If you find yourself traveling into or out of Amarillo going down I-40 west, be sure to make a stop at the famous Cadillac Ranch location in Bushland, TX. Bushland is an unincorporated community in Potter County and has a population of 2,335. It is located about 14 miles west of Amarillo along interstate 40 and is the halfway point between Chicago, IL and Los Angeles, CA with a distance of 1,062 between Bushland and each city.
The town of Bushland is named after a Chicago native by the name of William Henry Bush. The Frying Pan Ranch was transferred to him by his father-in-law, Joseph Glidden who also happens to be the inventor of barbed wire, and soon thereafter Bush had donated some land and a railroad right-of-way in order to establish a town. Bush and his associate S.H. Smiser formally dedicated the town of Bushland on July 3, 1908. In January of 1909, a post office was opened and a public school district was established after farmers began migrating to and settling in and around the town.
Bushland made national news headlines in 2009 when a gas pipeline ruptured near a local neighborhood injuring 3 residents who had to be transported to Lubbock to receive treatment. The gas line, operated by El Paso Natural Gas Company, experienced failure and shot flames into the air that reached heights of 700 feet.
Located right outside of Bushland is Stanley Marsh’s III famous art installation, Cadillac Ranch. People road tripping all over the country who are given the opportunity to wander through Bushland will get the pleasure of coming up on this well-known attraction. It features 10, half-buried Cadillac cars that were placed nose down into the ground in 1974. Travelers making their way along Route 66 would stop by and walk up to the cars. It then became popular to deface the cars. The constructors of the art, a group of abstract artists from San Francisco known as Ant Farm, and the owner of the art, Stanley Marsh III tolerated the destruction of their art piece. Today, you can stop by and see the now spray paint coated Cadillacs and do some art yourself.
The now deceased Stanley Marsh III was a local billionaire who is known for Cadillac Ranch, but that wasn’t his only contribution to the town. If you find yourself puttering around the Amarillo area, you’ll eventually notice abstract street signs that have varying faces. Some signs are located in people’s yards, others in front of stores and no two signs are the same. This is known as the Dynamite Museum. If you are entering Amarillo from the south, you’ll notice a pair of giant legs that are occasionally, depending on the season, dawned with socks. This is a mock tribute to an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh called Ozymandias. The floating mesa is another installation by the late Stanley Marsh III located in Bushland, TX on Tascosa Road. The top of the mesa appears to be floating due to an optical illusion created by a line of plywood sheets that match the sky when it is a specific shade of white.
Map from Cadillac Ranch to AW Broadband:
Map from Cadillac Ranch to Honey Buzz Winery: