About Alanreed, Texas
Facts, Trivia and useful information
Elevation: 2,993 ft. (912 m). Population: 52 ( est. 2001).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).
Alanreed is located in Gray County, in the eastern region of the Texas Panhandle.
Paleo-Indian hunter gatherers lived in the Texas Panhandle 10,000 years ago. The Spanish explorers seeking for the gold of the mythical «Eldorado» met their descent, the buffalo hunting Comanche and Kiowa Indians. After some skirmishes and a war in the late 1870s, the Battle of McClellan Creek took place on November 8, 1874 a few miles north of what would later become Alanreed.
The Texas Panhandle covers a rectangular section of northern Texas. New Mexico borders it to the west and Oklahoma to the east.
Most of it is flat (High Plains), and it is quite a dry area which averages about 20 inches of rain annually (500 mm); however the Ogallala Aquifer supplies water for irrigation of the loamy, clayey, and calcareous soils of the plains.
The Indians were defeated and placed in reservations; the plains became available for settlement: by 1884, the Clarendon Land and Cattle Company was already selling lots of land in what would become Alanreed.
Alanreed's original name was Springtank or Springtown because it had a large water tank fed by a spring. It was also known as Prairie Dog Town because of the great amount of those animals in the area.
In 1886 a post office opened in Eldridge, a stage-coach stand a few miles north of what is now Alanreed. At that time the population of Gray was 58 inhabitants.
The Texola to Amarillo line of the Chicago, Rock Island and Northern Gulf Railway reached Alanreed in 1902. The town had been laid out by its engineers a year before. It was located on the crossing with the stage line from Mobeetie to Clarendon.
Alanreed. The Name
There are several versions: 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".
Eldridge post office moved to Alanreed in April 1902. In those days Alanreed was the largest town in the area and when Gray County was organized in 1902, it lost the county seat to Pampa by only two votes.
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.
Where to Stay in Alanreed
There is a motel next to the post office shown above. But the closest town with a pick of places to stay is neighboring Shamrock, 27 miles (43 km) east of Alanreed.
>> Book your Hotels in Shamrock
What is the Weather in Alanreed?
Weather widget for the town nearest Alanreed
The Panhandle area is relatively dry with a rainfall that averages 24 inches (618 mm) per year. The summers are quite hot (from June through September) with average high temperatures that exceed 90°F (30°C) and mean low temperatures of around 65°F (19°C).
The winter temperatures range from highs that average 50°F (10°C) and lows whose average are below freezing: 25°F (-4°C).
Snow: In this region it can snow during Fall and even Spring (from September to May), and the first snow usually falls during the first week of December). The high altitude causes greater snowfall than locations further east: 17” per year on average (with peaks of about 40”) - 43 to 102 cm.
Tornadoes. Texas, the Panhandle, and Alanreed lie within the "Tornado Alley", so there is a minimum risk of tornados. You can read more here: Tornadoes on Route 66.
Getting To Alanreed
Alanreed is the fourth town along I-40 and U.S. Route 66 after entering Texas from Oklahoma.
It is 42 miles (68 km) west of the Texas - Oklahoma state line.
Route 66 Map across Alanreed (Texas)
Display Alanreed Route 66 Map
Click Map will appear below
Above is the map with the alignment of U.S. 66 in Alanreed, the color key valid for Alanreed only is:
(for the other sections of Route 66, check the color code for the nearest town)
Pale Blue: Historic Route 66 alignment through Texas.
Blue is the old alignment into Amarillo or old alignments in Western TX
Black: Jericho Gap and other dirt segments.
Route 66's alignment in Texas: the Historic Route 66 through Alanreed
Route 66 across Texas
Click on the following link and see our overview of Route 66 across the state of Texas.
Below you will find full details on Old Route 66 in Alanreed.
Alanreed’s Route 66 Landmarks
The classic sights in town!
Sights in the town of Alanreed
Alanreed is a small "almost ghost town" on the south side of I-40. There are some scattered homes along the streets. There are three interesting landmarks in the town:
On the southwest corner of the crossing of TX-291 and TX-271. Half a mile east of Main St.
Historic Route 66 Marker: The Oldest Cemetery in Texas along Route 66.
Despite what the sign on the left side of the gate says, the cemetery association claims that the first burial took place in 1899 (Nancy Baker, wife of Rev. W. H. Baker).
It holds around 550 graves; among them is that of Roy Tripton, "murdered in cold blood" in May 1916.
See a photo of its entrance above
First Baptist Church
On W 2nd and 3rd Streets North side of the road. USGPS: 35.2124401,-100.7363503
Historic Route 66 Marker: Oldest church on Texas Route 66
This white building nestled between pine trees was built in 1904 and claims to be the oldest church along Route 66 in Texas.
66 Super Service Station
Corner of Main and 3rd Streets.Alanreed, TX.
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 we have not been able to verify the brand it sold back in the 1930s and 40s.
The corner 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.
Tours & Itineraries
Historic Route 66 in Alanreed
Above we describe the historic Route 66 alignment from Texola in Oklahoma to Glenrio on the Texas - New Mexico State line, as well as the Jericho Gap.
Petrified Wood Home
Just north of Alanreed is a house built in 1925 by a nurseryman Paul Bruce with petrified wood gathered from the remains of an ancient forest south of Alanreed.
The home has a castle-like appearance and eight rooms. It was built with petrified wood.
The house stands to this day at a spot known as "Hidden Valley Ranch" on McCellan Creek.
Texan towns (Glen Rose, Austin Huntville and Stephenville among others) employed petrified wood as a decorative building material in the late 1920s. The fad spread to Oklahoma and Louisiana, but originated in Texas.
Route 66 itinerary: Getting to Alanreed
From McLean to Conway, TX
Leave the center of McLean, 1st St. and Main (0 miles) and go west. At TX-273 (0.6 mi.) take a left turn along TX-273 and pass I-40 (Exit 142). Take the south service road of I-40 westwards (1.2 miles) turning right at County Rd. 26 (2.2 mi.) and a left to go west down South Frontage Road of I-40.
This service road then becomes TX-271 Loop W. at I-40 Exit 135 (8 miles), and enters the small town of Alanreed as its 3rd Street.
US 66 crosses its Main St. (8.6 mi.) -see the Vintage service station on the Southwestern corner.
Below is the itinerary west of Alanreed, all the way to Conway Texas.
Alanreed to Conway along Route 66
Leave the center and on the west side of the town (9 mi.), do not get on I-40; instead keep west along its south Frontage Rd. However, at Exit 132 of I-40 (12 miles), you must leave the old road as it ends further west after becoming a dirt surfaced road. This is where the famous Jericho Gap with sticky mud that made it difficult for travelers of the 1920s and early 1930s.
Head west along I-40 and leave at Exit 124 (19 mi.) to head south along TX-70 to visit the old Jericho Cemetery, a few miles southwest of the Exit.
You can remain on I-40 westbound and (22.4 miles) take the overpass at Exit 121 to drive weest along the south service road of I-40 to Groom.
At Exit 114 (30 mi.) I-40's Frontage Road becomes I-40BUS (see the Leaning Tower to the right); it goes into Groom, becoming its Front Street, and crossiing the town's Main St. (31.5 miles).
To the Northwest of the town, between I-40 and US 66 is the famous Cross, the road then meets the I-40 at Exit 110 (33.6 mi.).
Groom to Conway, TX
Stick to the south Frontage road heading west, pass the Exit 105 (39.2 miles); it is an overpass with CR-V on the south and FM-2880 on the north. It is also the site of the ghost town of Lark.
Further west (46.2 mi.) you will find CR-O on the north, leading to I-40's Exit 98 and TX-207 which goes straight ahead, westwards. Take it, this segment is the Historic US-66 (TX-207).
Just ahead, is another crossing (47.1 miles): here FM 2161 heads west, and is actually the old alignment of US-66, listed as a Historic Site. It takes you all the way to Amarillo. At the intersection is the small village of Conway.
If you head right along TX-207 towards I-40, you can visit (47.8 mi.) right beside Exit 96 (47.8 miles) the famous buried Volkswagens at the Buggy Farm.
Texas Road Safety
Keep updated and check the Road Information online: TxDOT Highway Conditions
Exit and entry ramps of I-40 do not intersect its service roads, they merge with them. Remember that those driving the on- and off-ramps have the right of way. All drivers along the I-40 Frontage Roads must yield to ramp to avoid collisions with those exiting I-40.
Alanreed Cemetery, www.cemeteries-of.-tx.com
H. Allen Anderson, "Alanreed, TX", Handbook of Texas Online. Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Texas Trade Review and Industrial Record, Vol. 23-24, 1918 pp 112
Texas Almanac & State Industrial Guide. A. H. Belo & Company, 1904
Banner image: Dead Man's Curve, Laguna New Mexico by Perla Eichenblat.