Hello and Welcome!

Thanks for visiting. Route 66 holds a place in many peoples hearts. If you have any memories or places along Route 66 you would like to add, please email me at designsbyjulieann@gmail.com If you have anything to add or share on things already posted, please feel free to leave a comment. Thanks, Julie

Friday, January 23, 2009

Brief History of Route 66

"...and they come into 66 from the tributary side roads, from the wagon tracks and the rutted country roads, 66 is the mother road, the road of flight." -- John Steinbeck - "The Grapes of Wrath".

Route 66 is the highway that will not die. In 1985, the Federal government decommissioned the last stretch of Route 66. Nearly twenty-five years after the decommission, Route 66 is still alive in books, movies, songs, in our imaginations and memories and on the internet. All along the historic route, the buildings and signs are being restored and kept alive with "Historic Route 66" signs that lead people down the most famous American road.

In 1925, Route 66 was born out of an act of Congress. A new highway was created out of joining of existing roads from Chicago to Los Angeles. The route was "continuously paved" by 1938. Route 66 provided a passage for millions including Dust Bowl refugees and wartime job-seekers. Tourists traveling by automobile joined the path west seeking excitement and adventure. The tourist camps, diners, gas stations, and the hackneyed roadside attractions.

Route 66 was immortalized a song written in 1946 by the late Bobby Troup and recorded by the late Nat King Cole. Now, Route 66 has taken a spot in our national lexicon:

When you make that California trip!
If any Joe . . . tells you to go . . . some other way,
Say nix!
Get your kicks . . . on Route 66!" -- Bobby Troup

Unique buildings were built along Route 66 to attract the traveler with a touch of local character. Travelers could buy gas at Cosden Gas Station that was shaped like an iceberg in Albuquerque, New Mexico; eat a hot dog on a stick dipped in batter in Springfield, Illinois or Sleep in a teepee in Holbrook, Arizona. The icons have burned fond memories into many of our hearts and minds..

By the 1980's, the roads that showed true America were replaced by the Interstate Highways. Interstates offered faster and safer travel across our nation, but lost was meeting new people, regional cuisine and unique tourist traps. Today, a travel eats the same meal in St. Louis as well as Gallup. The people who offer services are not the friendly business owner who cares about service.

Route 66 continues to live on and attracts people from all over the world hoping to find a little piece of Americana. To learn more about Route 66, please visit National Historic Route 66 Federation.

If you would like to help preserve Route 66 and/or meet others interested in Route 66, consider joining a regional association.

National Historic Route 66 Federation
Route 66 Association of Illinois
Route 66 Association of Missouri
Kansas Historic Route 66 Association
Oklahoma Route 66 Association
Old Route 66 Association of Texas
Route 66 Association of New Mexico
Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona
California Historic Route 66 Association


  1. I have awarded you a Lemonade Award. Your site is very useful and full of great information and ideas.

    You can pick it up at:


    Thanks for the great site!

  2. Hello!
    Thanks for your ad through Entrecard

    Just been reading through your entries and I will now say that traveling Route 66 "The mother road" is now firmly added to my "List of things to do before I become boring!"

    Keep up the good work!

    *Happy Travelin'*
    Overland Si

  3. really useful information.very interesting to read the article.


  4. I wanna go kick my kix on route 66