Built in 1936 on Route 66, Restored in 2004.
In the 1930’s, U.S. Highways 66 and 83 were completed through Shamrock. After these highways were completed, businesses sprouted all along them, specifically the Tower Service Station and U-Drop Inn Restaurant. This unique building was erected of brick and green glazed tile in 1936. The building and tower were designed by architect J. C. Berry of Pampa, Texas, and represented the art-deco style that was popular in the ‘20s and ‘30s. The building and tower were constructed by J. M. Tindall and R. C. Lewis, at a cost of $23,000. Mr. John Nunn conceived the idea for the building, and owned and operated the U-Drop Inn that was originally housed in the building.
The Tower Service Station was originally owned and operated by W.C. Tennison, and was located in the other half of the building. Around Shamrock, the story goes that when J.M. Tindall decided to build the service station, he used a design originally drawn by his friend, John Nunn, who picked up an old nail and scratched out the plans for the building in the dirt. The local newspaper said that it was “the swankiest of swank eating places” and was “the most up-to-date edifice of its kind on U.S. Highway 66 between Oklahoma City and Amarillo.”
The U-Drop Inn, where “delicious food was courteously served” became the standard, and was a welcoming sight to highway travelers and the many buses that pulled in at the diner. This building is located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 83 and Historic Route 66 in Shamrock, Wheeler County, Texas.
We believe the Tower Station and U-Drop Inn to be one of the most interesting and eye-catching points of interest along Historic Route 66. It is photographed by interested tourists daily. It is not at all uncommon for people to stop and say that they ate in the cafe 20, 30, 40 — even 50 years ago.
Today, the building is owned by the City of Shamrock. The building has and continues to generate interest among many people who are interested in the history of our nation’s transportation heritage. In 2003-04, the building received a $1.7 million federal grant, in which the city was able to hire a firm specializing in historical renovation. The building has since been restored to its original glory and adapted into a museum, visitors’ center, gift shop, and the city’s Chamber of Commerce.