Still kickin’: Route 66 shields, signs boost nostalgia in Arizona

 Arizona, Daily  Comments Off on Still kickin’: Route 66 shields, signs boost nostalgia in Arizona
Aug 242014
 

angel-route-66






Yavapai County has helped its Route 66 communities of Seligman and Ash Fork celebrate their history with new Historic US 66 shield signs painted right onto the highway, with a healthy dose of new Burma-Shave signs on the side.

That should slightly lighten the workload of the mysterious man who travels Route 66 painting the shields onto the road under cover of darkness. Seligman native Clarissa Delgadillo says the legend is widespread across the Mother Road.

“A couple times a year, the shields appear,” Delgadillo said, and then the Arizona Department of Transportation gets rid of them because ADOT has Route 66 jurisdiction in Seligman and Ash Fork.

Her sister Mirna once spotted a man leaving a safety cone in front of her family’s Route 66 Gift Shop right before the shield reappeared, but didn’t get a good description of him.

ADOT officials are concerned that tourists will stand on the road on top of the shields for photos, spokesman Dustin Krugel explained.

But Yavapai County has jurisdiction on the rest of the mostly uninhabited Route 66 segments through this county, so county Public Works employees recently painted the large shields on each end of Seligman as well as Route 66 near the Interstate 40 Crookton Exit and Ash Fork.

route-66-shield
County Public Works employees also crafted four new sets of replica Burma-Shave signs with the blessing of the current owners of the defunct company, Yavapai County Supervisor Craig Brown said. Local citizens picked out their favorite sayings.

A brushless shaving cream company called Burma-Shave came up with the idea in 1925 to place catchy poems along America’s highways and get its name known. Route 66 was born the next year in 1926. Each of the series of typically red and white signs contains one line of a poem.

“Listen birds, these signs cost money, so roost awhile, but don’t get funny,” one of the new sets of signs reads outside Seligman.

The Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona has been working with ADOT, counties and municipalities to play up the Mother Road while also trying to make it safer, Mirna Delgadillo said.

“We definitely are trying to preserve and protect Seligman,” she added, praising the county’s help.

“Anything we can do to promote economic development, we’re going to do,” Brown said. By making the signs in-house they cost only about $1,000, he estimated. The county also rehabilitated other Burma Shave signs it originally made and placed on the highway as far back as 2002.

“They help bring nostalgia back for tourists,” librarian Charlotte Lindemuth said. “They’re so interested in the history of Route 66.”

Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona members in Seligman, including the Delgadillo family led by association founder Angel Delgadillo, are concerned about visitors from around the world being able to stroll across the four-lane highway in town, which has no stop signs or lights.

They asked ADOT for two crosswalks and a lower speed limit of 25 instead of the current 35.

ADOT’s preliminary analysis concludes the crossings don’t meet its standard requirements because there isn’t a concentrated area where pedestrians try to cross the highway, Krugel said.

Traffic speeds also seem appropriate as traffic is generally in compliance with the 35 mph limit, Krugel and the regional traffic engineer said.

Clarissa and Mirna Delgadillo say they frequently sees vehicles speeding through town, however.

ADOT hopes to have a final analysis on the crossings and speed limits sometime this year, the regional traffic engineer said.

The Seligman Historical Society also has been trying to restore the 1912 Cottage Hotel that has been serving as a visitors center, Lindemuth said. Community members would like to create a museum there, too.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has awarded Seligman a grant to get asbestos and lead out of historic structure.

“Anything we can do to preserve old historic buildings, we’d better do or we’re going to lose them,” Brown said.

To support the efforts to restore the Cottage Hotel, go online to seligmanhistory.com.

By: Joanna Dodder – The Daily Courier

Route 66 grant awarded to Kingman hotel

 Arizona, Daily  Comments Off on Route 66 grant awarded to Kingman hotel
Aug 132013
 




The Hilltop Motel on Route 66 in Kingman recently earned a much-coveted Route 66 Cost-Share Preservation Grant from the National Park Service – the only such grant awarded in Arizona this year.

The Hilltop Motel is an excellent example of the motel experience that was common during the post-war, family vacation boom,” according to a press release from the National Park Service.

Motel owner Dennis Schroeder said he is very happy to get the $20,000 grant, and he will have to come up with a matching $21,478 before the National Park Service will release the funds.

“It’s really a great program,” he said. “It’s funded 114 or 115 projects on Route 66 – everything from oral histories to historic buildings.”

The money from the grant will replace the heating and cooling units in 14 of the 28 rooms at the historic motel, Schroeder said.

The original units were installed when the motel was built in 1954 and were incredibly inefficient, he said.

“The air conditioning units had three levels – on, off and fan,” he said.

“You would turn it on and in a few minutes, you would be freezing. You’d turn it off, and a few minutes later you were sweating.”

The gas heating system was the same way, Schroeder said. Most of the units were replaced in the 1980s, but those systems are now in need of replacement.

He hopes to start work in October.

The hotel has seen a lot of history in its nearly 60 years of existence.

It was originally built with 20 rooms. Over the years, another eight rooms, an innkeeper’s quarters and a pool were added.

More recently, cable TV and then satellite TV was installed.

The motel also has had a few interesting visitors, including the band Cosby, Stills and Nash – who were unable to stay at the motel because there were no open rooms. However, they did get a chance at a shower in one of the rooms.

Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh is probably the most notorious guest.

He stayed at the motel for four days in mid-February 1995. The federal government confiscated his registration card as evidence.

The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program focuses on business on or near the historic highway that were built between 1926 and 1970. It targets motels, gas stations, cafes, road segments and landscapes. The target of the grant must be within view or directly on Route 66 and must be in its original location.

The grants are awarded on an annual basis. All grant winners have to come up with matching funds.

Since 2001, 114 projects have been awarded $1.6 million in grant funds and $2.7 million in matching funds have been raised to preserve some of the Mother Road’s historic landmarks.

This is the third time that a Kingman business has gotten a grant from the program.

The first Kingman business to receive grant funding was the owner of the Old Trails Garage on Andy Devine Avenue, next to the Brunswick Hotel. A $10,000 grant with $10,000 in matching funds helped repair the roof on the building.

The second grant recipient was the Route 66 Motel on Andy Devine Avenue in 2011. A $10,319 grant with matching funds helped restore the historic sign that was featured in a 1997 issue of National Geographic, as well as repairs to the roof.

Other well-known Arizona landmarks that have gotten grant funds from the Route 66 Preservation Grant fund include the gas station in downtown Peach Springs, the Frontier Motel sign in Truxton and the Wigwam Hotel in Holbrook.

By Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa – Daily Miner

Day trip on the western half or Route 66 in Arizona…

 Arizona, Daily  Comments Off on Day trip on the western half or Route 66 in Arizona…
Sep 032012
 


Friday – Juliana and I were able to ‘sneak away’ a little early and hit some of the places on the western half or Route 66 in Arizona








Seligman Sundries – Seligman AZ

Frank and I have ‘known’ each other via Eamil and FB, but I thought it was time I stopped in and said ‘hi’ and checked the place out. I was surprised by the size of it, I was also glad how freindly Frank & Lynne were. We got to talking about a whole bunch o’ stuff happening in the world today with an English couple driving the route as well as other ‘side trips’ along the way. About 45 minutes later – we were well on our way of being ‘late’ to our destination… I will keep Frank in my Rolodex as he is a man who is in the know – and we both found out we live in Scottsdale together (he and Lynne live down here in the winter)…

Click HERE for their website.



Frontier Motel & Restaurant – Truxton AZ

This was the reason for heading north. I wanted to get out here while it was still daylight nad take a look at the sign. You know, you never realize how big it is unless you are standing right in front of it. I will be honest – from earlier posts and pictures I have read/seen, I thought the sign was in better condition and needed a ‘touch up’. This would not be the case. I took a few pics and then was proceeded by being mauled by a big black dog (no, he just jumped on me). I followed him back into the office where I met Merline – Mildred’s daughter. I introduced myself and we started talking a bit. She mentioned she was working on getting the restaurant back up and running and it would take some time as her mother just passed. I asked her about the sign and asked if the neon worked – and she told me ‘I don’t know – the people who ran the restaurant were the last ones to light it.’ Then she mentioned the switch was in the restaurant – but we never made it that far. I gave her my card, she gave me hers and we departed from each other. The place needs work – a lot of it! It is a shame because it is really a stop most folks would probably like to stop, eat, and stay…..



Cruiser’s Cafe – Williams AZ

I made it a point to finally eat here. I wanted to see first hand what they did with the existing building. We decided to sit outside as there was a gent playing his guitar and keeping the crown entertained. One thing we did not expect was it was getting cool outside and we were not prepared for it (we are from Phoenix you know – where it was still 102 degrees out and in Williams, it was a balmy 75…) I had the pulled pork sandwich (messy but good) and she had the buffalo wings. After listening to the guy play and sing we decided to pay our bill and head down the road…

Click HERE for their website.

We ended up about a block or two down to stop and watch a ‘gun fight’ Williams has every night. It was fun to watch the tourist gather and appreciate all Williams has to offer…



Red Garter Inn – Williams AZ

We decided to stop in the Red Garter Inn as well seeing we keep going by it – and never stopped in. Juliana had a ‘sweet tooth’ going and they (ironically) sold chocolate chip cookies. So, while we waited on the cookie – we started looking around and then started talking to the girl behind the counter. She took about 25 minutes showing us around, showing us different pictures with the stories behind them and then she started talking about the (4) different rooms for rent and the stories behind them. They run for either $135 or $165 for a night – breakfast included with the price.

Click HERE for their website.




Pete’s Route 66 Gas Station Museum – Williams AZ

We then walked over to Pete’s Route 66 Gas Station Museum. I also wanted to finally check this place out because I heard so much about it. Little did I know – we would be there for over an hour! I met Neill (‘Pete’) and his buddy ‘Larry the Train Guy’ and we talked about everything Route 66. We found out we both knew many of the same folks and had a lot of the same stories. Neill talked about the gas station, buying it, restoring it, the visitors, the stories, and anything else that came up. Juliana spent most of her time talking to Larry – who we found out was one of the engineers on the Grand Canyon Railway, and Neill’s wife Ester came out and showed Juliana her flower bed.


We had to start heading out as it was getting late and we still had a 2 1/2 hour drive back to Scottsdale.

The whole purpose of this trip was to go and survey the Frontier Motel sign to see if it could possibly be my next project. BUT, it seems there are too many factors involved right now. The ‘new’ owner did not seem too excited about the idea (yes, I get the fact her mother died a month earlier…) the location is a little out of the way and the closest town(s) are Kingman and Seligman, and unlike the 66 Motel sign, I had everything I needed within 10 minutes from the sign. So it might have to wait a bit until I know what is happening with the motel and when I get a few more projects out of the way… Which there are two or three more I am looking at!!