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Erick

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The first Western town on Route 66

Erick, the hometown of Country Music celebrity Roger Miller, has the Roger Miller Museum in his honor and also the vintage West Winds Motel. See its 100th Meridian Museum, housed in its historic 1907 First National Bank building. This is the First "Western Town" of Route 66.

Erick OK

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About Erick, Oklahoma

Facts, Trivia and useful information

Elevation: 2,064 ft (629 m). Population: 1,052 (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).

Erick the second town in Oklahoma nearest the Texas state line, after Texola. It is located on old Route 66 in Beckham county.

Erick "past and present", a vintage Route 66 Service Station shielding a modern car. Erick, Oklahoma

Vintage Route 66 Service Station in Erick, Oklahoma
Vintage Service Station in Erick OK.; see its Map and Street View
A. Whittall

This was open country with few trees and little rainfall, farmers were not keen on the area until it was opened to settlement and the railway arrived allowing produce to be shipped to distant markets (1902).

Prior to that the area south of the North Fork of the Red River had been claimed by Texas, until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1896 that it was part of the Choctaw Nation in the Oklahoma Territory, where it became Greer County.

The post office opened in February 1900, and it was named DEnis, but it changed to Erick on November 16, 1901. The town was incorporated that same year.

Like most of the Route 66 towns in this part of Oklahoma, the town was developed by the Choctaw Townsite and Improvement Co., which purchased lots along the right of way of the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad line (later the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway) which was being built westwards towards the Pacific.

Erick, the name

It was named after Beeks Erick, the President of the Choctaw Townsite and Improvement Company, that laid down and developed the town of Erick.

The line reached the town in 1902 (in those days it was part of Greer County). At statehood in 1907, Erick became part of Beckham County.

It was initially a farming community producing cotton (it had cotton-gins) and cattle. Salt was extracted from the nearby salt springs. In 1926 Route 66 was aligned through the town at a time when oil was discovered causing a population boom (peaking at 2,231 residents in 1930).

The drought of the "Dust Bowl" caused farmers to fall on hard times with many residents migrating west to California. World War II saw traffic grow along Route 66 and motels and service stations sprung up to cater to the travelers' needs.

When local celebrity Roger Miller was asked by an interviewer what was Erick close to, Miller wryly replied "It's close to extinction"

At that time the local Chamber of Commerce printed a promotional brochure: "Erick is not a war spoiled town or just another boom town but a town with a half century of service".

Jack Rittenhouse in his 1946 Guide Book to Route 66 wrote that Erick was "the first town you encounter, going west, which has any of the true 'western' look, with its wide, sunbaked street, frequent horsemen, occasional side-walk awnings, and similar touches."

Route 66 was bypassed by I-40 in the 1970s, causing some loss of business to the town.

Where to Stay

Book your hotel near Erick

There are several hotels in nearby towns along Route 66

>> Book your Hotels in nearby Elk City, Sayre or Shamrock, Texas.

Lodging Near Erick along Route 66

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Book your Hotel along Route 66

>> There are RV campgrounds close to Erick.

Weather in Erick

This part of Oklahoma is a relatively dry region. The yearly rainfall is around 24.7 in (627 mm). Summers are hot but with lower temperature during the night which make them bearable.

May and June see most rain (4.1 and 3.7 in. - 104 and 94 mm).<(p>

The average high during summer is around 95.6°F (35.2°C) and in winter it is 50.7°F (10.4°C). The average low in summer is around 67.7°F (19.8°C) and in winter is 22.5°F (-5.3°C).

Snow: Snow falls in this region at any time between September and May (the first snowfall takes place usually, on the first week of December). Its altitude causes greater snowfall than locations further east: averaging 17” per year (with maximum values of about 40”) - 43 to 102 cm.

Tornado risk

Erick is located in Oklahoma's "Tornado Alley and experiences about 11 Tornado watches every year.

Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
 

Route 66 and Erick Oklahoma
Location of Erick, Route 66

Getting to Erick

Heading east from Erick down Route 66 are the towns of: Hext (7 mi.) -a ghost town, Sayre (16 mi.), Elk City (34 mi.) and Canute (40 mi.)

To the west, in Texas are the towns of: Shamrock (23 mi.), McLean (44 miles) and Amarillo (116 mi.).

Map of Erick and Route66

in Oklahoma.

Pale Blue: Historic Route 66 alignment; Red line: Interstate highways, where they overlap the old alignment.

The Black: line shows the 1926-1932 alignment from Bridgeport through Geary and Calumet.

  Click to See the Eastern Oklahoma alignment

See Route 66's alignment in Texas

Remove or restore State shading
 

Google Maps. Terms. Icons.

Route 66 itinerary to Erick

Route 66 logo

Route 66 in Oklahoma

Click to read the Full description of Route 66 across Oklahoma.

Below we give information on Route 66's 1926 alignment near Erick.

Erick, Oklahoma: Attractions & Sights

Things to Do and See

Erick, almost a Ghost Town, its Attractions

The first "Western town" on Route 66.

Town with a Country Music celeb (Roger Miller), and a museum in his honor. See the two historic landmarks,the West Winds Motel a vintage Route 66 place and the old 1907 First National Bank with its 100th Meridian Museum.

Historic sites in Erick

West Winds Motel

W 623 Roger Miller Blvd, Erick, OK. (NW corner of W Wade and Choctaw Ave.)

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The remains of a vintage 1940s Route 66 Motel.

Built after World War II, it was five blocks west of the main junction in town. It was built in Mission Revival style with stucco walls and metal roof sheeting shaped like red tiles.

It has two buildings and once sported a flashing neon sign with the hotel name pained beneath a bucking horse. The sign is still there.

Both buildings were located at right angles (south and east) with the owners house located on the west side giving it a "U" shape. It was probably built by Ralph Fails or Floyd Pamplin. The Pamplins operated it for many years.

See its Street View and location map.

There is a Ford panel truck (1946?) parked on the property.

A "Panel Truck" is a small delivery truck with a closed body. It has no windows in the cargo area.

The Town's Country Musicians

Two very popular Contry music performers lived in Erick: Sheb Wooley and Roger Miller. The town has named two streets after them.

Wooley was born in Erick in 1921 and was also a songwriter and actor. Miller though born in Texas grew up in Erick. More on Miller below.

First National Bank

101 S Main, Erick, OK. (NW corner of W Wade and Choctaw Ave.)

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

A historic building dating back to 1907 on the main corner of Erick. Houses a Museum.

The two story building was erected in 1907 and served as the town's bank, it also had a barber shop. The top floor was used for office space. A bank operated here until 1968. Now it houses the 100th Meridian Museum.

See its Street View and location map.

100th Meridian Museum

Corner of Roger Miller Blvd & Sheb Wooley Ave, Erick OK

A tribute to the 100th meridian, the border with Mexico first and later with Texas, with exhibits on life along the meridian from prehistoric days till early day Erick.

 

Roger Miller Museum

Corner of Roger Miller Blvd & Sheb Wooley Ave, Erick OK

A tribute to Roger Miller, collections that preserve and exhibit memorabilia of Millers life and accomplishments.

Wed. through Sat. 10 AM- 5 PM, Sun. 1 - 5 PM. www.rogermillermuseum.com. (580) 526-3833

Roger Miller (1936 - 1992)

Roger Dean Miller, Sr. Was an American songwriter, musician, singer and actor. His most recognized tunes included the chart-topping country-pop hits "King of the Road", "Dang Me" and "England Swings", all from the mid-1960s Nashville sound era. He acted in the Tony-award winning Broadway musical "Big River".

He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1995.

Tours & Itineraries

Nearby Route 66 Towns

Visit, to the east, the nearby towns of Erick, Hext, Sayre. To the west is Texola, the last town in Oklahoma along Route 66, and then comes Texas with Shamrock, Lela and McLean.

The Old alignment of Route 66 near Erick

Route 66 West of Sayre to Texola

1926 to 1928: Unpaved

The first alignment of Route 66 between 1926 and 1928 was a dirt road which was never paved. Between Sayre and Texola it ran further south than current OK-66. Below we detail its course from Sayre:

It headed straight south along "Old Route 66", which is west of what today is US 283 (4th St.). After modern I-40, It took BK 21 which merged (now it does not) with US Hwy. 283, southbound. This was the old Postal Route. At E 1270 Rd. it took a right, heading west, through the town of Delhi. At BK 15 it took a right nortwards and then a left along BKW which then becomes E1260 Rd. At N Sheb Wooley Ave. it took a right and then a left at 12th St., just to the south east of Erick.

It bypassed the town and kept west along E 1250 Rd. until reaching N 1680Rd. where it took a right and at E 1240 Rd (Modern OK-66), IT turned left into Texola.

See the Map of this 1926 - 28 alignment between Sayre and Texola.

The 1929 alignment

South of Sayre it curved west (where the modern Exit 20 of I-40 is placed) and headed west, now incorporated into the westbound lanes of I-40. It was paved with asphalt over a concrete base in 1929 for 4.7 miles west of Sayre.

After 3 miles, just east of Hext, it kept straight (modern I-40 curves to the SW) and it ran close to the railway tracks.

Remains of Route 66

The original Portland Concrete road paved in 1929 and 1930 can still be seen, abandoned, a few feet north of the modern road along this segment.

Erick

At modern Exit 11, it kept straight, to the south of what is now I-40. Passed through Erick along the Roger Miller Blvd and kept west, all the way to Texola.

The 1929 alignment entered Texola along current OK-66 (E 1240 Rd.), now a 4-lane road, but when it was built, it was a 2-lane highway. It was paved from Erick to Texola in 1931, with Portland concrete (an original segment can be seen on the south of the modern highway -see map). Later when the road was upgraded, the original paved segment became the westbound lanes east of Texola.

See the Map of 1929 alignment

Later upgrades

In 1958 the road was moved east, along Modern US 283 on 4th St. and used Carmichael Bridge (1958). The old road ends at the river.

West of Sayre it was upgraded to 4 lanes in 1956, the modern westbound lanes of I-40 are the old eastbound lanes of US 66. The "Hext" sector was upgraded to four lanes in 1955-56 by adding the estbound lanes to the original road. This section was bypassed by I-40 in 1975.

South of Exit 11, it became a 4-lane road in 1956 all the way to Texola. In 1975 I-40 bypassed it. And it was named Bus 40.

I-40 bypassed Sayre in 1970.

West of Texola, the road in 1926 followed the section line and zig zagged to avoid crossing the tracks (see map US 66 west of Texola).

National and State Parks

Black Kettle National Grassland

Located 42 miles northeast of of Erick (Map with directions).

Black Kettle National Grassland

Black Kettle National Grassland, Public Domain

OK-47 and OK-47A, Cheyenne, Oklahoma (see Map and Directions)

The Grassland spans around 30,000 acres of rolling hills, wetlands and prairies cut by serveral rivers and streams. Ideal for hicking, horseback riding, wildlife viewing.

There are deer, turkey, geese, coyotes and bobcats. It also has three lakes which are used for swimmng, fishing and watersports.

Free admission. More information Park Website, (580) 497-2143.

Lodging in nearby Sayre, Cheyenne and Elk City.

Sandy Sanders Wildlife Area

13.7 mi. south of Erick (Map with directions).

Covers almost 30,000 acres of rolling land to the north of Elm Fork of the Red River.

A place for hiking, birdwatching and hunting.

Website, (580) 471-3371.

Sources

Linda D. Wilson, Erick. Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, www.okhistory.org

Original artwork by A. Whittall based on Google Street View Imagery.

Image Used as per Google Street View Image Api Updated Dec. 31, 2014.

Image by Vítězslav Válka adapted under its CC BY-SA 3.0 CZ License

Map Icons by Nicolas Mollet under its CC BY SA 3.0 License