Looking for my FIRST preservation project on Route 66 in AZ…

 Arizona, Daily  Comments Off on Looking for my FIRST preservation project on Route 66 in AZ…
Aug 192012
 




 

OK – I have done several projects on the route, including Illinois, New Mexico, and California. I live and work and enjoy Arizona, so I think it is time I ‘keep it close to home’ for my next project.

I actually have (4) in AZ I have my hands in:
The first is an old Richfield Gas Station in Winslow.
The second is the famous Meteor City Trading Post.
The third is a historic sign for a restaurant / motel located on Route 66, in Arizona.
The fourth is, well, a gas station in Tucumcari NM – so I guess that one really wouldn’t count!!

Richfield Gas Station – Winslow AZ

This is an interesting project for me. For the past year, I actually tried to BUY this gas station for my own and restore it back to it’s former glory, and then (one day) maybe lease it out as a gift shop or a little sandwich place for tourists. This would have been one of the ONLY restored Richfield Gas Stations on the route, and it would have been a gem! While going back and forth with it’s current owner (mind you, for almost a year!) I was doing massive research on all things Richfield. This included researching what the building looked like when it first opened, finding old photos, and figuring out what brands this station would have carried (this way I could have figured out which signs to put on the exterior of the building). So it was getting down to the wire and the owner decided to keep it! I was blown away! I felt if I lost one of my children at the mall for a minute as I tried to get everything ready to be a ‘proud owner of American history’ – but alas, it was not meant to be.
I sucked it up and through a few emails we continued to talk and one day, he told me his plans with the building, to ‘bring it back to the way it looked like in the 30’s and possibly run a business out of it’… Now mind you, I NEVER told him my plans – as far as he was concerned – I was just ‘some guy’ who wanted to buy the old building – nothing more. It felt like a weight was lifted off my chest as I knew someone had the same plans I did for the building. With that, I met up with him and downloaded ALL my research to his hard drive as a ‘helping hand’ on how to guide him to preserving this gas station.
Now, I am willing to offer to help him – as long as he will let me…


Meteor City Trading Post – Meteor City AZ

This one came to me via a converstation with Roger Naylor – co-author of ‘Arizona Kicks on Route 66’ – while on a phone call one day.
We were talking about preservation work and how he thought it would be ‘great’ to partake in a project –  as he did not know or want to ‘spearhead’ one, but he was more than willing to lend a helping hand.
We were talking about different sites on Route 66 in Arizona and he mentioned he spoke to the owners of the trading post and they were wanting to repaint their ‘World’s Longest Route 66 Map’ as the elements have taken a toll on it. I told him I would stop in on my (many) trips back and forth to Holbrook and see what they are looking to do. Well, I did as promised and found the owner of the trading post, and she pretty much did not want to believe some ‘stranger’ stops in offering a ‘friendly helping hand’ and help them fix something which tens of thousands of travelers stop and look at. As we went outside to tour the map, she was pointing out the damage done by the winds (note: the wind gusts get up to 40-60MPH in the open desert, and when you have something that big sitting there unprotected, it takes a beating). We talked about it being painted some time ago with the direction of Hampton Inns – but she said it was time for to repair the wood and repaint the map. As we walked around the property, she mentioned to me they still had the ORIGINAL trading post building, built in 1932(ish) and it was covered up by fencing. She then mentioned ‘everyone knows it is here and wants to see it and take pictures, but we do not know how to open it up to the public.’ So the lightbuld goes off. I told her to close up the front window and make sure the front door is secure and then remove and realign the wood fencing to INCLUDE the front of the historic original trading post. She loved the idea! Then out of the corner of my eye, I see two painting on the fence and ask her about them. She said ‘oh, Bob Waldmire painted those…’ Naturally, I replied “who knows that?!? Why isn’t there a sign or plaque letting the travelers know this?!?”
So there seems to be THREE projects at this site, all which are just as valuable as the next.


Historic Motel/Restaurant sign – somewhere on Route 66 in AZ

This one we all know and love BUT I need to check with the current owner to see what his/her plans are. He/she might already be working on something as I have seen work done on a portion of it, but the entire sign needs to be redone to show off its grandeur!
This one I will have to get back to you on, but I would LOVE to have the opportunity to work on this one!


Gas Station #10 – Tucumcari NM
OK, this one isn’t in Arizona and this one is pretty much planned with or without me there, but I figured if the timing was right, it is the least I can do to not only help out Tucumcari (again) but to help Mr. Rich Talley for his (several) trips to Needles to criticize me (I mean) help me with not only the 66 Motel sign restoration, but being there with the TEXACO and UNION gas stations before we went to Victorville for the fest.

I believe this should be enough to last me the rest of the year! Although in high country (northern Arizona) it does snow and get really cold, and all of these seem to be on the same ‘belt line’ – I might have to pick only two or three at the most – leaving one or so until next year…

Let me know what you think…

The two ‘new faces’ on Route 66 in Needles CA.

 California, Daily  Comments Off on The two ‘new faces’ on Route 66 in Needles CA.
Jul 022012
 




After a few days of research – the two gas station slated for ‘restoration’ are an old Texaco and an old Union gas station.

My ‘Needles partner in crime’ Linda Fitzpatrick sent me several Emails about her investigative work. We originally thought the gas stations were an old Mobil and Cheveron station, but upon talking to the owners, talking to some folks ‘in the know’ and finding some old pictures, it was determined the Mobil station started it’s life out as a Texaco station, and the Cheveron station originally began pumping Union Oil gas!

With this information, I do what I always do on these types of projects: start hitting the web for information!
After about 3 days and hundreds upon hundreds of websites, I gathered enough information to confirm these were originally Texaco and Union gas station.

Now, we are getting all of our ducks in a row and will really start putting things thogether the weekend of July 20th. The buildings will be painted white, and I will come into town and hit the trim and get all the signs in place.

A muralist is working on something special for these places and even I am excited to see what she will be able to accomplish.

The goal is to have these finished so all travelers heading west to Victorville for the fest have several reasons to stop into Needles. First and foremost: the 66 Motel sign – a MUST see! Then these two gas stations will be brought back from the ‘drab’ and should make for some great photo ops.

We are getting a lot of support and help from several sources on this project. If you are around and/or able, let em knwo if you want to help that weekend as we can always use an extra set of hands!!

The owners are waiting to see the outcome as they even might put orders in for gas pumps and a few other signs to go on and around the buildings.

More restoration work in Needles on Route 66…

 California, Daily  Comments Off on More restoration work in Needles on Route 66…
Jun 282012
 





Hot off the tail of the restoration of the 66 Motel sign in Needles, another project (or should I say projects) are taking shape…

Not even a week has gone by since the relighting of the historic 66 Motel sign another restoration project is underway.

Having spent a good amount of time in the last year and a half in Needles, one starts looking for things to not only help the travelers who are driving Route 66, but also to try to find ways to help the local economy as well.

The thing which jumped out to me were two small, non-descript gas stations on the west side of town. I have passed these things many, many times as I was in town working on the sign and always wanted to see if something could be done with them.

Well, fast forward to last week and the town has decided to continue with the ‘wave of restorations’ and start planning on working on these two stations. They were very surprised on not only how well the motel sign turned out, but the reactions from local town folk. It is a wise move in my eyes!

The two gas stations will be painted the standard ‘white paint’ they once where painted back in the 40’s and 50’s and signs and other artwork will be added by local volunteers, an artist, and even yours truly. I wanted to be a part of this one, as I have a ‘fondness’ for Needles now!

The owners will also help with the work as well as provide old photos for reference as we will try to recreate them as close to how they used to look like.

If this sounds familiar, look no further than Tucumcari and the work they have done on their stations. To be honest with you, I have been planting this seed for over a year and I feel it was Rich Talley (Motel Safari fame) who pushed it over the edge and convinced them it was ‘the right thing to do for the town, and the tourists’.

I do not expect the stations to look as ‘good’ as in Tucumcari as I know how they work and their ‘secret weapon’ Doug Quareles, but we are going to do a pretty decent job!

The plan is to have both stations completed by the time the Victorville festival starts so folks can not only see the restored sign, they can see the gas stations finished, maybe have lunch at the historic Wagon Wheel Restaurant, and then head ‘west to the fest!’

Relighting ceremony for the 66 Motel sign in Needles on Route 66

 California, Daily  Comments Off on Relighting ceremony for the 66 Motel sign in Needles on Route 66
Jun 172012
 




The Motel 66 neon is ready to be installed!

There will be a lighting ceremony this Saturday, June 23rd at 9pm. It has to be later in the evening because that’s when it gets dark in Needles!

I will be in town late Thursday night working most of the day Friday and Saturday installing the neon, transformers and wiring to complete the restoration of the sign.

We will have a good size crowd that night so if you are traveling Route 66, or even are close to Needles, stop out.

The sign was last lit over 15 years ago so this has been a long time coming.

Thanks again for all of you who have donated and supprted this project!

On the road back to Needles CA…

 Arizona, California, Daily  Comments Off on On the road back to Needles CA…
Apr 202012
 



Phase 2 begins on the sign!

On our trip from Holbrook to Needles (I say OUR because I am traveling with Rich Talley, Motel Safari – Tucumcari fame). We decided to hit a few places on the way to Needles.

Now, on the way BACK to Flagstaff, we will be driving most of the route to stop at a bunch of places….

Until then, here are a few places we stopped at:

We met at the Globetrotter Motel and headed out to Flagstaff.
In Flagstaff, it was MANDATORY we stop at the Mother Road Brewering Company.

This is a new business on Route 66 and Rich really wanted to stop here, and we are glad we did!
It was 2pm and although they did not open until 3pm, they let us in and gave us a tour, and even better, a sampling of beer!

These folks are passionate about what they do and I feel they will be a great addition to Route 66. They are distributing in Arizona, but are looking for distributors all along the route.

After buying a 6 pack, we headed out.




























We then headed out to Kingman and decided to stop and eat at Mr. D’s. I had about 8 glasses of their Root Beer and a burger. I was not disappointed.
















We will spend all day getting the sign looking like it should and I will post the updates as well as our trip back to Flagstaff.

It begins! The fundraiser for the restoration of the 66 Motel sign!

 California, Daily  Comments Off on It begins! The fundraiser for the restoration of the 66 Motel sign!
Mar 292012
 







IndieGogo Fundraiser to relight the 66 Motel sign in Needles CA.

Here is your chance to help restore and get the 66 Motel sign lit up again after 15 years of being off!
Every dollar counts! Share this with EVERYONE you know to get the word out to save this iconic historic sign!

We have several folks and businesses along the route who have donated items to donors – so not only do you get the gift of satisfaction for helping such a worthwhile cause – you also GET something from the route!

The painting work has been started and this will be for the neon, transformers, electrical , and installation.
I cannot thank you enough for the help!

Click HERE for more information on how to donate.

Ed Klein
Route 66 World

Carty’s Camp in Needles CA on Route 66

 California, Daily  Comments Off on Carty’s Camp in Needles CA on Route 66
Feb 042011
 



Tucked away behind the famous 66 Motel (Route 66 Motel) in Needles CA – hidden by a fence and some over-growth is the remains of the historic Carty’s Camp.

The camp is probably best known for its cameo in the movie ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ after the family finally crosses into California, and drive up Route 66 with Carty’s Camp in the background as the camera slowly pans to the ‘Welcome to Needles’ sign. You pretty much see the ‘Carty’s Camp’ sign on top of the gas station – but you can not see the actual camp.

It is reported the crew stayed the night here while filming the scene.

While talking to the owners of the 66 Motel, I was given a personal tour of the remains of the camp. The remains pretty much consist of a row of ‘back to back’ rooms which were beyond repair. I was told tents were here before the cabins and there used to be dates in the back area the workers used to go out and pick during harvest season.

I poked my head inside a few cabins and things look almost frozen in time, not touched for years. It almost looked like no one has stepped back there in a very long time.

I really didn’t know too much about Carty’s Camp until I took the tour. I actually went back and watched ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ again, and sure enough – the sign was front and center on the screen!

Please remember it is on private property and the owners of the 66 Motel do not own that property – so you will not be able to go back there – and the owners of the 66 Motel probably do no want to be considered ‘tour guides’ for something which is not theirs.