About Texola, Oklahoma
Facts, Trivia and useful information
Elevation: 2,146 ft (654 m). Population: 36 (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).
Texola is a town in Beckham county barely one mile east of the Texas state line. Its nickname is "Beerola" and its unofficial motto is "There is No Place Like Texola".
Old Bar & Diner in Texola, Oklahoma
Its location is very close to the 100th meridian, which marks the border between Texas and Oklahoma led to it being surveyed on eight different occasions, as the line moved back and forth. Finally the initial residents found themselves in Oklahoma.
The name: Texola
The townsite had two previous names before deciding on "Texola": Texoma and Texokla, all of them referring to its location barely 1 mile east of the Texas - Oklahoma state line.
As with most towns along Route 66 in this part of Oklahoma, the townsite was the outcome of the railway expansion westwards, into Texas. The Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad (later Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway) planned a new rail line west from Weatherford to Texola. It began construction in 1901 and it also set up a company (The Choctaw Town Site and Improvement Company) to plan and lay out towns along the tracks and sell lots to "Sooners" who were seeking a better life in the West.
A post office was established in 1901 and Its first postmaster was Reuben H. Grimes. At that time Texola was part of a very large Greer County and Sayre was part of Roger Mills Co. After Oklahoma's statehood in 1907, Greer and Roger Mills counties were reorganized and Beckham County was created.
Shortly after (1902), the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad line laid its tracks through Texola.
The rural area surrounding the station produced cotton which was processed at the local cotton gins. The town had a newspaper between 1902 and 1921. And population grew steadily.
Route 66 was aligned through the town in 1926 (5th Street), in those days it followed Oklahoma State Highway No. 3. The road was later paved and drew a growing flow of travelers. The Great Depression in the 1930s plus the Dust Bowl led to an exodus of dispossessed farmers from region (see Grapes of Wrath), this however helped the local economy unitl the early 1970s, when Interstate I-40 bypassed the town.
Population has dropped from a peak of 581 in 1930 to less than 50 after 1990, and now stands at 36; the place is Almost a Ghost Town.
Where to Stay
Book your hotel near Texola
There are several hotels in nearby towns along Route 66
Lodging Near Texola along Route 66
>> There is a RV campground in Texola.
This part of Oklahoma is a relatively dry region. The yearly rainfall is around 24 in (618 mm). Summers are hot but with lower temperature during the night which make them bearable.
The average high during summer is above 90°F (30°C) and the average low is around 65°F (19°C). During the winter the average temperature ranges between 50°F (10°C) and 25°F (-4°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.
Texola is located in Oklahoma's "Tornado Alley and experiences about 11 Tornado watches every year.
Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
Getting to Texola
Map of Route 66 through Texola Oklahoma
Display Texola Route 66 Map
Click Map will appear below
The map above shows US 66 alignment through Texola, the color key For Texola only is the following:
(for the other parts of the map, check the color key of the map of the corresponding city)
Pale Blue: Historic Route 66 alignment.
The Black: line shows the 1926-1932 alignment from Bridgeport through Geary and Calumet.
Route 66's alignment in Oklahoma: the Historic Route 66 through Texola
Route 66 in Oklahoma
Click to read the Full description of Route 66 across Oklahoma.
Read below for more information on Route 66's alignment in Texola.
Route 66 landmarks & attractions
Sights in Texola
We have a great description of Route 66 in Jack DeVere Rittenhouse's "A Guide Book to Highway 66" published in 1946. In it he wrote that Texola had "gas; cafes; no courts; limited facilities", its population was 337 and he described it as a "sun-baked small town" with "stores which truly savor of pioneer days".
Texola, almost a Ghost Town, its Attractions
Vintage and faded buildings...
In Texola, on 5th Street (Route 66) is the Magnolia Service Station, a Historic place. Don't miss its tiny Jail and take your time savor its "ghost town" flavor.
Historic sites in Texola
Magnolia Service Station
Grand Ave. and Route 66, Texola, OK. (NW corner of W Wade and Choctaw Ave.)
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
On the SW corner of Grand Ave. (the one that enters town from I-40 exit 1) and Route 66.
Magnolia gas station Texola, Oklahoma
The remains of a vintage 1930's Route 66 Service Station in Texola.
It was built around 1930 with a very simple design: "box and canopy" in which the office was a cube facing the filling bay which in turn was covered by a streamlined canopy that continued as one unit with the office.
It sold Magnolia brand fuel. It is also a departure from the "cottage" style seen in other gasoline filling stations, it reflects a more austere and modern design with Art Moderne lines in tone with the Great Depression.
It remained operational until the 1960s. Today it is an abandoned building.
4th St. and Main St.
Texola Jail, click for street view
This monolithic stone building was erected in 1910 with iron bars for door and windows to incarcerate the local ruffians.
Tours & Itineraries
Nearby Route 66 Towns
The Old alignment of Route 66 near 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.
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
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).
Linda D. Wilson, Texola. Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, www.okhistory.org
Banner is the Dead Man's Curve, Laguna, New Mexico; by Perla Eichenblat.