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Shamrock - Oil Boom & Bust
What's left of
main street today, Kathy Weiser, June, 2010. Available for prints and
About 13 miles northwest of Depew,
sits the almost abandoned town of Shamrock. Once a booming oil town, with as many as 10,000 people, the town now sits
fading with only about 100 residents, crumbling foundations and long
The town began as a small farming hamlet with it first post
office established on July 9, 1910. Shamrock was named by the first postmaster, J.M.
Thomas, for his hometown in southern
By 1913, the town
supported two general stores, a restaurant and a population of 35
However, this all changed
when the Cushing Oil Field began to develop two years later. The
town site soon shifted to the southern edge of the oil field and
became a boomtown almost overnight. Nearby, numerous oilfield camps,
including Dropright, Gasright, Alright, Downright, Damright and Justright
sprung up in the vicinity.
When the new location for the town was
surveyed and platted, Shamrock
took on an Irish character with its Main street named Tipperary Road
and other streets taking on monikers such as Cork, Dublin, Ireland,
St. Patrick, and Killarney. Buildings were painted green and the
town acquired a Blarney stone. Its first newspaper was called
the Shamrock Brogue.
Cushing, some 15 miles to the northwest
really boomed as it soon supported 23 refineries and before long the
town of Drumright was formed just six miles north of Shamrock.
The Cushing field became one of the
greatest oil discoveries of the early 1900’s, producing 300,000
barrels a day by 1915. By 1919, the Cushing-Drumright area
accounted for 17 percent of U. S. and 3 percent of world production of
oil, becoming known as the "pipeline crossroads of the world."
oil boom days, the town was a rowdy one with a number of gambling
halls, saloons, brothels and tough individuals. At one time,
noted oil-field entertainer, Ruby Darby, performed in a Shamrock
pool hall, entertaining her guests by dancing on top of a pool table.
Shamrock began declining in
the mid-1920s as oil-field workers began to move on to new boomtowns.
Before long, stores, pool halls, hotels, and other businesses began to
close as the nearby oil-field camps were left deserted. Houses
were moved to new locations and business buildings stood closed up.
1930 the population of Shamrock
had decreased to about 700 persons. However, Shamrock
still supported a bank which was robbed by Pretty Boy Floyd in 1932. Floyd was also seen casing the
Bank from the town’s post office, though he never robbed it.
Old oil equipment still dots the area today,
Kathy Weiser, June, 2010. Available for prints and downloads
Though the Cushing oilfield continued to
produce massive amounts of oil, the production had been mostly automated
and the numbers of men were no longer needed.
Cumulative production in the Cushing oilfield exceeded 450,000,000 barrels
by the end of 1979.
Though the town is still called home to about
100 souls, many of its buildings sit decaying and vandalized. However, in
keeping with its old Irish customs, the town still sports an annual St. Patricks Day parade.
The town also continues to sport an open post office and a Grill &
Shamrock is six miles south of Drumright,
on highway 16. To access from
Route 66, travel approximately 3.5 miles west of
Depew, then turn right on Creek
County Road N3620 for about 9 miles before entering Shamrock.
of America, updated March, 2012.
Depew - Boom to Bust Town
Route 66 (main
Oklahoma Photo Print
Built in 1927, this abandoned
auto dealership is quickly succumbing to the brush, Kathy Weiser, June, 2010.
Available for prints and downloads
The closed Shamrock Museum building was once a
general store. Kathy Weiser, June, 2010. Available for prints and
An old gas station and cafe sit abandoned in
Shamrock today, Kathy Weiser, June, 2010. Available for prints and
From Legends' General Store
66 Books -
Legends of America and
Legends' General Store has collected a number of
Route 66 Books for our
enthusiasts. As great as
Route 66 is, if you aren't armed with a few good
tools on your journey, you'll miss great attractions, eateries, places to
stay, and wind up on the wrong path. To see this varied collection that
includes "how-to" books, travel guides, photograph books, attractions, and