GHOST TOWNS OF ROUTE 66
Today there will be two trivia posts as I was on the road yesterday. The subject of both is ghost towns on Route 66.
This photo is of the old Truxton Canyon Indian Agency School in the ghost town of Valentine, Arizona. The school is one of the last remnants of a vast complex built during the first decades of the 20TH century.
In 1958, a distraught and violent young man from Peach Springs climbed into the rocks above the then closed school and began firing at vehicles passing below on Route 66 with his rifle. Traffic was halted at Peach Springs and in Kingman creating a massive traffic jam.
Clyde McCune, an officer with the Mohave County Sherriff’s Department, subdued the young man after hours of working through the rocks to out flank him under a broiling Arizona sun. This was not McCune’s first brush with death on Route 66. Nor was law enforcement his sole contribution to the colorful historyof Route 66.
In the late 1940s the Department of the Interior initiated studies for determining the feasibility of building a dam at Bridge Canyon near the present site of Grand Canyon West. McCune correctly concluded the such a project would have to make use of the Buck & Doe Road west of Peach Springs as this was the only road that connected Route 66 with that section of the canyon.
In partnership with Don Dilts, McCune purchased property between the Buck & Doe Road junction and Crozier Canyon on Route 66, and built a garage and service station in 1950. Business was brisk at the Truxton Garage and Dilts added another service station and restaurant.
The dam never was completed but Truxton thrived. By 1960, McCune’s garage had morphed into a small town complete with post office, motels, service stations, and restaurants.
With completion of the I40 bypass in the 1970s, Truxton became an instant ghost town. Today the old town consists of one operating motel, the Frontier cafe, a service station and garage, a bar, Cowgill’s market, ruins, foundations scattered throughout the brush, and a few dozen residents.
If you would like to read more about the Route 66 adventures of Clyde McCune, or dozens of other pioneers on the old double six, I suggest Route 66 Lives On The Road http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=1968adventurer&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=0760307660&fc1=000000&IS2=1<1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrby Jon Robinson.