"Crossroads of the Texas Panhandle."
Even before the 1700s, when Spanish explorers named a creek in the area after the reeds or “tules” growing there, people have been traveling through the area. (“Tulia” was supposed to be named “Tule”, after the creek, but the application for a post office was misread by a clerk in Washington, DC.) Prehistoric families, Native Americans, Spanish Conquistadores, Mexican Comancheros, Texan traders, cowboys, railroaders, freighters, and motorists have truly made Swisher County and Tulia the “Crossroads of the Panhandle”.
Swisher County was organized in 1890, and Tulia designated the county seat. The Santa Fe Railroad came through in 1906. The southern branch of the Ozark Trail—precursor to Route 66—was established through Tulia in 1920, and the distinctive marker still stands at the intersection of Broadway and Maxwell, northwest of the Swisher County courthouse—one of the few markers remaining in its original location.. US Highway 87 was the major north-south thoroughfare through the county until the 1980s, when Interstate 27 was built between Lubbock and Amarillo, making it a quick trip to either of those cities.
Tulia is uniquely situated for business, located almost halfway between Amarillo and Lubbock on I-27. It sits in the middle of the finest span of the Port-to-Plains Corridor , stretching between Mexico and Canada, and is less than an hour’s drive from Interstate 40.
Tulia and Swisher County are home to some world-renown businesses, including Roll-A-Cone, manufacturers of agricultural equipment, and D/A Manufacturing, specializing in high-pressure valves used chiefly in oil field equipment. Bowling Parts, Inc, has been furnishing bowling alleys around the world for over 40 years. Wrap a Tulia-made Mi Mama’s tortilla around a freshly grilled Keeter’s Sausage, and you have the “makin’s” of a great meal!
The High Plains of Texas (generally speaking, the Panhandle) feature outstanding weather. Average temperatures range from 22 to 50 degrees in January, to 64 to 91 in July. Annual precipitation is just under 21 inches—meaning there are lots of days of sunshine for just about any activity you want to do. And the Rocky Mountains are just a few hours away, easily accessed by good roads.
Tulia is fortunate to have a hospital system that serves the county with a 19-bed hospital, emergency services, assisted living, home health services, and a local clinic staffed by four doctors and a physician’s assistant. Long-term care is available in two locations.
Advanced and specialty care is available in Amarillo and Lubbock, just about an hour away via I-27.
Dentists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and other health-care practitioners are available in Tulia.
Things to do and see
The best thing to see around Swisher County is the landscape itself. Wide open spaces, sunsets, sunrises, and star-filled skies are truly awesome.
Swisher County Museum traces the area’s history. Some notable items are the reproduction of the workshop of noted spur-maker J. O. Bass and the JA Ranch line cabin. The museum is open weekdays until 4 pm and by appointment. Phone 806.995.2819. In the Swisher Memorial Building at 127 SW 2nd.
Wyatt Studio. Famed western and Christian artist Kenneth Wyatt calls Tulia home, and has a studio and gallery here. Phone 806.995.2239. 310 Comanche.
Shops for fine and unique gifts dot the town and downtown Tulia has several buildings dating back to the early days. Fancy brickwork can be seen on several businesses and homes about town.
Tule Lake Country Club boasts an outstanding 9-hole golf course. Bird hunting is popular in the area, but arrangements must be made with local landowners. Deer and antelope hunting can be found not far away.Short drives of an hour or less will take the traveler to canyons, lakes, parks, museums, concerts, theaters, sporting events, and even ballet, symphonies, and art galleries. Texas’ largest historical museum—the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum—is a half-hour away on the campus of West Texas A&M University in Canyon. The National Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock is just over an hour away.