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SHAFTER LAKE, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
Andrews County, Texas Panhandle / West Texas

8 Miles NW of Andrews
About 39 Miles NW of Odessa
About 50 Miles NW of Midland
Population: 0

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The lake in  Shafter Lake Texas
Shafter Lake
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2008
History in a Pecan Shell

Originally named Salt Lake when it was developed at the turn of the (20th) century, it was later renamed to honor the man who had discovered it in 1875. Major General William Rufus Shafter was a veteran of the Civil War, Indian Wars and the Spanish-American War. Shafter died at his California Ranch in 1906.)

James T. Cumley, local editor, was Shafter Lake’s biggest booster. Cumley published glowing reports of the fledgling community in his newspaper and then sent copies out across the country, hoping to lure new residents.

The town was platted in 1907 and before the end of that year, there were an estimated 50 houses. A post office was granted that same year and a cemetery was established the next. Plans for a railroad connection never materialized, but nevertheless, Shafter Lake reached a respectable population of 500 residents by 1910.

That same year the town entered into a “county-seat war” with nearby Andrews. Shafter Lake lost and suffered the inevitable fate of towns that lose such fights. A large portion of the population relocated to the winning town, leaving little sign that the community once throve. Even the cemetery became a ghost – leaving behind the remains of the dozen or so people who had the misfortune of dying in a soon-to-be ghost town.
Shafter Lake Texas historical marker
Shafter Lake townsite historical marker
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson
Last structure in ghost town Shafter Lake Texas
Last remains of the original town
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2008
Photographer's Note:
:Linsay Baker wrote about Shafter Lake in 'Ghost Towns of Texas.'

Other structures now occupy the area but only the house remains of the original town.

Shafter Lake is about eight miles northwest of Andrews in Andrews County." - Barclay Gibson, February 2008
Ghost Towns of Texas
TX - Andrew County 1920s map
Andrew County, TX 1920s map showing Shafter Lake
Courtesy Texas General Land Office

Shafter Lake, Texas Area Destinations:
Andrews | Odessa | Midland
Texas Panhandle | West Texas
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