Panhandle Plains
2010 Census - 2,452
2000 Census - 2,589
Panhandle, Texas
Panhandle Texas History:
Panhandle was named Carson City and then Panhandle City before being renamed Panhandle. The post office was established in 1887 at the terminus of the terminus of the Southern Kansas (Panhandle & Santa Fe) Railway. The town was platted the next year. Within months the town was a commercial and shipping center for the area cattle ranches, and had a school, a mercantile store, a bank, wagon yard, three saloons and a newspaper. At times up to 65,000 head of cattle were in holding pens awaiting shipping. During the town’s early years, buffalo hides provided residents with an extra source of income. In 1888, Panhandle became the county seat of the newly organized Carson County. Panhandle incorporated in 1909 when it had 600 residents. During the 1920s, Panhandle benefited economically from area oil and natural gas fields. During these years the town installed a modern water and sewage system, paved the street, and established utilities. Because of all the spending, the city almost went bankrupt during the Great Depression. The city did not rid itself of the depression debt until 1965. The town continues to be a regional marketing and shipping center for wheat, cattle, and petroleum products. The White Deer Wind Farm is located on U.S. 60, 1 mile east of Panhandle. The Carson County Square House Museum in Pioneer Park on SH 207, is considered one of the nation's finest small museums. Panhandle is located at the intersection of SH 207 and U.S. 60, 17 miles north of Claude, 46.5 miles northeast of Canyon, 27.6 miles northeast of Amarillo, 64.5 miles southeast of Dumas, 35 miles southeast of Fritch, 34.6 miles south of Stinnett, 23.5 miles south of Borger, 74 miles southwest of Canadian, 65 miles southwest of Spearman, 50 miles southwest of Miami, 28 miles southwest of Pampa, 55 miles northwest of Mclean, and 47.5 miles northwest of Clarendon, Texas.
Texas Plains Trail Region:
The 52-county Texas Plains Trail Region includes the Texas Panhandle and Plains. It stretches from the Texas towns of Big Spring and Colorado City in the southern portion of the region, to Muleshoe and the New Mexico state border in the west, to Quanah and Knox City in the east, and to the top of the Texas Panhandle, from Dalhart in the west to Lipscomb in the east. The Texas Plains Trail Region organization is a nonprofit heritage tourism organization affiliated with the Texas Historical Commission. TPTR acts as an economic development initiative that helps Texas communities to promote their historic and cultural resources, and increase tourism to their areas. The organization helps promote travel to heritage destinations and historic sites. A name repeatedly mentioned in the history of West Texas is Cynthia Ann Parker, a young child captured during a raid on Fort Parker. She grew up among the Comanches, married Comanche chief Peta Nocona, and had three children, Pecos, Quanah and Prairie Flower. In 1860, a party of Texas Rangers led by Sul Ross, a future governor of Texas, rescued her and her infant daughter Prairie Flower; Charles Goodnight participated in this raid. Her son Quanah became famous as the last great war chief of the Comanche. One of TPTR’s most visible recent projects is the Quanah Parker Trail. When the project is completed, giant Quanah Parker arrow markers will have been installed in all 52 counties in the Texas Plains Trail Region. Some counties will have more than one installation. The arrows were created and donated by New Home, Texas, artist Charles Smith. As of early 2014, over 70 arrows had been installed in almost 50 counties. Each arrow will have a plaque giving pertinent historical information. (806) 747-1997. P.O. Box 88, Lubbock, Texas 79408. Email  Plains Trail Map
Carson County Courthouse, 1950:
This modern courthouse was designed by the firm of J. C. Berry, Kerr and Kerr; it has nice exterior detail. The 2010 Carson County census was 6,182. (806) 537-3622. 500 Main Street.
Historic Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Depot, 1928:
This beautiful depot was last used for passenger service in 1971. It now houses the Panhandle City Hall. 1 Main Street.
Carson County Square House Museum in Pioneer Park:
This museum is located in 14 buildings, including the 1880s Square House (a National Register Property), a replica dugout, a restored Eclipse windmill, ATSF caboose, a commercial exhibit, the Old Santa Fe Depot, and the 1912 Conway Church. Case exhibits and a full-sized diorama tell the story of the Texas Panhandle and its people, from mammoth hunters 12,000 years ago, through the Indian Wars, cattle ranches, and the coming of the railroad in the 19th century, to the oil boom of the 1920's and the region's part in the space program of today. There is a wildlife museum and two art galleries; works of local and area artists is displayed in the Square House. The museum offers permanent and rotating exhibits. Seven traveling exhibits are available for area schools. The popular Line Camp is available for youth ages 7-12; students may register for one or both weeks of this summer camp. The camp program combines interactive learning of community history, arts, crafts, and skills. In the past two years students have taken fieldtrips to area ranches, visited museums from surrounding communities, and had a cookout at Palo Duro Canyon.  (806) 537-3524. Open Mon-Sat, 9am-5pm; Sunday, 1-5pm. Admission is free; group tours are available by request. (806) 537-3524. The museum is located at 503 Elsie Avenue at the intersection of SH 207. Email
Groom Texas White Cross, Volkswagen Art & Leaning Water Tower:
Groom is well known for its 192 foot tall white cross that can be seen from 20 miles away. The cross was built in 1995 by Steve Thomas of Pampa, Texas. A beautiful stone patio at the base of the cross features steps leading up to the white cross and other crosses, a replica of Calvary and Christ’s tomb, the Stations of the Cross, and lift sized statues depicting events leading up to Christ’s crucifixion. This site is located on private property west of Groom, between IH-40 and the old Route 66. Ballinger, Texas features a 100 foot tall cross built in 1993. The Britton leaning water tower was designed with one leg shorter than the others. The Bug Ranch features Volkswagen frames partially buried in the ground in the same manner as the Cadillacs at Cadillac Ranch outside of Amarillo. Groom Map; Click to Enlarge  Groom Texas Area Map 
Volkswagen Slug Bug Ranch, Conway, Texas:
Five VW Beetles are spray painted and buried nose down much the same as the Cadillacs at Amarillo’s Cadillac Ranch. There is also a spray painted 1930s truck on the grounds. Bring your own spray paint. The Bug Ranch is located on IH-40. From Amarillo on Route 66, exit left onto FM 207 in Conway to IH-40. Conway is located on SH 207, approximately 10 miles south of Panhandle,30 miles southeast of Amarillo, 7 miles north of Claude, and 15 miles west of Groom, Texas.