April 2017 - Alanreed TX
Alanreed is a small village, almost a ghost town, and Historic Route 66 is its main thoroughfare.
As you drive into town there is a trailer park, Long Horn.
There are several versions of the name: one states that it was named after two managers of the railroad, Alan and Reed. Another says that it was the name of a contractor Alan & Reed. And yet another says that it was the name of a Negro employee of the railroad. What is a fact is that the 1902 County elections were held in the home of an Allen Reed. Some early 1900s publications mention it as two words "Alan Reed".
By 1907, the town boasted a bank, a hotel, two churches, a saloon, two grocery stores, a hardware store, a livery stable and a blacksmith shop. In 1912 a new two-story school was built and by 1917 the town had a population of 250 complete with telephone service. In 1927 with the Panhandle Oil Boom and the coming of the Mother Road, Alanreed was called home to some 500 residents.
The corner of Main and 3rd has a set of road signs signal the point where routes TX-271 and TX-291 which come from the east, split, with TX-291 turning north up Main St. towards I-40, and I-271 keeping straight, together with the "Old Route 66", both heading west.
At that time it shipped 500 boxcars per year, filled with fruit, mostly watermelon, to the east.
The oil boom in the mid-1920s led to the development of Pampa, Lefors and McLean but Alanreed did not benefit from it although its population peaked to 500 in 1927. The Dustbowl and Great Depression led to its decline.
The Postal highway linking Oklahoma City and Amarillo was Alanreed's Main Street and that led to U.S. Route 66 passing through the town.
During the 1930s and 40s, service stations and hotels were built along 3rd St., because the town was the last stop before the dreadful stretch of road crossing the Jericho Gap.
But after the mid-1950s, a slow downward spiral began, and when the last segment of I-40 was completed in August 1982, one mile east of the town, it sealed its fate. At that time the Rock Island abandoned its railroad but the post office still survives to this day.
First Baptist Church nestled between pine trees was built in 1904 and claims to be the oldest church along Route 66 in Texas.
Maintained by the Texas Historic Route 66 Association, the Bradley Kiser Super "66” Service Station, built in 1930, is a great photo opportunity. Next to the gas station is an unmarked brick automotive garage. Throughout this small community, a number of abandoned homes and buildings can be seen in various states of disrepair.
This restored vintage service station was set on the busiest corner in what was downtown Alanreed. It was built in 1930 for Bradley Kiser.
The restored building has two separate canopies, one facing north towards 3rd Avenue, the other east, towards Main Street. Each is supported by a central column. The building has a low Spanish style tile ceramic hip-roof.
It now has Texaco ® pumps, but that would not have been the brand it sold back in the 1930s and 40s.
John had to tell me what this was for...
On the side garage.