Title: Bob's Oil Well is Back ... Sort Of
Comments: Luther Bedford "Bob" Robertson built a service station on the edge of Matador in 1932 and soon added a wooden derrick to attract truckers. He later rebuilt the station around a steel derrick with lights climbing into the night sky. At the intersection of U.S. 70 and TX 70, Robertson's travelers' oasis was known as the best place to get a hamburger in the Panhandle. He enticed visitors with a zoo of rattlesnakes, bears, monkeys, coyotes, and a buffalo. The enterprise eventually included a grocery store, a garage, and a cafe made of stone and petrified wood.
Two weeks after Robertson died in 1947, the derrick fell in high winds. His widow restored the tower, but the business closed in the 1950s. Things deteriorated over the next few decades. Locals have taken to preserving what's left, which stands as one of the earliest examples of American roadside architecture.
Location: Matador, Texas
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