Ghost Town – Bomarton, TX

On my way back to my parent’s house in Wichita Falls, TX from Midland, TX, I’ve passed this abandoned house many times. I’ve always wanted to stop and get some pictures. But this time, I noticed a large, brick building in the trees. How I’ve never seen it before, I’ll never know. When I headed back home to Midland, I decided to stop and take some pictures.

This is the town of Bomarton, TX. This was probably the school. It’s really large considering the town’s size now, which I would guess would be in the teens. It was really cool walking around and trying to re-invision the past while snapping photos.


They had some really interesting designs. The front even had a curved ceiling, which I’m guessing was the entrance. It’s hard to imagine people actually filling this building.


Next up, and right across the highway, was a church that I’d seen the steeple sticking out of the trees whenever I would come back home. I decided to hop the highway and check it out. I’m glad I did. Turns out, it’s the St. John Catholic Church. It was built in 1936 and is no longer in use, but open to the public (Yay!). I love a place where I don’t have to “break in” to get some good pictures.


The inside was in pretty good condition. The floors were extremely creaky, which gives it the kind of creepy feeling I love.


There was a balcony in the back that had a ladder built into the wall for climbing up into the steeple. I figured I would give it a shot. I did stop right when the ladder turned into the wood steps. It didn’t feel too sturdy, and I didn’t want to risk falling to the ground if one broke. I’d sure hate to hurt my camera.


I did get this shot of the stained glass window that’s on the third story of the church.

I didn’t see any cars, other than the ones flying by on the highway, so it’s a pretty quiet town. The church had a clipboard for visitors to sign. The last person that visited was there 5 days before I was there, which was kind of surprising, not to mention the fact that he was from Big Spring, TX (close to Midland).

I might stop here again to see how much farther I can go up the steeple. I know, I know. It’s dangerous. It might be worth it.

The full Flickr Set can be seen here.

 

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  1. Paula Holder says:

    I was born in 1949 and spent the first 10 years of my life in Bomarton (already a ghost town at that point). My brothers and sisters all went to school in Bomarton. I went to school in Seymour but remember the old Bomarton schoolhouse as having a skating rink in the old gym. They rented it out for partiies and reunions. My nephew actually bought the Catholic church there. Your pictures are amazing. My brorther (formerly of Midland) currently works the family farm in Bomarton.

    • Steven Maier says:

      That’s very interesting about the skating rink! Who would’ve thought? Thanks for commenting.

      • Carolyn Hacker says:

        We had family reunions there every year when I was a little girl and everyone that skate would spend most of Saturday skating. I believe we stopped having them at the school around 1976 or 1977.

    • Walt McCayley says:

      Be real careful of Snakes when looking around Bomarton. Owen and I had some good times growing up there. So sorry about Owen. Walt McCauley

    • James Crawford says:

      I remember in the 1980’s we’d play volleyball in the gym and it was in decent condition. My friend and his family still farm and live outside of Bomarton. The children in Bomarton community farms are all bussed to Seymour Tx for school. It’s in bad shape now as there was no upkeep once they joined the Seymour school system. Only local farmers live in the vicinity now and those who work nearby. I’m 53 now and it is 2019 so there won’t be much of a trace in the next 20 years and the vacant Catholic Church is the only decent condition building nowadays.

  2. Sue Snyder Yates says:

    I remember skating in the old gym. I went to the Bomarton School for seven years. After the eighth grade were all were consolidated with the Seymour School District. Does anyone have a school annuual with the 1936 graduating clsss in it. My Cousin is trying to find more about her Mother’s schooling in Bomarton. Her name was Clara Imogen Snyder.

  3. Sue Snyder Yates says:

    I also remember skating in the old gym. I graduated from the eighth grade there. We were consolidated with the Seymour School District after that. Does anyone have any old school annuals that would have the class of 1936 in it? My cousin’s Mother was in that class we think. The class ring has a B on it and an Eagle. As far as going in that old Church there is no way. It is full of rattle snakes.

  4. Sue Snyder Yates says:

    Opp didn’t know the first comment went through. Sorry.

  5. Sue Bartos Hall says:

    Oh yes, I spent all but my Senior year in this school. The years following my mother was “keeper of the keys” to the building when anyone used the skating rink (The old gym floor). Lots of memories here, and thats all thats left.

    • SUSAN CRISP says:

      Sue,

      My sister and I are planning on visiting Bomarton and Seymour, mostly because we have never been through there and we now are living in Texas. Our Grandmother, Jeannetta Inez and Great Uncle, James Holmes Chambless were both born there.

      We are trying to trace some family history, would you have any ideas of where we can search?
      Is there anything left of Bomarton other then the church?

      • charles wayne bartos says:

        I am Sue Halls brother, C. Wayne Bartos, and there are no business buildings left–all destroyed! We are having a homecoming Saturday, july 15, 2017 in Seymour. Come, I have so interesting history to see and hear. Contact tim@orsakadventures.com or 940-889-8466.

        • Tammi Sharpe says:

          I just saw this post, I’m so sorry we missed it. I’m Sue Crisp sister, Tammi. We did visit there in October, almost got our car stuck in the mud on a little road near Cache Creek cemetery. Met many very friendly people there. Stopped by the visitors center/ museum, I don’t remember the gentleman’s name, but he knew the Bartos family well. I have a copy of Salt Pork to Sirloin, volume 2, I was hoping to pick up volume 1, but was disappointed that they were not hard bound, so I will look on line. I ope the reunion went well and would love to hear about it.

          I’d still like to hear about how Seymour was and more of it’s history. I’m on Ancestry. I had an email or letter from your sister Sue about a decade ago. Is she still interested in ancestry?

          Hope to hear back.
          Tammi

      • Bobbie Bartos Loving says:

        My mother’s name was Faye Chambless and my grandfather and grandmother’s name was Tom and Jemmie Chambless. Your grandfather was my grandfather’s brother. I remember him. They came through Seymour driving when he was around 90. I live in Seymour and we also now own the Butler house across from the Catholic Church. Would love for you to look me up when and if you come to Seymour.

        • Jamie Dawn Gonzalez says:

          Everytime I pass by that red brick house, I always want to stop. Finally did today and got some pictures. That house in the second picture, is that the Butler house? I’m so curious about it. It just draws me in everytime I pass it. Beautiful beautiful

  6. Michael S says:

    The abandoned house you referred to is still beautiful. When I see these abandoned properties, I so wander about the history, the t’givings, christmas mornings. I can always hear the children playing. Maybe the husbands nights spent in the barn.

  7. Robert Miller says:

    Thanks for sharing this! My grandfather lived in a tiny house right across from the old school. He passed away in the 1980’s and all that remains of the house are a few stones and pieces of metal. When I would visit back then, the school still had a roof. I remember playing in and around it. I actually just stopped there this past weekend on a trip through the area and was amazed to see how much it had deteriorated. Also, someone seems to have bought the tiny plot of land around it and is prepping it for use. I sure hope they don’t remove the building remains….

    –Robert

  8. Steven Maier says:

    Robert: I also hope they don’t remove the buildings. In fact, this is one of the rare buildings that has no graffiti on it. They need to put up a sign giving some history.

    • Woody elliott says:

      Sorry guys but I’m sad to say they did tear down the old school house my dad went there when he was a kid an now layed to rest in bomarton cemitary sorry bout the spelling but it is still cool to go drive around out there

  9. Jeremy Sigler says:

    Robert that is very interesting about your grandfathers house…and did he have a dog? I ask for a very interesting reason…..and as a kid about 20yrs ago (before the school was destroyed completely) I used to play around that property and the schoolhouse across the street when I would stay the summers with my grandparents who lived very close to the property…just a few properties down the road… and to sue Barton hall did your mother live near the school ? Mrs mc cally ? doubt i spelled that right…but anyhow she had keys to the property back then and let me play basketball there…at that age 10-preteen that was kind of a spooky place to play in an abandoned school alone.

  10. I grew up in Bomarton and it was a wonderful place back in the 1950,s. Our home is still there and I like to go back there as often as I can. It is too bad that someone burned the school. I have said that Bomarton was where the world stopped.

  11. Steven Maier says:

    Well, I drove through Bomarton today and the school is officially torn down. It’s now just rubble next to a freshly plowed field. Sad.

    • Jenni Latham Elliott says:

      Someone cooked drugs in there. My brother Richard Latham, tried to get the fire out,but couldn’t. By the time the fire department from Seymour, got there it was to far gone. A man had bought it and was going to fix it up. Then some idiot cooked meth in there. We skated there all our lives. Lily Ptacek kept a key and we all skated.

  12. That is a real shame they demolished the school, I had been planning a camping trip out there for a cool night shot idea I had for it, I was going to leave tomorrow but may change my mind.

    Do you know if the church is still standing ?

  13. Steven Maier says:

    @Johnny – Yes, the church is still there. It’s a landmark, so I don’t think it’ll be torn down any time soon.

  14. Cheryl Butler Gibson says:

    My grandparents lived in the brick house across the road from the church, it is owned by my sister now. From the above comments, I remember many of your names. My dad grew up in Bomarton but went to school in Seymour. We used to have community meetings in the Old School House. I have several pictures of meetings inside. I was sad to see that they tore down the remains of the old school house. They are building a new grain elevator there from what I understand.

    • Cheryl Butler Gibson says:

      My grandmother, Joyce Butler, would take my older sister and I skating over there. I think we went to pick up the keys from Mrs. Bartos or Miss Dora Holt.

    • admin says:

      Cheryl, you’re correct about it being a grain elevator. They tore down the school and got rid of all the rubble. It was sad to see it go.

    • Cutter Paul says:

      Is it the brick house shown in the picture at the top?

      • Cutter Paul says:

        Or is that just the front of the school but looks like a house?

      • M. C. Vincent says:

        I went to 1st, 2nd grades in bomarton Miss Dora holt was my teacher The school was consoladated with Seymour next year. I think it was 48 or 49 The house in picture is not school but I know the house your talking about Its been vacant as long as I can remember

  15. Jan McLay says:

    I was in the church today. I stop in every time I visit my Sister in Oklahoma.

    • Harold Sandel says:

      My dad grew up in Bomarton , his nam Harold Sandel, he passed in 1975 His Dad was Lee Sandel and mom was Vada Sandel who passed when my dad was around 14 they moved to Rodchester? Just wondering if any one knew Harold Sandel

      • Pat martin says:

        I grew up in Rochester, Texas, Harold went to school with my older sister. I knew him and his grandparents. The last time I saw him was ar a football game that my son was playing in. Our son was in a playoff game between Archer City and either Lindsay or Muenster. We saw Harold and he said his son was playing on the team we were playing against. I am not sure but around 1974

  16. Mary Nelle Shepherd (nee McElroy) says:

    Does anyone remember the Osee & Callie McElroy family? In the early 40s, they lived and worked on a ranch/farm that seemed a long way off when I was little. The paved road to the ranch went south out of Bomarton, then there was a gravel road that went by a large prairiedog town that I always looked for. The McElroy family children were O.B., Wynell, FloDell, and Travis (Buddy), who all went to the Bomarton schools in the late 1930s and 1940s. I am O.B.’s daughter. I have a photo of the high school’s football team (about 1938-40), and one of my aunt Flo on a school bus when she was about 10-12 years old. Sometime in the mid-1940s, my grandparents moved to town and farmed land near the intersection until the late 1950s. They lived in a big white dog-trot house on the west side of the paved road, maybe a quarter or half mile going south from the highway intersection. I spent many weeks there and played with a boy who lived near the Catholic church. My grandparents went to the Baptist Church. I remember my uncle Buddy and his friends skating on the school’s gym floor, going to the feed store, grocery store, and gas station in town. I stop by the cemetery when I am in the area because my grandparents and aunt Flo are buried there. Travis (Buddy) was married at one time to Martha from Seymour, and they had a daughter Trina Sue (spelling may not be right). After Buddy and Martha divorced, Martha married a Rainwater. I believe they lived in Seymour, but I don’t remember ever seeing Trina again. I would love to get in touch with her, so if anyone has information, I would appreciate it.

    • Walter McCauleu says:

      I remember when Buddy and Kenneth Rainwater had a fight over Martha. It was a big fight and Kenneth won and also got the girl. Kenneth moved to the east coast and never saw him again.

  17. Charles Smith says:

    I am the person from Big Spring, we would travel HWY 277 going home to Electra to see family and friends. We moved to West Texas in 1977 to work for Texaco in Snyder and eventually moved to Big Spring. We traveled by the old Church hundreds of times and never stopped and then one trip after passing, I stopped the car and turned around and went to the Church. Since then I have stopped by there several times to pray and meditate. I have found the old Church comforting and peaceful especially after losing our 26 year old Daughter, Sarah Celeste on April 10th, 2009. Now the trips to Electra are few and far between but I still look at the old Church passing by. Thanks for posting the pictures and the stories of Bomarton as the area is still touching many lives of passers by.

    • admin says:

      Charles, I’m glad you found this page! Small world (thanks to the internet!). I need to stop here again and revisit the church.

  18. Roy Burrow says:

    In the late fifties my father B.W. Burrow was the minister at the Baptist church across the street from the school house. Some Sunday nights I would sit in a pew listening to parties at the school and wishing I was over there instead.

    Lots of memories of the Butlers, Snyders, McMorris family, Miss Dora, Bartos and others. Salt of the Earth folks.

    Since we traveled from Vernon on Sunday and Wednesday we rotated spending the day Sunday with the church families.

    (Cheryl, your grandparents and great grandparents were wonderful people to be with. Sadie could make biscuits that were to die for. In a wood burning oven..)

    • Whit Snyder says:

      Mr. Burrow, I saw your post mention the Snyder family in Bomarton. My grandfather was Carl Snyder who had a ranch/farm off 277 between Bomarton and Seymour. I’ve herd he, my uncles and father mention Bomarton many times, but never knew the family connection to the place. What Snyders do you remember living in Bomarton?

  19. Tim Orsak says:

    Hello to All who have an interest in Bomarton. The Bomarton Homecoming will be this July 12th (Sunday) at Seymour’s Portwood Pavilion from 8 until ?. I would appreciate copies of any old photos to make a presentation. Please email me at tim@orsakadventures.com. Thanks and hope to see you!!!

  20. John booth says:

    I am part of the Rainwater family..Charlie Wolf Rainwater was my great great grandfather ..I just visited his gravesite and the church today..it’s been about 20 years since I visited..any info on the Rainwater family would be appreciated!

    • Alexandra Alberti says:

      Rainwater? Thus you are (distantly) related to me .
      A. Alberti

      • M. C. Vincent says:

        W g

        My grandpa M.T. Vincent lived across street from Smoky Rainwater He also had a sore there Dont know if his real name was Smoky tho

    • Wanda Cobb says:

      In 1963-64, my ex and I rented a property from a couple named C.F. and Irene Rainwater. It was on Oregon St. in Seymour. Are these your relatives? They were so nice to us.

  21. Nancy Jordan says:

    My Dad, Bill Lofton, lived in Bomarton and went to school there probably during the 1930s. Miss Dora Holt was his teacher. This is so interesting!

  22. Joyce Ann Gaines Smith says:

    The building you list as an old store with the sign that reads 19 GAINES 25 was a pharmacy. It was built by my Great grandfather Harvey Pinkney Gaines for his brother Walter Lewis Gaines. We were able to visit this building years ago. It is good to see the pictures.

  23. Alexandra Alberti says:

    I am so sad to see this town in this shape. My relatives from Rusava, Czech Republic founded/helped to built this town. This was their church. They all got married there and many are buried in the Bomarton Catholic Cemetery.
    I have visited this place in 1996 (?) with one of my distant relatives (Mrs J.Sosolik)….at that time, the church was still for sale. I didn’t buy it.
    I believe, the families still have their reunion each year in the Knights of Columbus Hall in Seymour, TX.
    Great photos!
    Sandra A.

  24. Alexandra Alberti says:

    Does anyone remember the (Šošolik) family (Josephine Tomanek-Sosolik?*1886) She was my Great-great aunt and her husband Frank John Šošolik my great great uncle.
    Josephine (Josefa) and her husband Frank (Frantisek) came to Bomarton from Rusava, Czech Republic and lived in Bomarton since the early 1900.
    I was born not very far from their Czech town.
    A. Alberti
    Dana Point, CA

  25. Cutter Paul says:

    In the second picture from the top, is that a house or just the front of the school? (Looks beautiful)

  26. Marie McDonald says:

    My father Johney Allen and his twin sister Bonnie were born in Bomarten in 1934. Bonnie died that same year and is buried in the Catholic church cemetery. I’ll be by there some day. My Dad went by the graveyard 8 to 10 years ago and there was an elderly man in the community who still remembered him and his sister.

    • M. C. Vincent says:

      Marie,cousin Iknow You! Im going to the Knox City homecoming June 1st and 2nd Im going to stop by Bomarton I usually do

  27. Janice Schauer says:

    My mother and her family grew up in Bomarton. Lois Adelle Moses. Her 11 yr old brother, Walter Moses, Jr is buried there. I started this journey to locate my uncles name and found not only his name and burial site too. I came to a high school reunion when I was 10 with my mother and the rest of her siblings in Bomarton or Seymore somewhere around 1965.

  28. William Barnes says:

    I see my cousin, M. C. Vincent comment on this. My mother was born in Bomarton in 1914. M. C’s dad was one of her siblings. I have many fond memories of my grandparents, the old school, and many other things. I stuck my hand Smokey Rainwater,s ice filled “pop” box, many times, to get a Orange Crush or Creme Soda while grandpa and other men played dominoes on a hot, Texas summer days. There was also Bill Braxton’s Feed and Drug. This was probably 65 years ago. It’s amazing how the good memories come flooding back.

    • Peggy Swails says:

      As a child and for many years my Dad, Mom and myself would go and visit my Uncle and Aunt who lived in Bomarton.
      We also had our family reunions every year in the old school. Such fond memories!!

  29. Gary McKee says:

    I have a dance listing in my database for Charlie Nemec’s Polka All Stars playing in Bomartan, April 1, 1968.

  30. Tommy Ermis says:

    Lots of memories of Bomarton in the late 1950s and early 60s. My mother was born there in 1934.
    My grandparents lived many years there and owned a service station. Grandpa Rainwater died in Feb 1963, grandma moved to Seymour shortly after. The post earlier of Kenneth & another guy fighting over Martha with Kennith winning the fight and the girl, Kenneth was my mother’s brother. They actually lived in Texas before moving to Spencer, West Virginia.Kenneth & Martha have both passed away in the last 10 years.

  31. Shauna says:

    My father, Olin Lloyd Gilliland was born there in 1920 and went to grade school there. His Gilliland family had reunions there for many years.

  32. Joe Cluley says:

    I am looking for news on George Macha who grew up on the family farm in Bomarton. There is a picture of the football team in 1936 on the history of football in Texas. Can anyone name the players in the picture.

  33. Jenni Latham Elliott says:

    Someone cooked drugs in there. My brother Richard Latham, tried to get the fire out,but couldn’t. By the time the fire department from Seymour, got there it was to far gone. A man had bought it and was going to fix it up. Then some idiot cooked meth in there. We skated there all our lives. Lily Ptacek kept a key.