Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Route 66 Museum Kingman, Arizona August 19, 2013

                                 "Mainstreet of America"

Information: While in Kingman, Arizona, I stopped at the Route 66 Museum at the Visitor's Center along historic Beale Street. The museum is small but it has a significant amount of information documenting the history of  the "Mother Road."  Each visitor has to pay $4 to visit. The ticket also gives you access to the Mohave Museum up the street. Kingman is located in northwestern Arizona along Interstate 40 approximately 100 miles south of Las Vegas.

Short History: The road was established in November of 1926. It started in Chicago, Illinois and ended in Santa Monica, California. During its existence the route has taken on mythical importance. It has been honored in songs, television shows, movies and books. It also has many nicknames including the Mother Road, Main Street of America, and Will Roger's Highway.  During the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, the road served as a major path for those heading west. The museum does a good job portraying the hardships travelers and citizens endured during this time with photos and passages from John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath.  Route 66 would be the principal east-west highway until the completion of the Interstate Highway System in 1985. Today preservation groups are attempting to preserve the route and historic towns from Chicago to California. (Information from www.wikipedia.com and the museum).

                                    Pictures of motorists on Route 66 during the Dust Bowl

                              A blurry photo of a Phillips 66 Gas Pump

                      Part of the museum about the pioneers

                                     Glassware from the early 1900s

                 Cool map showing Route 66 between Kingaman and Needles

                        Route 66 mural in Kingman

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