I grew up on Route 66. It always seems to have been a part of my life. I’ve spent a lot of time flying up and down parts of the old Mother Road. So when I see lists of ghost towns on Route 66, I’m interested.
As I perused their list, I began to wonder… what actually counts as a ghost town on Route 66?
Commissioned by small towns everywhere…
A city is not a ghost town just because it has a very small population. Take Warwick, Oklahoma, for example.
Warwick is home to the Seaba Station Motorcycle Museum. There is also the church in Warwick. It doesn’t look abandoned, neglected or forgotten.
While it’s true that Warwick is a shadow of its former self, I wouldn’t call it a ghost town… yet. The 100 to 150 people who call Warwick their home could say something about that.
I recently saw someone claim Foss, Oklahoma was a ghost town. Again I have to disagree. It’s a small city and its population is tiny compared to neighboring cities of Elk City and Clinton.
That doesn’t mean it’s a ghost town. My grandfather ran the marina at Foss Lake for years. Foss even has its own fire department. Ghost towns don’t have firefighters.
Which cities Are Route 66 ghost towns
Texola is brought up a lot. Texola is awfully close, but don’t count her as a ghost just yet. I actually know some people who live in Texola. There aren’t many, but they are there.
One of the most interesting cities has left little, if any, traces on Route 66. I’m talking about Benonine. It was a city that originally looked great. Texola said goodbye to Oklahoma and Benonine welcomed you to Texas.
Unfortunately, there is little left of Benonine to remind us all that she was ever there.
Glenrio is a good example. This legendary city off I-40 won the game when it came to dry counties and taxes. Half were in Texas, the other half in New Mexico; all for the most beneficial reasons.
The funny thing about Glenrio is that there is a chance to return to its former glory. Rumor has it that a group of investors have developed plans to restore the once iconic Mother Road stop.
So what counts as a ghost town? I will say that anything that still has an active population, no matter how small, isn’t technically a ghost town…yet. Ghost towns lack active post offices, fire departments, churches, and annual festivals.
Check out: 25 Must-See Sights on Route 66 from Tulsa to Glenrio
Route 66 is an iconic part of our culture. Here are 25 must-see attractions from Tulsa to Glrenrio.
Check out these photos of ghost towns on the High Plains
Ghost towns dot the landscape of the Texas Panhandle, Western Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma Panhandle. The best part? They are all accessible by car. Have a look for yourself.
Check out what Amarillo’s vintage Route 66 motels looked like then and now
The Mother Road’s heyday may be long gone, but would you believe there are still many of the old motels where many weary American families rested their heads during their interstate trips?
You won’t believe some of these are still standing, let alone alive and (wait for it…) kicking!