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  • Ute Buehler

ROUTE 66, Shamrock, Texas

It’s here, in Shamrock, TX where US 83 coming from the Texas Hill Country (or from the Canadian border in North Dakota) and Route 66 coming from Chicago, IL (or Santa Monica, CA) connect.

Shamrock’s claim to fame, as it turns out, is Shamrock Safari, one of the top deer and turkey hunting destinations of the Texas Panhandle. And that brings large numbers of tourists to town, especially in the Fall of the year.

Of course, we were looking for signs of Route 66, but only found a few like this old Art Deco gas station with its famous U-Drop Inn on the intersection of US 83 and Route 66. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. We also found a few very lovely and interesting murals like the one depicted above.

And how did Shamrock get its name? In 1890, the thriving community granted the opportunity to name the town to the Irish sheep rancher and postmaster George Nickel who wanted to hold the post office in his dugout home. And Shamrock it was, for good luck! The town had its name but this post office was never opened. It’s a longer story, nicely described in “Handbook of Texas” published by the Texas Historical Society.

The Texas Chili. Nothing has quite the feel of the Lone Star State like chili con carne (except maybe Frito pie! or briskets). Frito Pie was proclaimed the official state food in 1977. The question is, are beans allowed or are they strictly forbidden?

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