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A tour of the Litchfield Route 66 museum July 31, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in History, Museums, Restaurants.
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Route 66 museum Litchfield

This 28-minute video from “Illinois Stories,” produced by PBS affiliate WSEC-TV in Springfield, takes you inside the Litchfield Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center in Litchfield, Ill.

If you’re a little short on time, you can skip ahead to the six-minute mark and let Ariston Cafe owner Nick Adam guide you and the host through the Route 66 portion of the museum for about 11 minutes. The Ariston on Route 66 is directly across the road from the museum.

Historic gas station in Oklahoma City torn down July 31, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Gas stations.
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A cottage-style gas station in Oklahoma City that dated to the beginnings of Route 66 was torn down in recent weeks to make way for a fast-food restaurant, according to the OKC Central blog, which is affiliated with The Oklahoman newspaper.

The long-closed station stood at Pennsylvania Avenue and Northwest 23rd Street (aka Route 66). Here is a Google Maps image of the corner before the station faced the wrecking ball:


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Longtime Route 66 News reader Rick Martin alerted me to the gas station’s razing about a week ago. Oklahoman reporter Steve Lackmeyer, who’s well-plugged-in on Oklahoma City’s historical issues, checked into it and wrote a report Tuesday on his OKC Central blog.

Lackmeyer said the gas station and a nearby retail building both were built in 1926 — the first year U.S. Highway 66 was federally commissioned.

According to Sanborn fire insurance maps, the station was originally a Conoco.

The corner has been empty for as long as I can remember. A vintage-style Sears stood catty-corner to the gas station, and it was torn down in the mid-1990s to make way for the big box shopping center we see today.

Lackmeyer reports the site will be developed into a Raising Canes fast-food eatery.

Boots Motel honored by National Park Service July 30, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Events, Motels, Preservation.
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The Boots Motel in Carthage, Mo., was honored Saturday by the National Park Service’s Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program for removing a gabled roof and restoring the Route 66 landmark to its original, flat-roofed appearance.

According to the Joplin Globe newspaper:

A plaque was presented to Debye Harvey, a co-owner of the motel, by Kaisa Barthuli, program manager of the Park Service’s Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program. A $12,000 grant from the federal program paid half the costs of the project.

The complex was opened as Boots Court, then later renamed Boots Motel. The original name is part of a now-glowing neon sign at the front of the complex.

“We’ve been calling it the Boots Court Motel so people won’t be confused,” Harvey said. She and her sister, Priscilla Bledsaw, are restoring the complex after purchasing it about two years ago.

Here’s Harvey with the plaque:

According to a news release from the Boots Motel:

In attendance was NPS representative Brook Stafford, Tommy and Glenda Pike of the Missouri Route 66 Association, the Carthage Chamber and CVB directors and Carthage City officials.

Ms. Barthuli will be in-route to Cuba for another presentation before returning to attend the Joplin International Route 66 Festival.

That presentation likely was for the Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba, which also received a $12,733 grant for roof repairs.

(Images courtesy of the Ron Hart)

Route 66 made of Lego pieces July 30, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, Attractions, Events.
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A few weeks ago, Kendall Yost announced he would make a reproduction of Route 66 made entirely of Lego pieces during the Ozark Empire Fair in Springfield, Mo.

The Route 66 miniature is up, which you can see here with this video from the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader:

The Ozark Empire Fair runs through Aug. 3.

A look back at Lucille Hamons July 30, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Gas stations, History, People.
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Bob Hall, who used to work at KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City, posted this report from 1988 about Lucille Hamons, owner of Lucille’s service station on Route 66 in Hydro, Okla.

This is interesting to watch, mostly because it was before Michael Wallis’ best-selling “Route 66: The Mother Road” was published, kick-starting Route 66’s renaissance.

I’m pretty sure the book Hamons was signing was “Route 66: The Highway and Its People.” The book by writer Susan Croce Kelly and photographer Quinta Scott was published in 1988, and comes highly recommended.

Hamons died in 2000. The station is closed, but it was fixed up a few years ago as a nice roadside stop. Lucille’s, built in 1929, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.

(Image of Lucille’s in April 2013 by Larry Myhre, via Flickr)

New miniature of the Bagdad Cafe July 29, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, Museums, Restaurants.
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Take a close look at the above photos. Can you tell the real Bagdad Cafe near Newberry Springs, Calif., and the miniature replica?

The second photo is the real McCoy.

Willem Bor of the Netherlands has made amazingly detailed miniatures of Route 66 landmarks. The latest was the Bagdad Cafe, made famous by the European film of the same name.

Bor wrote in an email:

My wife Monique and I delivered it (after some communication problems) in person on the 4 of July to Sharon Foster of the Route 66 Museum (in Victorville). There were some problems with the delivery but with the help of some friends it all turns out well. Special thanks to Dries Bessels, Jim Hinckly, Ian Arthur Charles Bowen and Dan Rice.

We first made a picture in the Mojave Desert, and then driven to the Bagdad Cafe.

We show the model to the staff of the Bagdad Cafe, they were very surprised and liked all the details I made! They even want to buy the model, but we don’t sell, only donate. And of course it was promised to the Museum in Victorville.

You can see the stir and curiosity with the miniature from the restaurant’s staff:

(Photos courtesy of Willem Bor and StuRap, via Flickr)

World Peace Monument apparently is back on track July 29, 2013

Posted by Ron Warnick in Art, Attractions, People.
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Here’s one of the oddest videos you’ll see on this website. We’ll let John Clanton, a Tulsa World photographer who made the clip, explain in an accompanying story:

By his count, King Richard LéRoy has 1,613 used bowling balls. That’s 6,823 short of his goal. His real name is Richard Branaman, but he prefers to be called King Richard LéRoy, or King Richard.

His dream is to build a tower on the traffic circle at the intersection of Admiral Boulevard and Mingo Road in east Tulsa using more than 8,000 balls. The World Peace Monument.

Right now he’s building the monument one ball at a time in the parking lot of Ashley’s Great American Flea Market, 9216 E. Admiral Place.

Here’s the clip:

King Richard LéRoy and The World Peace Monument from Tulsa World on Vimeo.

I’d heard about a car crashing into the monument, and feared it was no more. I’m glad to see one of the many quirky sights at the Great American Flea Market had returned.

I have no idea how King Richard plans to erect his monument at the traffic circle at Mingo Road and Admiral Place (aka Route 66), but would love to see it happen.

(Image of the World Peace Monument in 2009 by Kate, via Flickr)

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