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 Texas : Features : Preservation :

Bob's Oil Derrick Service Station and Cafe
Matador, Texas

A Still-Standing Relic from the Golden Age of Roadside Attractions
Hwy 70 Outside of Roaring Springs
"You Can't Miss It."

Photos and Captions by Wes Reeves
Derrick atop Bob's Oil Well station in Matador, Texas
Derrick atop Bob's Oil Well station in Matador
Built of native stone and petrified wood, Bob's was once as well-known to intersate truckers as South Dakota's Wall Drugstore. Bob was WWI veteran Luther Bedford Robertson who opened the original station with a wooden derrick in the 1930s. Luther's dedication and flair for promotion (being the only station for miles didn't hurt) made his enterprise an outstanding success. He replaced the wooden derrick with a metal one and added a cafe, garage and grocery in the late 1930s.

"Bob" died in 1947 and while his widow attempted to keep it open, it closed in the 1950s. The station and cafe are currently undergoing restoration after being placed on the Texas endangered building list in 2004. A historical marker has been placed at the site and there are hopes of turning the old landmark into a visitor's center and museum.
Bob's Oil Well Cafe, Matador, Texas
Bob's Oil Well Cafe
Bob's Oil Well Cafe old neon sign, Matador, Texas
Closeup of neon sign, hammered by a blue norther past, at Bob's Oil Well Cafe
Matador, Texas - Bob's Oil Well Cafe  petrified wood wall
Bob's Oil Well Cafe back wall
"The station and neighboring cafe were built in the early 1930s by Bob Robertson, who was as much a showman as he was a businessman. Live rattlesnakes were kept in cages inside to the delight and horror of anyone who stopped by." - Wes Reeves, 2007
2007 photos copyright Wes Reeves

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This page last modified: June 9, 2007