Commerce Street Tour Locate on map Standing at the corner of Main and Commerce and looking across at the tracks, it is impossible not to imagine the first train depot, which was located directly in front of where we stand, on the north side of Main Street. Here is where many of Rangerís newest citizens arrived during the boom. It exists only in the imagination now. Across Main, however, the main red brick terminal built by the Texas and Pacific Railway and now a museum of local history looms before us. One wonders what it looked like as young men and women departed in the service of their country during the Second World War and others. Many trains passed through this station daily at one time. It has been described as the largest station between Fort Worth and El Paso in its heyday. Perhaps not as obvious to the uninformed, one could go inside and find evidence of the separate waiting rooms, rest rooms, and drinking fountains for colored and white passengers that linger in the memories of older persons. No longer standing is a similarly styled red brick freight building immediately south of the passenger terminal. The thought of railroads (five tracks) has caused us to wander a block south of Main. Across from the depot on the corner of Pine and Commerce is the Social Science Laboratories, which made supplementary materials for schools. On the opposite corner is the commercial-looking, red brick building that has housed the Second Baptist Church. Prior to the establishment of Second Baptist, another church named Calvary Baptist was at the same location. Before the Calvary was the Central Baptist church. The building was constructed as a hotel during the boom days.
After the alley is Houghtonís Garage for car repair; then comes a service station, Frank Penn owned the Texaco Service Station for many years. He also had another location on the corner of Pine and Austin, next door to the Chevrolet dealership. What was Pennís may have had other owners besides Ronnie Guess, who now operates it. Letís drive back down Main toward the railroad tracks. At Commerce glance down to the north to see the stone- faced building that served as both a hotel on the second floor and the offices of the Ranger Lumber & Supply Co. on the bottom. Ada Gordon once remodeled these hotel rooms to accommodate persons not wanting to live in a house but unable to afford the Gholson. The site now is home to a brand new restaurant named the Open Range. The tour of downtown Ranger has ended. You can tour old Highway 80 at this time or end the tour. End Tour