Panhandle town bears charm of yesteryear

Filled with history that dates back to the 1800s, Pampa, Texas, has a wide variety of activities and attractions for visitors to experience.

Located in the Texas Panhandle, northeast of Amarillo, Pampa is home to industries that include oil and gas, cattle and railroad. High school sports are also an integral part of the community, Pampa Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Patrick Vanderpool said.

Pampa is home to two museums. The Freedom Museum offers a look at an extensive collection of memorabilia and equipment representing all branches of the U.S. armed forces. The White Deer Land Museum houses a large collection of arrowhead and primitive tools. The museum also offers a glimpse into the early history of Gray County, where Pampa is located, according to the Pampa Chamber of Commerce Web site,

Recreation is also a big part of the area, with Pampa’s more than 39 city parks. The area is also home to two 18-hole golf courses, according to Vanderpool.

Among other attractions in the area is the Harris Drug Store, home to the Woody Guthrie Folk Music Center. Guthrie, a folk singer, learned to play the guitar at the drugstore while working there during the 1930s, Vanderpool said.

The downtown area of Pampa still retains the original brick street. Also located in the town are several shops that have been in business for years and retain the hometown charm of yesteryear, Vanderpool said.

The cornerstone of downtown Pampa is the Coney Island Cafe, which serves the same food that has been on the menu since the 1960s. Intermingled with the older establishments are newer businesses that continue to cater to the downtown area, Vanderpool said.

“It’s a variety of stores, that handle a little bit of everything,” Vanderpool said.

Compiled by Casey Peacock, Freedom Newspapers

Contact the Pampa Chamber of Commerce at (806) 669-3241 or visit its Web site at
From Clovis, travel east on U.S. 60-70-84 to Texico. Take U.S. 60/87 to Amarillo. Merge onto I-27N/US-60E/US-87N, via the I-27N exit. From there, travel to I-40E/US-287S, exit 123 B to Oklahoma City/Fort Worth. Merge to I-40 East to FM-1912 exit 81, then left at FM-1912 to I-40 BL, continue to US-60W for approximately 43 miles. In Pampa take South Cuyler street to TX 273 to downtown Pampa. Drive takes about three hours.