Texas is a ginormous state with a lot of hidden gems. One of them is Dillon, Texas. Although this town isn’t as hidden as it is ghosted, it’s still fascinating to know that such a place existed.
Dillon, Texas now only exists in historical maps and archives. It started as a small town after getting its name from E.F. Dillon in the 1900s. Today, Dillon is merely a ghost town. However, it’s also a fictional town in the popular TV series, Friday Night Lights. The fictional town used Austin as its primary shooting location.
The real Dillon, Texas is a ghost town in Hopkins County. The town was named after E.F. Dillon in the early 1900s when he established a post office there. However, the post office was eventually discontinued several years later. After about three decades, Dillon didn’t appear on maps anymore. Hence, it’s considered a ghost town today.
On the other hand, there’s a fictional place called Dillon, Texas in a popular TV series called Friday Night Lights. This town is filled with interesting characters who have inter webbing lives surrounding football.
History Of Dillon Texas
While there isn’t much to say about Dillon, Texas, as it is today, there is a short bit of history we can share about this settlement. According to Robert Cowser, a man who lived near Dillon as a child, Frank Dillon was an immigrant from Indiana. He moved to a property near Saltillo in the 1890s.
Dillon dreamed of developing his property into a town and founded a kiln, blacksmith, and store on his property. He also operated a cotton gin. In 1901, Frank Dillon founded a post office, which he ran from the store on the property, and a horse buggy delivered the mail to and from Dillon.
As times progressed, automotive vehicles became more popular, and Frank Dillon sent one of his sons to study as a mechanic, planning to convert the blacksmith shop into a mechanic shop. Unfortunately, Dillon’s property was far from any railways, causing the settlement to seize growing. The post office closed in 1906, and by the 1930s, Dillon was no longer recognized as a town on any road maps.
- Location: 30 miles east of Miller Grove
- County: Hopkins
- Eric Taylor – The new varsity football coach of Dillon Panthers who got overwhelmed with the intensity of football in Dillon. Even so, he managed to coach the team until the state tournament by the end of the first season.
- Tim Riggins – He’s the running back of the Dillon Panthers. He’s also known to be a problematic character since he had a reputation for being a womanizer. Although he’s a great player, he suffers from unstable relationships, which he solves by abusing alcohol.
- Jason Street – He was the show’s quarterback at the start of the season. However, he had a terrible accident during his first game as a senior, making him paraplegic. Even so, his love for sports made him switch to quad rugby.
- Matt Saracen – This character became the quarterback in his sophomore year after Jason Street. He struggled severely with issues of abandonment. After graduating, he pursued an art career in Chicago.
- Landry Clarke – His character resembles a nerdy high school student who’s friends with the quarterback. To impress his father, he joined the football team and eventually became the team captain when he moved to East Dillon.
- Tyra Collete – Although she was depicted as the school’s bad girl, Tyra had a huge character development throughout the whole series. That’s thanks to Tami Taylor. She went to the University of Texas after graduation.
Just 30 miles east of Miller, Grove, you can find Dillon, Texas. It’ll probably be an hour’s drive from there. Another landmark to remember is that it’s close to the town of Saltillo.
Dillon should undoubtedly be on your list if you’re interested in ghost towns in and around Texas. So, where can you find Dillon, Texas? The settlement is in Hopkins County, approximately 4 miles south of Saltillo, Texas.
The closest airport to Dillon, Texas, is Monterey Airport. When flying to Monterey Airport, you must take a car or cab to Dillon, which is about 60 miles away.
There aren’t any hotels or restaurants in Dillon, Texas. Truth be told, the only thing left of the settlement is the shop building, so your trip there will be short. Fortunately, there are a few other spots around Dillon, Texas, so you can make your trip longer when going to this ghost town.
- Saltillo FFA High School
- Saltillo ISD
- Church of Christ
- Affordable Spray Foam Insulation
- Saltillo Volunteer Fire Department
You probably won’t find Dillon, Texas on any map. Despite that, you can use these nearby locations to pinpoint this ghost town.
Of course, the characters in Friday Night Lights also had their own fun. In general, they visited different places to hang out. These filming locations are restaurants or entertainment establishments around Austin.
- Chill at the Alamo Freeze
- Have Fun at the Horshoe Lounge
- Get Your Groove at the Broken Spoke
- Explore the Landing Strip
The Alamo Freeze was a popular spot for serious conversations between characters. You’ll often see characters buy frozen treats and drinks here.
In reality, this establishment is a Dairy Queen in Austin. However, the charming 1950s vibe from the series is gone after the renovation.
So, if you still want to get a tasty treat and feel like you’re part of Friday Night Lights, try to visit the Dairy Queen along Windsor Park.
If you’re looking for a night out, then the Horseshoe Lounge may be for you. This dive bar is also in Austin, specifically on South Lamar Boulevard.
What makes this bar memorable is its neon horseshoe sign up front. Plus, you won’t need to break your wallet for some alcoholic beverages in this bar.
Another establishment you’ll want to visit in South Lamar is the Broken Spoke. Not only can you enjoy music and dancing, but you can also stuff yourself with some of their delicious steaks, barbecues, and Mexican food.
Broken Spoke has stood in Austin for more than 60 years. So, you’ll know they have a great reputation among the Texan people.
What’s more, they open their dance hall around seven in the evening from Tuesdays to Saturdays. If you think you’re off your groove, you can take their dance lessons from Wednesdays to Saturdays.
Just a five-minute drive from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, you can find the Landing Strip. However, keep in mind that this strip joint isn’t for everyone. Depending on what day you visit, you may find different dancers and servers.
Additionally, you can enjoy some snacks and meals in this joint. They offer different appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and burgers.
Dillon, Texas FAQs
Is Dillon, Texas real?
Dillon, Texas is technically real, especially during the 1900s. However, you won’t find it in maps anymore. On the other hand, it’s a fictional place in the TV series Friday Night Lights, which aired from 2006 to 2011.
Is Dillon, Texas a good place to live?
Given that it’s a ghost town, Dillon, Texas isn’t a viable option for living. However, Dillon from the series Friday Night Lights is a promising town with an interesting neighborhood.
Is Dillon, Texas worth visiting?
If you’re interested in exploring almost non-existent towns, then you can try your luck in finding Dillon, Texas. The best time to search for its exact location may be around Halloween since being a ghost town adds to the thrill.
What Happened To Dillon Texas?
Dillon, Texas, was a short-lived settlement. The location is far away from any of the larger railroads that ran through Texas at the time. Investors weren’t convinced that the town would be profitable. As such, they weren’t too keen on investing in buildings on the settlement. As a result, Dillon, Texas, saw no growth, and the settlement eventually stopped when the post office closed in 1901.
Christian Linden is a seasoned writer and contributor at Texas View, specializing in topics that resonate with the Texan community. With over a decade of experience in journalism, Christian brings a wealth of knowledge in local politics, culture, and lifestyle. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Texas. When he's not writing, Christian enjoys spending weekends traveling across Texas with his family, exploring everything from bustling cities to serene landscapes.