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A to Z Texas: P is for Petrified Wood Buildings

Speakeasy made of petrified wood in Glen Rose, TX (photo by Tui Snider)
Speakeasy made of petrified wood in Glen Rose, TX (photo by Tui Snider)

Petrified Wood Buildings in Texas

In the late 1920’s, several Texan cities, including Austin, Huntville and Stephenville, began using petrified wood as a decorative building material. However, if someone were to name a Petrified Wood Capital of Texas, the town of Glen Rose would win hands down.

Typical petrified wood house in Glen Rose, TX (photo by Tui Snider)
Typical petrified wood house in Glen Rose, TX (photo by Tui Snider)

Glen Rose, Texas is the Petrified Wood Leader

In its hey-day, Glen Rose had at least 65 buildings constructed out of locally harvested petrified wood. Of these, roughly 40-something remain. The one at the top of this post is known as Sycamore Grove. During the Prohibition Era it served as a speakeasy and gas station. (Oh, if those walls could talk!) Back then, even the local chamber of commerce called the town, “Petrified City.” For more information on visiting Glen Rose, Texas, check out my post: Glen Rose Texas – DinosaursGalore and Much, Much, More!

Petrified wood water fountain in Glen Rose, TX (photo by Tui Snider)
Petrified wood water fountain in Glen Rose, TX (photo by Tui Snider)

Decatur, Texas has a Petrified Wood Cafe & Tourist Camp

Nearly 100 miles north of Glen Rose, up in Decatur, Texas another crop of petrified wood buildings sprouted up. Although Decatur never built as many petrified wood buildings as Glen Rose, it is still worth a day trip to check out the Historic Petrified Wood Tourist Camp & Gas Station in Decatur, Texas as you can see in my post and photos on the topic.

More A to Z blog posts

This was my post for the letter P of the A to Z blogging challenge. Tune in tomorrow to see what quirky Texan thing the letter Q will bring!

In the meantime, click on this link to find out what other A to Z blogging challenge folks are writing about.

Tui Snider
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Tui Snider

Tui Snider is an author, speaker, and photographer who specializes in quirky, haunted, and downright bizarre destinations. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction – but then, I moved to Texas!” Snider's writing and photography have been featured in a variety of publications, including Coast to Coast AM, FOX Travel News, LifeHack, Langdon Review, the City of Plano, Wild Woman Waking, Shades of Angels and more. Snider’s award-winning books include Paranormal Texas, The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber, and Unexpected Texas. Snider has several more books in progress, including a Field Guide to Cemetery Symbols and a book about the Great Texas Airship Mystery of 1897. Tui has worn a lot of hats in her life – literally – and is especially fond of berets. She enjoys connecting with writers and readers all over the globe through social media, her newsletter and her website: TuiSnider.com.
Tui Snider
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Published inTravel Photo Essays

19 Comments

  1. Warren Warren

    Tui,
    I am designing a home in Glen Rose and would love to use petrified wood as part of the design. Who would you recommend I contact for sourcing the petrified wood?
    Please advise,
    Warren

  2. Those are beautiful! I wish we had them in my area.

    Have fun with a-z.

  3. That’s pretty interesting, I’ve never heard of petrified wood buildings. The speakeasy looks very ornate. Nice pictures. I will check out the dinosaursgalore post.

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Dan,

      I sure hope the town of Glen Rose doesn’t let that speakeasy totally decay…

      ~Tui

  4. Your posts make me want to vacation in Texas! I always wanted to get an Airstream and travel the US. This is making me seriously consider testing out that idea!

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Julie!

      Thank you! It makes me feel great to hear that I’ve intrigued you enough about Texas that you’d like to come and see it for yourself.

      I love Airstreams and very nearly bought one to live in about ten years ago! Let me know if you bring that dream to fruition.

      ~Tui

  5. It would be really cool to have a house with petrified wood. I had no idea they used it that way.

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Chuck,

      Oh, yeah! It would. I like how petrified wood buildings are fancy looking, while tastefully blending into their surroundings. PLus,the natural materials age gracefully rather than looking run-down over time.

      ~Tui

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Carol,

      The collection of petrified wood homes in Glen Rose, Texas is quite a sight. If you ever head to north Texas, it’s well worth a detour.

      ~Tui

  6. That is cool. When I was little, I used to roam around my house hoping to find a piece of petrified wood. I never did.

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Patricia,

      Did you live in an old house? What made you think there would be petrified wood there? Of course, little kids can get some odd ideas. I used to try and capture fog, then set it free in the house. It never worked the way I hoped!

      ~Tui

  7. I didn’t know they used wood like that, very interesting. That first picture is beautiful. If walls could talk, that made me smile…wonder what we might learn.

    A-Z

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Sandy,

      From what I read, it’s exceedingly difficult to cut through, so they have to be very good masons to make these places.

      ~Tui

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Rebeccah,

      I wish they would make more petrified wood houses, don’t you? I wanna live in one!

      ~Tui

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