Route 66 history

Ghosts on Route 66

For an international legion of Route 66 enthusiasts the picturesque ruins of Endee perched on a knoll along a dusty track that was once Route 66 is a destination. A forlorn old building adorned with a sign reading "Modern Restrooms" is a favorite photo op. But long...

Gone But Not Forgotten

"The Stony Wold Motel, Kingman, Arizona is constrcuted entirely of black malapai stone, a volcanic stone found abundantly in colorful Arizona. Thoroughly fire proof. Interiors are luxuriously furnished in Monterey furniture with an emphasis on comfortable beds....

Myth, Legend & BS

The forlorn looking White Rock Court is counted among the rarest of Route 66 motels. It is a prewar auto court. And it was the only motel in Kingman to be listed in the Negro Motorist Green Book. In 1915 when Edsel Ford and his college buddies followed the National...

Another Time Capsule

The Old Trails Garage dates to 1915. It was built by J.W. Thompson for M.G. Wagner who had operated the original Old Trails Garage on South Front Street, now Topeka Street. At the time this was the course followed by the National Old Trails Road. This is one of the...

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Gunfighters, Folk Artists, and Trains

Pontaic, Illinois harnessed Waldmire’s popularity in the Route 66 and folk art community as an integral component in the development of tourism that literally transformed the town into a destination. Kingman, Arizona has an an orignal Bob Waldmire mural, and a display of his orignal work, at TNT Engineering, orignally a Ford dealership built along Route 66 in the 1960s.  
Waldmire’s work isn’t recognized or promoted in the Kingman’s official tourism marketing. An innovative narrated self guided historic district walking tour developed by Kingman Main Street finally put the mural and other public art displays in the spotlight. But a year after its introudction the walking tour still hasn’t been included in the city’s tourism marketing initiatives. 

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Not An Ordinary Joe

One of the first discoveries made in my quest for answers was this article published in the Tombstone Epitaph on July 7, 1928. "TOURIST HOTEL CHANGES HANDS HERE LAST WEEK - Joe Hood Is New Owner of Well Known Hotel Here; Will Repair Building.  The Tourist Hotel, for...

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Route 66 Centennial, Tourism and Hard Knocks

Route 66 Centennial, Tourism and Hard Knocks

In 1926 it was simply one of the roads in the newly minted U.S. highway system. But by 1950 it was without a doubt the most famous highway in America. And today that fame has spread throughout the world even though officially Route 66 no longer exists. For me personally, Route 66 was one of the highways that we followed on our journey west from Virginia in the summer of ’59. And in June of 1966, it was the primary highway that we traveled in our epic move from Michigan to Kingman, Arizona. Then, for the next few years, it was a part of annual pilgrimage to visit with family in Michigan, in Tennessee and in Alabama. 

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A Few Route 66 Surprises

What do you call a town that is linked to Route 66 because it was named in a song that reminded us to not forget Winona, because it has an original Bob Waldmire mural, and because it was the primary location for the 1984 movie Roadhouse 66  starring Willem Dafoe and...

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Santa Rosa’s Literary Hero

Rudolfo Anaya is a renowned writer with a long list of published novels, short stories, essays and even poems. His best known work was also his first novel, Bless Me, Ultima. Published in 1972, the novel tells the fascinating story of Antonio, a young boy growing up...

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June 2023