Decatur Travel Guide

  • ROLLING THRU DECATUR
    ROLLING THRU DECATUR
    by Rich62
  • GOOD BOOK HEADQUARTERS
    GOOD BOOK HEADQUARTERS
    by Rich62
  • The petrified wood gas station
    The petrified wood gas station
    by sswagner

Decatur Things to Do

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    Petrified wood gas station

    by etfromnc Updated Sep 1, 2010

    Petrified wood gas stationAfter opening a camp ground in 1927 and soon realizing that most of those campers would also be in the market for gasoline, E.F. Boydston built a gas station and cafe in 1929. Early in the '30s, he started building cabins to provide more comfort for his travellers. In 1935, he and his brother decided to really spruce things up by covering the building exteriors with chunks of petrified wood. The complex was a relatively successful endeavor into the '50s but the various components ceased operations in the next three decades. The gas station was the only one still in operation when I lived in nearby Azle in the 1980s, but even it closed in 1989. The cafe reopened as the Texas Cafe in 1992, shortly after I moved away from Texas and I have not been able to try it, although friends tell me that they serve a pretty good burger and outstanding apple pie.

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    The Waggoner Mansion

    by sswagner Written Feb 10, 2008

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    Also known as El Castile (the castle), the mansion is at the end of Main Street. It is a private residence, however the architecture is worth a look. It has a nice tower and other features that recall an earlier time when all houses were truly unique. This was buildt by a cattle baron. Driving into town, I could see that the house had a dominating position similar to the Wise County Courthouse.

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    Old gas pumps at the petrified wood gas station

    by sswagner Written Feb 10, 2008

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    This is a symbol of an earlier time when traveling by car was a fairly new novelty. To lure travelers to Decatur, a tourist camp was built. This included a gas station made from petrified wood, a cafe, and some cabins. It was believed that Bonnie and Clyde stayed in one of the cabins on the site. Now, the place sits empty. This is largely due to the main highway bypassing the road. Many towns declined once new highways were built that avoided the business districts. There are some relics to be found such as the old gas pumps and the cabins.

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    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Architecture

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