock catered to the many travelers of Route 66. Its main avenue was rife with garages, filling stations, restaurants and tourist courts along with the residents and travelers that frequented those businesses.

Chief among the businesses in Shamrock was the combination Tower Gas Station and U Drop Inn diner. A prime example of 1930s art deco styling, it was described at the time of its opening as “the swankiest of swank eating places" and "the most up-to-date edifice of its kind on the U.S. Highway 66 between Oklahoma City and Amarillo." The distinctive building was a welcome sight to many travelers.

Nowadays, the main business area lies north of town where Interstate 40 passes by. You can fill your vehicle at a number of self-serve gas stations and catch a meal at any one of a number of fast food franchises, where the majority of customers are unaware of the existence of this architectural gem where travelers far from home used to get a home-cooked meal and an attendant would wash your windshield and check your oil while pumping gas at 34 cents per gallon.

While my wife and I stopped to take in the old main street, I took a number of shots of the colorful structure, a couple of them while standing in the middle of old Route 66, with very little danger of being struck by any vehicle.

Progress, I guess you call it.

Click on pictures to enlarge. Photographs © 2006 James Jordan.


Jose said...

The movie "Cars" show what you just described here. How sad that progress finished with so many little towns along the Route 66. I hope to one day cruise as many segments of as I can on my Harley.

James said...

jose, I highly recommend the trip. I had not seen the movie before the trip; in fact I just saw the DVD this weekend. They did an amazing job capturing the essense of old Route 66. One of the buildings in Radiator Springs was modeled after this building.