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Texas Route 66

McLean
Uplift Capitol of the U.S.

Texas Route 66

 

Roadside Memories

McLean Today

Old road memories mingle with new ones on the way to McLean, Texas.

McLean got its start as a cattle loading site along the old Rock Island Railroad around 1900. It was incorporated in 1903 and boasted two banks, two livery stables, two wagon yards, two cafes, a post office, limber yard, newspaper, and furniture store. It was well on its way to becoming a major town on the Texas Panhandle.
The land for the townsite was donated by Alfred Rowe, and English rancher, who named it McLean after W. P McLean of the Railroad Commission. Rowe met a tragic death on the Titanic when he was returning to Texas after visiting his native England. .

McLean has lots left of Small Town America

Avalon Theater
The last picture was show was some time ago at
the old Avalon Theater.

The rich oil boom and the coming of Route 66 in 1927 insured McLean's growth for next few decades. In 1946 Jack Rittenhouse gives the population of McLean at 1,489. The completion of the Interstate in the 1970s redirected traffic from the McLean business district and brought the town to hard times. Today a drive down the main street of McLean is a drive back in time. There is much to see of old Route 66 yet in this Texas town. The Cactus Motel, and a beautifully restored Phillips 66 Station head the list of Route 66 attractions.

Restored Phillips Station in McLean

Restored Phillips Station in McLean

This restored Phillip's 66 Station offers a glimpse into another time along
Old Route 66 in McLean, Texas

 

The Devil's Rope & Old Route 66 Museum

One of the best Route 66 Museums along the old road is located here and is a "must stop" for the Route 66 fan. The Devils Rope/Route 66 Museum has the largest collection of barbed wire and old tools in the world right next to its wonderful Route 66 displays.

Delbert Trew Texas Historian
Delbert Trew & Barb Wire Bob

Uplift Town

One new addition to the museum is an old sign that was recently uncovered by a construction crew. On the sign McLean is proudly proclaimed the "Uplift Capitol of the World." Back in the golden era of Route 66 one of the major businesses of McLean was a bra manufacturing business. Evidently the town was quite proud of that business too. Today the Devils Rope/Route 66 Museum is housed in the very building that used to be the bra factory!

 

McLean ~ Alanreed Historical Museum

McLean Alanreed Museum McLean has a lot going for it. Route 66 attractions like the Avalon Theater, the restored Philip's 66 Station and the Devil's Rope and Old Route 66 Museum share their roadside attraction status with the McLean-Alanreed Historical Museum. This museum is located across the street from the Avalon Theater and features local McLean and Alanreed panhandle history. A stop at the museum will round out your day in McLean.
Alfred Rowe, an English rancher, donated the land for the township of McLean. Now here's McLean's Titanic connection: Alfred Rowe was on the Titanic when she struck an iceberg in 1912. He was returning to Texas after a visit in his native England. His tragic death has inspired the Titanic exhibit at the McLean-Alanreed Historical Museum.

Titanic Exhibit

 

Modern Route 66 Icons

Cactus Inn in McLean

Red River Steak House

Old Cactus Inn is still going strong

Red River Steak House uses the building that used to be the Reptile Ranch on Old Route 66.

 

Photographs Taken April, 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 Texas

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 Alanreed, Texas

To Shamrock, Texas

 

Select the Route 66 State to Visit

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