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Oklahoma Route 66

Shadows of
Texola

Oklahoma Route 66

 

Welcome to Oklahoma If you are coming from the west out of Texas on old Route 66 this Historic Route 66 sign welcomes you to Oklahoma at the state line. Ahead is the small town of Texola. I'm not sure what it is but don't you think it is rather strange that the two Texas border towns - coming or going - into Texas on Route 66 are mere shadows of their former selves? Glen Rio at the western border and Texola at the eastern border are nothing more than ghost towns today. When the Interstate bypassed them they faded quickly.
      
If you are going west on Route 66 away from Texola you will see the Will Rogers Highway marker on the right just before you cross the state line into Texas. This is the most recent marker. I guess that there was one placed here back in 1952 by the Will Rogers Caravan. That marker mysteriously disappeared years ago.

Will Rogers Monument

         
This is the Place
         
At first glance Texola appears to be fading back away into the windswept prairies of western Oklahoma. But if you look closer you can see scattered residents here and there, a church and a bar that are still open. There are plenty of abandoned buildings though. I was quite impressed by all the photo opportunities here. Of course I’ve always been fond of ghost towns anyhow. Lonely buildings from another time seem to be a connection to a lost way of life. Here in Texola that would be Route 66. Each building conjures up stories of hope, of unrealized dreams, of heartbreak. I can't help but wonder who these people were that once lived, worked and played in Texola.

Texola Watering Hole

            
Texola Gas

Texola Business

          
Texola Ghost

Texola Downtown

          
Texola is over a hundred years old. The post office in Texola opened in 1901 and in 1910 the small territorial jail was built. When Route 66 came through it bypassed the business district of Texola, which is one block north. The old buildings attest to the fact that this once was quite an up and coming town. To me stone buildings indicate a sense of permanence. Route 66 kept the town alive with businesses that catered to the traveler. The abandoned gas stations and motor courts take one back to the days when America passed through this old town on the way to somewhere else.

Texola Jail

            

Texola Seniors 1939

A weather worn and chipped monument to the Texola senior class of 1939 rests up against the old stone jail. Hopefully they weren't part time residents of the jail. This old and almost forgotten monument records the names of some of the youth of that time that called Texola home. How many of these young seniors found themselves far away from home in just a few years time, fighting a terrible world war in the defense of freedom and humanity? More than that, how many returned? These were real people from a bypassed time in Texola. Names such as these put a truly human face to the abandoned and forlorn buildings down the road. Texola today is alive with its ghosts from the past.

 

Photographs Taken May 2003

Click on an area or city of Route 66 on the map below to take a cyber tour of that section of the  Mother Road

Travel Cyber Route 66 in Oklahoma

Go West on Route 66

NAVIGATION NOTE: Buckle up and hold on to your mouse! These pages are arranged like the map above, from the western state border to the eastern state border. I have set up this site as if you were traveling from EAST to WEST, much like the Joad family in The Grapes of Wrath. You can click on the Route 66 shields to "travel" the Mother Road in either direction though. Or you can select any shield below to take you to that specific state.

Go East on Route 66

To Texas
Route 66

To Erick
Redneck Capital

 

Select the Route 66 State to Visit

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