As we entered the Texas panhandle last fall on our journey to New Mexico, our stomachs were growling as the noontime hour approached. So what’s a couple to do?
Using my handy dandy TripAdvisor App, I scoured the restaurant reviews for some recommended eating establishments. This action led us to the interesting town of Shamrock, Texas.
Cruising along old Route 66 towards downtown, our attention was drawn from hunger to some really cool old buildings, including the Tower Service Station and U-Drop Inn.
This unique building was erected of brick and green glazed tile in 1936. Architect J. C. Berry of Pampa, Texas did the design work, which represented the art-deco style that was popular in the ‘20s and ‘30s. Built in 1936 by J.M. Tindall, it was the brainchild of Mr. John Nunn. The story goes that he actually drew out his idea for this building in the dirt using an old rusty nail.
In spite of those humble beginnings, the local newspaper claimed that the U-Drop Inn was not only “the swankiest of swank eating places”, but also “the most up-to-date edifice of its kind on U.S. Highway 66 between Oklahoma City and Amarillo.”
The business changed hands several times, but finally closed its doors in 1997. Falling in disrepair, it was purchased by the First National Bank of Shamrock in 1999 and then donated to the city of Shamrock. In 2004, it was restored, and today, it houses the Chamber of Commerce, a museum, a small gift shop and visitor’s center.
The restored Magnolia Station is part of the Pioneer West Museum Complex.
It was closed the day we passed through, but that certainly didn’t negate its outward charm!
Shamrock was thus named by Irish immigrant George Nickel in an effort to bring his Texas community good luck. Soon after naming the town, however, his house burned to the ground, which seems quite unfortunate to me.
Hopefully, the “Shamrock” experience for residents and passersby is much more positive than poor Mr. Nickel’s. I know ours was!