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Vega is a town of 930 people (2019) in the Texas Panhandle on the historic Route 66. It is home of the Oldham County Roundup, a small town rodeo held every August.



In 1879, the area was opened by the state for homesteading. The first settler, N.J. Whitfield, arrived in 1899. In 1903, Whitfield sold a 100-foot strip of land that extended across the southern part of Oldham County to the Choctaw, Oklahoma, and Texas (later Rock Island) Railroad as a right-of-way. He then sold portions of land on the south side of the right-of-way to other settlers. A.M. Miller and Howard Trigg surveyed the town site that eventually became Vega in 1903. The name Vega, which is Spanish for "meadow", was chosen because it reflected the vast prairie and surrounding countryside of the area. Soon after, Miller opened a store, and a post office, saloon, and a school that doubled as a Masonic Lodge were built in the community. In 1907, ranchers Patrick and John Landergin purchased a part of the LS Ranch from Swift & Company. Working in association with the Amarillo-based Pool Land Company, the Landergin brothers brought more prospective settlers to the community. The following year, they established a bank in Vega. When the railroad was completed, Vega began to thrive. There were several stores, a blacksmith, two churches, and a newspaper operating in the community by early 1909.

Modern amenities, such as telephone service, were introduced during the 1920s. In 1926, Route 66 was commissioned as a link from Chicago to Los Angeles and ran through Vega along the Old Ozark Trail. The arrival of Route 66 provided an economic boost for the community. The Route 66 heritage is honored by a restored Magnolia gasoline station next to the courthouse, which appears as it would have in the 1920s or 1930s. Route 66 was superseded by Interstate 40 in the 1960s.

Get in[edit]

Get around[edit]

You wouldn't be here if you didn't already have a car.


  • Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, 409 S Main St {Corner of Hwy 385 and Old Route 66). Dawn-Dusk. Early farming and ranching machinery and equipment. Free.
  • Magnolia Station, South of the courthouse on Hwy 385. Restored filling station that was built in the 1920s.
  • Oldham County Roundup. Rodeo with barbecue on the second Saturday of August.



  • Groneman's Service Center. An old-fashioned, full-service filling station.
  • Roark Hardware, 214 S Main St, +1 806 267-2102. The oldest hardware store still in operation on Route 66. Sells gifts and toys in addition to farming and household supplies





Boys Ranch[edit]

Tascosa is 25 miles (40 km) N of Vega on US385.

  • [dead link] Julian Bivins Museum, Old Tascosa Courthouse, Rt. 233, Boys Ranch (Main St. at US385), +1 806 372-2341, toll-free: +1-800-687-3722. M-Sa 8AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM. Old Tascosa (founded 1877, abandoned 1915-1939) was once a bustling population-600 cow town; the former seat of Oldham County, it became a ghost town after railways bypassed the community. Boys Ranch was built in 1939 on donated land (originally the 120-acre Julian Bivins ranch) to give troubled boys a "second chance for success." There are 30 group homes for 250 boys and girls and chapel services Su at 11AM. A wild west cemetery remains open on a hill overlooking the ranch. The old courthouse houses museum artefacts from local Native American and prehistoric eras, cowboy and pioneer items and covers the history of Boys Ranch.

Go next[edit]

Just to the east of Vega, and also to the west between Vega and the New Mexico border are a number of ghost towns and near-ghost towns which have Route 66 remnants.

  • Adrian is a tiny community 23 miles west on I-40/US66 which bills itself as the "midpoint of Route 66". There's a café, a souvenir shop, a small motel and a museum.
  • Glenrio, a ghost town divided by the Texas-New Mexico border and abandoned when a freeway bypassed the village in the 1970s. Remains include the First/Last Motel in Texas, dilapidated fuel stations, an abandoned café, water tower and a post office.
  • Wildorado and Bushland, both east of Vega have a few picturesque run-down cafés and gas stations from the Route 66 era.
Routes through Vega
TucumcariAdrian  W  E  AmarilloOklahoma City
Boise CityDalhart  N  S  HerefordOdessa
TucumcariAdrian  W  E  AmarilloOklahoma City

This city travel guide to Vega is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.