Conoco Night showcases Tower Service Station in Shamrock, Texas, right on Route 66.
Originally built in 1936, this complex has gas, repair facilities, and a café, making it the perfect place to stop. It is of an unusual design featuring twin towers, which is unique to the entire length of Route 66. The towers gave it its name of Tower Service Station. It featured neon lighting throughout the station, art deco details, and glazed ceramic tiles. This station saw a tremendous amount of business and was the place to stop. The U-Drop Inn Cafe, in the same complex, became known for “delicious food courteously served.” The third building, originally designated as retail space, instead quickly became overflow seating because of the popularity of the café.
When the interstate passed north of the once busy intersection traffic no longer flowed by the station, and Tower Station began its long decline. In the 1970s, it became a FINA station, complete with FINA’s blue and white livery, where it continued until the 1990s. From there, the light was going out in Conoco Night,
The station has been restored, including its iconic glazed tiles, and once again it appears as it used to. Just like yesterday, you can see the glow of the towers at night for miles. And, just like yesterday, you feel a sense of awe as you drive up to it. In a lovely call to the past, a nearby modern-day Conoco station also sports the same overall design and neon lighting. The two stations now match which is a wonderful sight. You can now feel what it was like to fill your gas tank back in the day.
Driving away from Shamrock a last glance in the rearview mirror shows Conoco Night lighting up the nighttime sky. Even as we put the miles behind us we can still see the glow on the now-distant horizon.