Vanishing Texas Vernacular Architecture


Pyote Schoolhouse

Pyote, Texas (originally Pyote Tank) was established as a telegraph office by the Texas and Pacific Railway Co. in 1881.  It was said that the name came from the Chinese laborer’s mispronunciation of the word coyote.  When oil was discovered in the nearby Hendrick oilfield in 1926 the population soared to over 3,000 and established Pyote as an economic center.  In 1942 Pyote Air Force Station was built to train bomber crews for World War II.  After the War, the base became one of the places where military aircraft were mothballed and demolished.  Among the notable airplanes stored there was the Enola Gay before it was rescued by the Smithsonian Institution.

According to Donnita Barber (Director, Ward County Archives) the town of Pyote built this school (above) in 1928 to replace one that had burned down in 1919.  The Pyote was known for its tennis program, which produced 17 state championships and provided college scholarships for numerous students.

Read more about Pyote in The Handbook of Texas Online and at the Texas Escapes website.

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