ROSCOE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – After a fire erupted early Friday morning, all that is left of one of the most iconic West Texas music venues is the ash in the air, the smell of burning plastic, and a Texas flag.
Country music legends Tanya Tucker, Charley Pride, Charlie Daniels, Mel Tillis and Merle Haggard all graced the Lumberyard’s stage in Roscoe.
Early Friday morning, the old Higgenbotham lumberyard caught fire in what was described as a “100-year-old tinderbox ready to catch.”
The heat radiating from the rubble was intense, as smoke still seeped through the piles of burnt tin and chairs.
Edwin “Snake” Duncan, curator of the Roscoe Historical Museum, says he saw the smoke billowing from the top of the Lumberyard, as the roof came crashing in.
“This was our go-to place,” Duncan said. “Not only to see country music, but also to visit in the afternoons.”
Duncan visited the Lumberyard every day for 10 years, and said that was a staple in the Roscoe community.
“It’s going to leave a big hole in the life of the town now,” Duncan said.
Seth Martin had only been working at the venue for two months before the fire brought it down. As his first job, he said it felt like a second home to him.
Martin was scheduled to come in and work at 10:30 Friday morning, but received a call early saying he wouldn’t need to come in.
“I thought it was a joke at first,” Martin said.
He lives within blocks of the Lumberyard, and went outside to see the damage himself.
“I saw the orange horizon,” Martin said. “I was just in shock.”
Owner Cody Thompson and General Manager Sharee Heard had poured a decade’s worth of work into the old lumberyard, turning it into a family-friendly joint where the old West Texas cowboys could escape from everyday life.
Walls lined with the albums of country music icons and old Texas memorabilia all gone within hours.
Through tears, Heard said she was devastated and that the Lumberyard was all she knew.
But even in the sadness, both reflected on the good times shared at the venue.
Thompson said one of his favorite memories was sitting in the catwalks and watching the sea of cowboy hats bob like “bobbers in the water.”
Thompson also said that they will begin planning to rebuild and remodel in a few weeks, but until the investigation is over, they have to stay put.
Best of all, the lone thing that survived being engulfed in flames, was a large Texas flag hanging above one of the stages, giving hope to all who pass by as a reminder that the old Lumberyard didn’t go down without a fight and will be back better than ever in the future.