Saturday, March 28, 2020

Small Towns in the Texas Panhandle: Chillicothe (Panhandle 2019-03)

28 Mar 2020 Coronavirus note

Dear Readers, the United States is undergoing an almost unique medical and leadership crisis. Over a century ago, we endured another pandemic, the flu. Read The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry to see how the world coped with the 1918-1919 influenza outbreak. This may have killed over 50 million people, many of whom were in India, where the total number of deaths will never be known.

I wrote these Texas articles several months ago. I will keep posting them with the hope that they help take your minds, if only temporarily, off the virus news. Conditions will get better.

Heading west in the Panhandle

Heading northwest out of Wichita Falls, you enter the big prairie country, with seemingly endless farms and lonely country farm roads. US 287 does pass through an occasional town, most of which, I assume, were built during the railroad era of the late-1800s.

Chillicothe looked interesting and I pulled off for a rest. It is in Hardeman County, Texas, and had a population of only 707 at the 2010 census. The BNSF trains thunder through town on a regular basis.
Full Stop! Was it possible? The Turquoise Coffee Shop at 901 S. 2nd Street. Nice place, friendly baristas, and good coffee.
These two lonely early-20th century commercial stores caught my eye. I wonder what they once sold? They are on FM (Farm-to-Market) 91, which leads north out to the fields beyond the railroad tracks.
Heading west out of town, I saw an old farm house bravely standing up to the elements. How sad.
Big farm country, Chillicothe, Texas (Moto G5 digital image)
The square photographs are from Kodak Tri-X 400 film, exposed with a Hasselblad 501CM camera. Praus Productions in Rochester, NY, developed the film in Xtol developer. The rectangle frame of the two square shops is Fuji Acros 100 film from a Yashica Electro 35CC camera.

In the next article, the journey west continues!


Mike said...

Nice results from taking the time to stop and really look at these small towns. I especially like the tones and textures in the old house shot.

Suzassippi said...

No luck on the buildings original purpose, but a few Chilicothe tidbits include and 1891 flood that saw 10 feet waters rush through town, drowning 4 men and destroying wheat; 1893, Chilicothe shipped 80 cars of wheat in the second week of June; 1899, the Chilicothe Grain Co. forfeited its charter for failure to pay the Franchise Tax; 1906, the Telephone Company was established; 1908, the railroad tracks were extended north from Crowell into Chilicothe, and only 17 more miles of track were needed to complete the line from Sweetwater to Kansas; and in 1918, the bank was closed due to insolvency resulting from the drought. It sounds like Chilicothe has had its share of hard times.

Unknown said...

I looked on some old Sanborn maps of 1921 and they show those two old storefronts as a hardware store (the south one)and a grocery. The map shows business buildings lining the street on both sides for the entire block. These two are pretty much what remains.