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Texas State Flag - Lone Star Legends IconTEXAS LEGENDS

Vega - Prairie Town in the Panhandle

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In 1879 this area of the Texas Panhandle was opened up for homesteading but, the first settler did not arrive until the fall of 1899. N.J. Whitfield purchased the future town site for $1.00 per acre and in 1903 sold a 100-foot strip across Oldham County to the Choctaw, Oklahoma, and Texas (later the Rock Island) Railroad as a right-of-way. Sitting in a vast prairie, the town was named for the Spanish word for Meadow. In the same year the town site was surveyed and the first store was opened by A.M. Miller.  

 

In 1904, Vega saw the arrival of a post office, the ever present saloon and a school, which doubled as a Masonic Lodge.

 

Vega Texas

Old downtown Vega, Texas Kathy Weiser, November, 2008.

This image available for photo prints & editorial downloads HERE!

 

 

 

In 1907, ranching brothers Pat and John Landergin purchased part of the LS Ranch, bringing in more settlers to the community. The next year the Landergins established a bank and when the railroad was completed in 1908, the town added a number of stores, two churches, a hotel and a blacksmith shop. Coming into its own, a newspaper called the Vega Sentinel was founded in March, 1909. Continuing to thrive, the Vega Sentinel proclaimed in 1914 of Vega:

HOME OF OPPORTUNITY -- VEGA HAS THE FOLLOWING BUSINESS PLACES

  Grandest Hotels in the County
  Largest Bank in County
Only Printing Office in County

 

In 1915 Vega won a five-year battle with nearby town of Tascosa for the rights of County Seat. The county business was, at first, conducted in the Oldham Hotel until a permanent courthouse could be built. It wasn’t until 1927 that the town finally incorporated. Just a few years later, on May 3, 1931, a fire leveled six of its downtown buildings west of the courthouse square. Unfortunately, another fire just two months later destroyed two more businesses north of the square and Vega got busy with establishing a formal water system within the town.

 

When Route 66 arrived, Vega began to really develop with tourist courts, gas stations, shops and services for the many travelers of the Mother Road.

 

Today, this small farm and ranching community of just under 1000 residents, continues to cater to travelers with several motels and great eating establishments. A drive down old Route 66 provides plenty of photo opportunities as you view the former glory of the Mother Road. Be sure to check out the old Magnolia Gas Station, which has now been restored by the City of Vega with the help of the National Parks Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program. Dating back to the early 1920s, it was the second service station built in the small town. Today, it provides a great picnic spot, a glimpse into simpler times, and wonderful photo opportunities.

 

Just across the street from the old Magnolia Station is the Roark Hardware Store -- the oldest operating hardware store on the Mother Road. A stop in here will make you feel as if you’re walking into a past time zone as you view a wide variety of farming implements, household supplies, gifts and toys.

 

Magnolia Station in Vega Texas

Vintage image of Magnolia Station

Magnolia Station, Vega, Texas

Today, the old Magnolia Station has been fully restored,

November, 2008, Kathy Weiser.

This image available for photo prints & editorial downloads HERE!

Just north of the old Magnolia Station is the Oldham County Courthouse at Main and US Highway 385. This 1915 building continues to serve as the county courthouse today. Over the years, a few changes have been made to the historic building including the removal of the original hipped roof in 1967, an addition to the north side, and an attached jail on the south side.

 

The oldest alignment of Route 66 through the area turns west from Highway 385 (north/south Main Street) onto West Main Street where Old Route 66 officially ends.

 

In earlier days, an unpaved Route 66 ran north of the old railroad grade from Vega to Adrian. Though, this old dirt road continues for a bit; it is no longer passable all the way. However, as you travel westward to Adrian, watch to the north for several  peeks at a lonely old concrete bridges still standing  on the grassy prairie. 

 

 

Continued Next Page

 

Roark's Hardware Store, Vega, Texas

Roark's Hardware is the oldest operating hardware store on the Mother Road,

November, 2008, Kathy Weiser.

This image available for photo prints & editorial downloads HERE!

 

Vega Texas Courthouse

Vintage photograph of Vega Courthouse

 

Oldham County, Texas Courthouse in Vega, Texas

The Oldham County Courthouse today, November, 2008, Kathy Weiser.

This image available for photo prints & editorial downloads HERE!

 

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From Legends' General Store

Route 66  SignsRoute 66 Signs - Dozens of great metal signs to decorate that office or den. Makes a great gift for Route 66 enthusiasts and car buffs. See them all HERE!

 Route 66 Main Street Tin Sign  Historic Route 66 Sign  America's Highway Route 66 Sign  Stop Off On Route 66 Sign

 

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