Did you know that …
Adamana, located twenty-five miles east of Holbrook on the north bank of the Rio Puerco River, was established as a station on the main line of the A.T. & S.F. (Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe) Railroad about 1890 as a departure point for tourists visiting the Petrified Forest. The name is a derivative combining the name of Adam Hanna, a partner with Jim Cart in a large sheep ranch that operated in the area.
For travelers on the National Old Trails Highwaythe sparse services available at Amboy made it a literal oasis. Indicative of the importance of Amboy to early motorists in the desert is the listing of the J.M. Bender Garage in the Hotel, Garage, Service Station, and AAA Club Directory of 1927, the only approved service facility between Barstowand Needles.
Atltanta, Illinois was founded as Xenia, but the establishment of a post office in November of 1847 was under the name New Castle. With amendment this changed to Atalanta in 1853, and then the current spelling of Atlanta in 1861. Indications are that classical Greek mythology was the inspiration for the Atalanta name.
Bernal, New Mexico is the site of the first stage stop west of Las Vegas on the the Santa Fe Trail. The consensus is the name derives from a familial association with Pascuala Bernal who arrived in what would become the state of New Mexico with her husband, Juan Griego, a member of the Don Juan Onate expedition of 1598.
The Braidwood Inn, now the Sun Motel, in Braidwood, Illinois, at 140 S. Hickory was featured in the 1987 film produced by Paramount, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. In this film Neal Page, played by Steve Martin, and Del Griffith, played by John Candy, share a room at this motel after a flight delay reroutes their airplane to Wichita.
Cadiz, established as a small water station on the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad in 1883, was an important stop for motorists crossing the Mojave Desert on the National Old Trails Highway. A notation in a 1914 guidebook to the roads connecting Los Angles with Phoenixand the Grand Canyon reads, “Cadiz-Water- sandy road-railroad access.”
An alignment built in 1931 bypassed the small community to the north by three miles. This alignment of Route 66 crossed the Marble Mountainsat Cadiz Summit creating confusion as some maps refer to this as Cadiz. In actuality, it was never a town, George and Minne Tienken relocated their business, Cadiz Service, to this location shortly after the realignment and named it Cadiz Summit Service.
Looking for more fun facts about Route 66 or the forgotten places in the desert southwest? For additional reading may I suggest Ghost Towns of Route 66, Ghost Towns of the Southwest, or the forthcoming Route 66 Encyclopedia.