Latitude / Longitude:
35° 10′ 44″ N, 103° 2′ 32″ W
Central (CST) (UTC-6)
Glenrio, formerly Rock Island, is an unincorporated community in both Deaf Smith County, Texas, and Quay County, New Mexico, in the United States. Located on the former U.S. Route 66, the ghost town sits on the Texas–New Mexico state line. It includes the Glenrio Historic District which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.
Originally a railroad town, the village was renamed from Rock Island to Glenrio by the Rock Island and Pacific Railroad in 1908 and began receiving motorists on the dusty Ozark Trail in 1917. Its original structures were adobe buildings. The circa-1910 Angel House was in New Mexico. The Ozark Trail was formed into U.S. Route 66 on November 11, 1926. By the 1930s, U.S. Route 66 in Texas was a paved two-lane road served locally by several filling stations, a restaurant, and a motel. The road was widened in the 1950s. A Texaco station (1950) and a diner (Brownlee Diner/Little Juarez Café, 1952) were constructed in Texas using the art moderne architectural style.
The town consists of the remains of the courtyard motel and related Texas Longhorn Café and Phillips 66 service station, the post office, a few other buildings including the diner and adjacent Texaco service station, the old Route 66 roadbed, and the former roadbed of the Rock Island Railroad, whose tracks were removed in the 1980s. A few homes still exist in Glenrio; the Joseph Brownlee House and an office in the Texas Longhorn Motel were the last to be occupied.
Portions of The Grapes of Wrath were filmed in Glenrio. An abandoned “Glenn Rio Motel” is depicted in the town of Radiator Springs in 2006’s animated film Cars, where the architectural design of Glenrio’s Little Juarez Café is used for a vacant, abandoned building which eventually becomes the Racing Museum.