Amarillo is a city in Texas, and it is considered to be the 14th -most populous city in the United States of America. As of 2018, the estimated population of the city was 199,924. Amarillo City was initially called Oneida, and back then, the town once self-proclaimed that they are the helium capital of the world because they had one of the United States’ most productive helium fields. Aside from that, it was also known as the yellow rose of Texas because the word Amarillo is a Spanish word for yellow. In this article, we are going to find out more about this city, its history and the places you need to see when you’re there.
Origins of Amarillo, Texas
In 1877, a man named J.I Berry decided to establish a site for a town after choosing a well-watered section in the Fort Worth and Denver City Railroad. Berry, along with his other merchant friends wanted their new town to be the region’s main trading center. In August that same year, the townsite won the county seat election, and it was established in Potter County. Because freight and railroad services were readily available in the location, the county seat election made the town a progressive cattle-marketing center. At first, the settlement was named Oneida. Still, years later, they decided to change its name to Amarillo because of the yellow wildflowers that grow abundantly in the area during summer and spring.
During the late 1890s, Amarillo became one of the world’s busiest cattle-shipping locations, and along with this, its population grew suggestively. Aside from that, Amarillo also became a feed-manufacturing, grain elevator, and milling center after they saw an increase of wheat and small grain production in the early 1900s. In 1918, the discovery of oil and natural gas attracted gas companies to Amarillo.
In 1927, the United States government decided to buy the Cliffside Gas Field because it has high helium content. Two years later, the Federal Bureau of Mines began to operate the Amarillo Helium plant. Back then, the plant was the only one who supplied commercial helium in the world for several years.
After the Fort Worth and Denver City Railroad established services to and from Amarillo, several railroads such as Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad, and Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway decided to do the same. All of these three carriers had a substantial freight and passenger depots along with repair facilities in Amarillo for the rest of the 20th century. From then on, the city saw progress and paved their way to the Amarillo city we now know.
Things to Do and Places to See in Amarillo, Texas
Watch TEXAS the musical
If you want to know about the story of Texas from its history to the politics while you’re in Amarillo, then you should head on over to the Pioneer Amphitheater, which is located in Palo Duro Park. This play features cowboys, Native Americans, pioneers, and other exciting storylines that will keep you informed and entertained at the same time. This play has been performed in this amphitheater every summer for over 50 years.
Visit Route 66 District
Amarillo City is part of the iconic and historic Route 66. That is why as a memorial to the famous road, there’s a dedicated Route 66 District in Amarillo City. The Route 66 District stretches for one mile, and it has several historical buildings and diverse shops such as antique stores, art galleries, and handicraft shops. Aside from that, the Route 66 District in Amarillo also has local restaurants with a traditional Texan fare.
Watch a play at the Amarillo Little Theatre
When we hear the word Texas, most of us probably think of cowboys and barbecue. Still, this State is also a hotspot for arts and culture. In fact, you can see this in person when you visit the Amarillo Little Theatre. This place is known for being the oldest and longest operating open theatre in the United States
See the Cadillac Ranch
The Cadillac Ranch is considered to be one of the most famous pieces of art in Texas. The Cadillac Ranch is an ode to Route 66, and here you will get to see ten Cadillac cars that are half buried in Texas soil. At first, these cars were in their original form. Still, as the years passed, people started to decorate them, and now, they sport a riot of color and graffiti, which adds to their artistic vibes.
Have a good time at the Don Harrington Discovery Center and Space Theater
If you are looking for some fun family bonding activity while you’re in Amarillo, then we suggest that you add the Don Harrington Discovery Center and Space Theater to your itinerary. This place offers different activities that are all science and space-related. Most of the exhibits here are interactive, which means that you and your children will have fun while you’re learning about science and space.
Take a walk at the Amarillo Botanical Gardens
If you want to have some quiet and peaceful time while you’re in Amarillo, then you should head on down to Amarillo Botanical Gardens. Here, you will be able to explore the gardens that spread over 4 acres of land. This place also has seasonal garden themes such as a butterfly garden and a Japanese Garden.