All of us are familiar with what was once the Ranchotel. Yesterday afternoon, the relic of the Mother Road narrowly escaped a fiery demise. .

The Ranchotel: Amarillo's Forgotten Route 66 Landmark

Ranchotel has an interesting history, which we've covered before. The state of it now is heartbreaking, knowing what it once was.

Ranchotel was once a popular motor court on Route 66. During its heyday, people from all over stopped while traveling along the Mother Road.

As is the case with pretty much everything Route 66 related, once the interstate came the number of patrons dried up. Eventually, it became what we know it to be now; a dilapidated ghost from a time and way of life that is lost to antiquity.

A Fire At Ranchotel On February 15

Earlier this week, Amarillo Fire Department responded to a call. That call was about heavy smoke coming from one of the rooms at Morning Star Motel, or Ranchotel.

Thankfully, they arrived before the fire grew out of hand. The quick action prevented any further damage could be caused to the motel or neighboring structures.

According to a post on social media from AFD, there was no one on the scene at the time and the origin of the blaze was determined to be a pile of "contents" that had caught fire.

The fire was ruled accidental and according to investigators on scene, the cause was likely to be cigarettes that had been improperly discarded by the transients known to take shelter in the property.

Kudos to AFD for their quick response and quick work.

The Unfortunate State Of Ranchotel

It would be nice to see Ranchotel get another chance at life. It would be great if there were someone who could take the building and do something with it.

Instead it sits, and with the weather being as cold as it has been at night, who knows when the next incident like this will happen.

Ranchotel: The Forgotten Landmark of Old Route 66 in Amarillo, Texas

The Ranchotel, located at 2501 W. 6th St., is a product of Route 66's heyday.

When Americans first began long-distance automotive travel, they typically stayed in hotels or camped beside the road. In response, clever entrepreneurs began to build what were called tourist courts. The Ranchotel is one of these.

It was built in 1940 and until recently, it was considered one of the best preserved examples of Route 66's tourist facilities. It was placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1995 and was well maintained until 2020.

Even now, in spite of the building's fading beauty, there is still the nostalgic air held by many a historic landmark.

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