A Panhandle Ghost Community
Located six miles west of Alanreed,
Texas 1-40 Exit 132
Take service road west to County Road 19 - ½ mile south
Rockledge, Texas Area Hotels Amarillo
a Pecan Shell
Rockledge was named for the land survey known as Rockwall School
Land and because of the many steep rocky walls of nearby canyons.
First established as a side track for the Rock Island Railroad
because it was the only area of level land available on the track
right-of-way. The surrounding grasslands were parts of the Red
River Cattle Company of Texas and the famous Quarter Circle
Heart Ranch swindled into bankruptcy by Carhart and Sully in the
The site lay only one-hundred yards inside the north line of Donley
County and alongside the railroad track with a county dirt road
running alongside the track. A two-room clapboard house sat to the
west where the railroad section foreman lived. It was served by a
cistern filled from a water tank car on the railroad. A cross-tie
storage shed, sporting a dirt roof, stood nearby to store railroad
In about 1905, two murders happened within seconds when a real estate
agent from Amarillo
met with a local rancher and his son at Rockledge to discuss a financial
problem. The man from Amarillo
stepped off the train and waited for the rancher to arrive in a buggy.
The local section foreman and his tie crew were working nearby.
They two parties met, argued and the Amarillo
man drew a pistol, shot the rancher and began running toward the railroad
work crew. As the rancher fell he ordered his son to shoot the running
man. The son pulled a rifle from the buggy and killed the running
man. Both murders were witnessed by the work crew which loaded the
bodies on the next train going east.
In 1926, a 10-inch petroleum pipe line was installed from the northern
Panhandle to south
Texas with a booster camp built by the sidetrack at Rockledge. A huge
pump station, two large storage tanks and six homes were constructed
on the site. Later the engineers discovered it was downhill from Rockledge
going south with gravity doing most of the work. Three of the homes
and half of the pumping capacity was moved farther down the line.
In June of 1939, after Route
66 was paved just to the north of Rockledge, two young boys robbed
the bank in Alanreed,
took 3,000 and fled west along Route
66 toward Amarillo.
Just north of Rockledge their car engine failed and the bandits fled
into the nearby Rockwell Canyons. A posse surrounded the canyons,
capturing the boys in only three hours. Mysteriously, only 1,500 was
recovered. No one knows where the remainder of the loot disappeared.
Three families lived at Rockledge until the mid-1980s when automated
controls were installed on the pumping equipment. Today, another pipeline
has been added to the original, one tank has been removed and a police
radio tower marks the site. Only foundations and dead trees mark the
location of this ghost community. It is on private property.
Ranch hosted Rockledge rail site
by Delbert Trew
From 1900 to 1902, Rock Island Railroad built tracks from Oklahoma
to Tucumcari, N.M. From today’s Jericho
the track followed Old Trail’s Ridge, dividing the Salt Fork of the
Red River and McClellan Creek watersheds. It also was the early day
mail route from Old Clarendon to Mobeetie.... more
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