Route 66 Caravan

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Route 66 Caravan Road Log:
May 27, 2003


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Oklahoma!

Ghosts of Texola

Texola Will Rogers Monument

At first glance Texola appears to be a Route 66 ghost town. But if you look closer you can see scattered residents here and there, a church and bar that is 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. If you are going west on Route 66 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.
     

The sign on the one open bar in Texola is a classic. I think this says it all!

Texola, Oklahoma is the Place

        
Texola Jail 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.

Texola Route 66 Gas Station

 

Erick, Oklahoma: Redneck Capitol of the World

Erick, Oklahoma 1930s

Erick National Bank 1940s

 

Early scenes from Erick ~ notice the Meat Market in left photo.

  Sheb Whooly Ave. Erick, Oklahoma was founded in 1901 as a farming and ranching community. Later, oil and natural gas would influence the town. Hopes of a great natural gas boom petered out after W.W. II. and the town began its slow decline. Erick is another Route 66 town that has fallen on hard times. I noticed that the rather extensive main street, called Sheb Wooley Avenue, is lined with great old brick buildings, many now empty and silent.
      
  But Erick is by no means a ghost town. The old homes are well cared for, and there are modern businesses sprinkled throughout the downtown. There is a lot of history here in Erick. The town is proud of its native sons that made it big too. Erick is the home of Roger Miller, singer and songwriter, perhaps best known for his song "King of the Road." Sheb Wooley also hails from Erick. He played Pete Nolan on the old TV series "Rawhide" and wrote and sang the famous song "Purple People Eater."

Erick National Bank

      
Erick Street Sign Erick is a town that is on the verge of rebirth. With the resurgence of interest in Route 66, Erick is primed to take off as a destination Route 66 town. There’s a lot to see in Erick too.
      
Just one block south of Roger Miller Boulevard in Erick’s oldest building, the old City Meat Market, can be found the one and only Sand Hill Curiosity Shop run by Harley and Annabelle - the Mediocre Musicians.

Erick Meat Market

     

North Elm Gallery

Samuel Hagen, Photographer

Samuel Hagen has a dream! He is a Route 66 photographer that is working on making his place a destination for the Route 66 traveler. He owns the North Elm Gallery and is an extremely talented photographer. He moved an old one-room schoolhouse to his property just off Route 66 and restored it. It now showcases his personal work.
     
I met Samuel at the Sand Hills Curiosity Shop for the Hampton Roadside Attraction sign unveiling. The first time I saw him he was rolling around the street with his camera. First he was on his belly, then he rolled over on his back looking for that perfect shot. I figured he must be one heck of a photographer to do that.

North Elm School

     
When he invited the Route 66 Caravan over to his one-room schoolhouse my suspicions were confirmed. Let me tell you, his work is very good. Nothing would make him happier than to have Route 66 wanderers stop in at the North Elm Gallery and say hi. This is what I mean when I believe Erick is on the verge of many great things. With people like Harley and Annabelle, Samuel Hagen and others, Erick’s future is secure. You can check out Samuel’s web site at: http://www.samsphotography.com

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West 66
Previous Log
Go West down the Mother Road

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Follow the Route 66 Caravan
down the Mother Road ~
select the Route 66 direction
you would like to go.

East 66
The Sandhills Curiosity Shop
Go East on the Mother Road

 

 

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