Location of Groom, Texas
Groom is a town in Carson County, Texas, United States. The population was 587 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Amarillo, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is on Interstate Highway 40 (Historic Route 66) 42 miles east of Amarillo, 220 miles (350 km) west of Oklahoma City.
There is a 19-story cross located next to Interstate 40 (formerly U.S. Route 66) at Groom. This 190-foot (58 m) tall free-standing cross can be seen from twenty miles (32 km) away. Surrounding the base of the cross are life-sized statues of the fourteen Stations of the Cross. Inspired by this cross, residents ofEffingham, Illinois erected a similar cross that is eight feet taller. Many claim this cross to be the largest in the Western Hemisphere. However, it is smaller than the cross erected in the Valle de los Caidos in Spain, located at and elevated 152.4 m overground. The cross is also 18 feet (5.5 m) shorter than the 208 ft (63 m) cross at the Mission Nombre De Dios in St. Augustine, Florida, and shorter than the 65 metres (213 ft) tall Lakeuden Risti cross-shaped church tower in Seinäjoki, Finland. The movie Leap of Faith was filmed on location near the site of the cross in Groom but the movie was filmed before the cross was built.
Also in Groom one can find a leaning water tower which currently serves as a decorative item. It originally was a functioning water tower which was slated for demolition until Ralph Britten bought it and moved it to serve as a sign for his truck stop and tourist information center (located on a stretch of interstate that was once a part of U.S. Route 66). This truck stop can still be seen, set back off the road behind the tower, now boarded up and in disrepair following a devastating fire decades ago.
The leaning water tower still remains a popular target for cameras, and the town of Groom turns on a large colored star mounted on the top around Christmas time.The water tower is a common image from Route 66 photography books.