Arizona Route 66 Museum: Wagon Trail to Mother Road

Arizona Route 66 Museum: Wagon Trail to Mother Road

Long before Route 66 was commissioned in the 1920s, settlers used the Beale Wagon Road to move west. Route 66 traced the same route used by the Beale Wagon Road through Arizona. The Arizona Route 66 Museum, located in a former Kingman power plant, recalls the history of the route from horse-and-buggy days to the Route 66 heyday in the 1950s and ‘60s. Read more

Beyond the Midwest: National Route 66 Museum, Elk City, Oklahoma

Beyond the Midwest: National Route 66 Museum, Elk City, Oklahoma

We expected to see the National Route 66 Museum. What we got were four museums in one:

  • National Route 66 Museum
  • National Transportation Museum
  • Old Town Museum
  • Farm & Ranch Museum

The National Transportation Museum keeps to the nostalgic Route 66 theme. Here you’ll find vintage cars cut in half. Slide behind the wheel or in the back seat and watch classic movie trailers at a Route 66 Drive-In theater.

Behind the wheel of a vintage carRte 66 drive-in 2Don’t miss a Midwest Wanderer post.  For a FREE subscription, enter your e-mail address in the Subscribe2 box to the left and click Subscribe.

A vintage trailer, motorcycles and an airplane are displayed, as is a 1917 fire engine complete next to a fireman’s pole. I was tempted to slide down the pole until Skip reminded me that I’m still getting over an ankle injury.

vintage rv trailerTrans museum - motorcycleAirplaneFire engineI’m not sure how the Popeye collection fits in with transportation, but it’s fun.

Popeye collectionPopeyeThe National Route 66 Museum was the highlight for us, as we followed the road from Chicago to California.

Chicago Theater signRoute 66Route 66 - 3Route 66 - 4Route 66 - 5Route 66 - 2The Old Town Museum is made up of several buildings, some facades and other full buildings that have been moved to the site.

Opera houseMove room to room in a Victorian home to see dioramas and displays of early-day western Oklahoma, Native American culture, military and rodeo history.

Dining roomBedroomrodeo museumI thought the old perm machine looked more like the woman was being electrocuted.

perm machineI’ve been to farm museums before, but the Farm and Ranch Museum includes displays I’ve never seen before, like a colorful tractor seat collection and a barbed wire collection.

tractor seatsbarbed wirewindmillWe spent over an hour in the complex but could have spent at least double that time to see everything. What a bargain at only $5 per person ($4 for seniors, AAA members and children 6-16; free for children 5 and under).

The National Route 66 Museum Complex is located at 2717 W Highway 66 in Elk City, Oklahoma. Check the web site for hours.

Photos by Skip Reed and Connie Reed

Thank you for reading Midwest Wanderer. Don’t miss a post. Enter your e-mail address below and click Subscribe to be notified whenever I publish another post. Subscription is FREE. After subscribing, be sure to click the link when you get the e-mail asking you to confirm.   – Connie

Other articles that may interest you:

A Nostalgic Stay at the Route 66 Rail Haven Motel in Springfield, Missouri

Pontiac Oakland Museum, Pontiac Illinois: Auto Nostalgia along Route 66

Oklahoma’s Charlie’s Chicken and Barbeque Offers Rotisserie Chicken as Alternative to Fried

The Palms Grill Cafe, Atlanta IL: Route 66 Diner Restored to its 1934 Look

The Palms Grill Cafe, Atlanta IL: Route 66 Diner Restored to its 1934 Look

People from all over the world come to the United States each year to drive Historic Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica. Although many sights once along the Mother Road no longer exist, including much of the pavement itself, several businesses are making a comeback, either in their original states or as museums. One such business is The Palms Grill Café in Atlanta, Illinois. The diner has been fully restored to look as it did when it opened in 1934. The diner, including home-style entrees and fresh-baked pies, creates an authentic Route 66 dining experience. Read more