McLean, Texas is a small town located along the historic Route 66 in Gray County, Texas. The town has a rich history that is closely tied to the development of Route 66 and the rise of the automobile industry in the early 20th century.
McLean was founded in 1901, and like many towns in the region, it grew rapidly during the early 20th century as a result of the discovery of oil and the expansion of the railroad. However, it was the construction of Route 66 in the 1920s that truly transformed the town.
Route 66, also known as the “Main Street of America,” was the first highway to connect Chicago to Los Angeles, passing through small towns and rural communities along the way. McLean was one of the many towns that benefited from the highway’s construction, as it provided an influx of tourists and travelers who were looking for a place to stop, rest, and refuel.
In the decades that followed, McLean became a popular stop along Route 66, with several gas stations, motels, and restaurants serving travelers on their journey west. The town also became known for its many attractions, including the Devil’s Rope Museum, which celebrates the history of barbed wire, and the Phillips 66 Station, a historic gas station that is now a museum.
However, like many towns along Route 66, McLean began to decline in the post-war era as travelers began to favor interstate highways over the historic route. By the 1970s, many of the businesses in McLean had closed, and the town was struggling to survive.
In recent years, however, McLean has experienced a resurgence of interest, with many travelers and tourists seeking out the historic Route 66 experience. The town has restored several of its historic buildings and attractions, and the Devil’s Rope Museum and Phillips 66 Station continue to attract visitors from around the world.
Today, McLean remains a proud and vibrant community that celebrates its history and culture, serving as a reminder of the important role that Route 66 played in the development of small towns and communities across America.