Which Texas And Oklahoma Towns Are Really Route 66 Ghost Towns?
I grew up and around Route 66. It's always been a part of my life, it seems. I've spent a lot of time flying up and down portions of the old Mother Road. So when I see lists of ghost towns on Route 66, I take an interest.
Reading through their list, I began to wonder...what actually counts as a ghost town on Route 66?
On Behalf Of Small Towns Everywhere...
A town is not a ghost town just because it has a very small population size. Take Warwick, Oklahoma for instance.
Warwick hosts the Seaba Station Motorcycle Museum. There's also the church in Warwick. It doesn't look abandoned, neglected, or forgotten.
While it is true that Warwick is a shadow of its former self, I wouldn't go calling it a ghost town...yet. The around 100 to 150 people that call Warwick home might have something to say about it.
I recently saw someone claim that Foss, Oklahoma is a ghost town. Again, I have to disagree. It's a small town, and its population is minuscule compared to neighboring Elk City and Clinton.
That doesn't mean it's a ghost town. My grandfather ran the marina on Foss Lake for years. Foss even has its own fire department. Ghost towns don't have firefighters.
Which Towns Are Route 66 Ghost Towns
Texola gets brought up a lot. Texola is awfully close, but don't count her a ghost just yet. I actually know some people who live in Texola. There aren't many, but they're there.
One of the most interesting towns didn't leave much of a trace, if any, on Route 66. I'm talking about Benonine. It was a town that originally looked poised for greatness. Texola bid you farewell from Oklahoma, and Benonine welcomed you to Texas.
Unfortunately, there's barely anything left of Benonine to remind us all that she was ever there.
Glenrio is a good example. This legendary town along I-40 won the game when it came to dry counties and taxes. Half sat in Texas, the other in New Mexico; all for the most advantageous reasons.
The fun thing about Glenrio, is that there is a chance it will be returning to its former glory. Rumor mill has it that a group of investors has been coming up with plans to restore the once legendary stop along the Mother Road.
So what counts as a ghost town? I'm going to say anything that still has an active population, no matter how small, isn't technically a ghost town...yet. Ghost towns don't have active post offices, fire departments, churches, and yearly festivals.