Route 66 - an artistic photogallery
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Castle Car Wash - Chicago, IL. Almost at the border with Cicero is the old Castle Car Wash, closed now but plans underway to save the unique building.
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Dell Rhea's - Willowbrook, IL. Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket opened in 1946 across the street from the (now gone) Hinsdale Airport. I frequently have had their fine chicken dinner, highly recommended!
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Gemini Giant at the Launch Pad Inn - Wilmington, IL. Wilmington is the home of the Gemini Giant. The Gemini Giant is a large fiberglass "muffler man" of the 1960's era. Next to the Giant is the Launching Pad Inn. The Inn was built in 1960 and at first sold only hot dogs and ice cream, but has long since expanded to a full service menu.
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The Eagle Hotel opened as a stage stop and hotel by David Lizer in 1836. Since then it has also been a warehouse, tavern, bank, and storefront. The building was converted to apartments in the 1940s, retaining small businesses in the storefront until 1982. The Wilmington Area Historical Society purchased the building that year and converted it into a museum. A fire badly damaged the structure in 1990. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.
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Polka-A-Dot Drive Inn - Braidwood, IL. First started in 1956 in a school bus painted with rainbow colored polk-a-dots, the Polka-A-Dot Drive Inn served lunch from a mini-sized kitchen inside the bus. Today the Drive In sports bigger-than-life statues of James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, Betty Boop and the Blues Brothers.
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Streetcar at the Riviera Restaurant - Gardner, IL. Behind the Riviera Restaurant is an old horse drawn Streetcar Diner that is well over 100 years old. In 1932 the Streetcar was purchased and moved to Gardner. Soon it became a simple diner providing good food with just a small sign in front to identify it. For a while it even became an unofficial stop on the Greyhound bus line before the diner closed in 1939. In 1955 the streetcar was moved to its present location behind the Riviera.
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Riviera Restaurant - Gardner, IL. The Riviera Restaurant was built in 1928. Reportedly, movie legends Gene Kelly and Tom Mix used to regularly stop here and it was a favorite out of the way joint for Al Capone during his heydays. During prohibition the old roadhouse offered both liquor and slot machines to discrete travelers. On Christmas 2009, the owners retired and the Riviera served its last dinner. In 2010 the restaurant burnt down due to an electrical fire.
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Ambler's Texaco Station - Dwight, IL. Dwight is rich in Route 66 history. Ambler's Texaco Station was built in 1933 and has been servicing the Route 66 traveler ever since. It was in operation pumping Marathon gas until 1998 and ranks as one of the longest operating stations on Route 66. In 2003 it was restored to its current beauty and serves as a welcome center.
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Dwight, IL
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Standard Oil station - Odell, IL. The Odell Standard Oil Station was built in 1932. This historic station sold gas at 20 cents per gallon to the travelers of Route 66. The station continued to operate until the 1960's when it discontinued selling gas and was used as a body shop until 1975. After sitting neglected for years, the building was saved by the Illinois Route 66 Association. Fully restored, the old station serves as Route 66 information center. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in November, 1997, it was also the first recipient of the Cyrus Avery Award, which recognizes preservation projects on Route 66.
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Underground Passage, Odell, IL. During 1926 to 1946 the traffic on Route 66 was so congested that it became necessary to build an underground passage to safely cross to the church and school. In 1947, with the opening of the new 4-lane bypass two blocks to the west, the tunnel was no longer needed and was filled in.
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Cayuga, IL. One of my favorite photos from the Road.
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Wishing Well Motel, Pontiac, IL. The Wishing Well Motel opened in 1941 in Countryside, IL with 10 cabins and was later converted into one building with 19 rooms. On November 2007, Zora Vidas died and the Wishing Well Motel was torn down. The Illinois Route 66 Museum acquired the wishing well itself and the sign, which is proudly shown at the museum.
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Pontiac, IL. Mural behind the Illinos Route 66 Museum.
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Pontiac, IL. Another mural behind the Illinos Route 66 Museum.
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Railroad Depot - Chenoa, IL. The Depot has been demolished.
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Memory Lane - Lexington, IL. Just north of Lexington, a stretch of closed Rt. 66 has been restored as an interpretive walk and park and filled with Burma Shave signs, a "broken down car" and original billboards. Memory Lane is opened to motorists only during Lexington's Route 66 reunions, parade, and other Route 66 events.
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In 1891, the Pure Maple Sirup Farm (yes, "sirup" with an "i" was Webster's Dictionary spelling of the product made by boiling sap), was the first commercial sirup camp. It is situated in a prairie surrounded by a natural maple grove filled with sugar and black maples. You must go back in March to visit when they are making the sirup!
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Paul Bunyon Statue - Atlanta, IL. Originally on Route 66 in Cicero, this statue watched over Bunyon's Hot Dogs until the business closed in the early 2000's. In 2003, the Route 66 Association of Illinois relocated the landmark to Atlanta. Palm's Grill opened in 1938 across the street. In 2009 it reopened and we were fortunate to visit on its opening week.
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The Mill Restaurant - Lincoln, IL. The old Mill Restaurant became famous for its schnitzel shortly after it started business in 1931. It closed in 1996 but is being renovated by the Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County.
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The Tropics - Lincoln, IL. The Tropics restaurant, opened in 1950 by owner Vince Schwenoha. He served in Hawaii during a tour of duty, so he named his restaurant The Tropics. The original restaurant sign still stands with its signature neon palm tree.
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The Pig Hip, Broadwell, IL. The Pig Hip restaurant was operated by Ernie Edwards and family from 1937 through 1991. The Pig Hip building then became a museum of Route 66 memorabilia with Ernie as your host. The museum and most of its contents were destroyed by fire on March 2007. However, Ernie still operates a small museum from his adjacent residence which survived the fire.
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Capitol - Springfield, IL
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The "Million Dollar" Courthouse - Carlinville, IL
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Art's Motel - Faqrmersville, IL. Art's restaurant dates back to 1920 when it was known as Hendrick's Brothers Service Station. This eatery was rebuilt in 1952 after a fire destroyed the original building. Art's was refurbished and reopened in early 2006.
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Ariston Restaurant - Litchfield, IL. The Ariston Cafe, opened in 1924, is still operating today. The front faces the original 1930-40 two lane alignment, while the back of the restaurant greets four lane travelers.
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Russell Soulsby's Shell Station - Mt. Olive, IL. Built as a Shell Station in 1926 by Henry Soulsby, the building ranks as one of the oldest filling stations still standing on Route 66. The building was enlarged and eventually added an adjacent TV repair business. It remained in the Soulsby family and was operated until 1991.
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Henry's Rabbit Ranch - Stauton, IL. An old gas station site, Henry's Rabbit Ranch still features the old pumps and signage from yesteryear. Henry's Rabbit Ranch is another of the whimsical stops along the Mother Road, featuring a bunny image similar to the Jackrabbit Trading Post, with the spoof "Hare It Is!", a play on the Jackrabbit's legendary "Here It Is" sign.
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Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, another one of my favorite photos.
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Gardenway Motel - Gray Summit, MO.
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Sunset Motel - Villa Ridge, MO.
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Meramec Caverns - Stanton, MO
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Bourbon Lodge - Bourbon, MO
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Wagon Wheel Motel - Cuba, MO. The Wagon Wheel Motel has been operating since 1934. It was built of Ozark native stone and called the Wagon Wheel Cabins. In 1946, it was expanded from 9 units to 14 units.
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Route 66 Cafe - Cuba, MO. Paul T. Carr built a Phillips 66 Station in 1932. It was converted to a Mobile Station in 1968 before closing. It has now been restored to its original beauty.
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John's "Modern" Cabins - Doolittle, MO. The Cabins were built in 1835 originally as Bill and Besse's Place. Six cabins were built around a dance hall. Cut off in 1957 by I-44, the cabins have been falling into decay ever since.
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Munger Moss Motel - Lebanon, MO. The Munger-Moss Motel was built in 1946 and still stands today as a Route 66 icon. The complex originally consisted of seven buildings and provided garages next to the units for the customers’ convenience. The garages were later made into additional rooms.
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Wrinks Market - Lebanon, MO. Wrinks Market opened in 1950 by Glen Wrinkle and closed in 2007 when he passed away. It has now reopened by his son.
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Rest Haven Court, Springfield, MO.
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Sinclair Station - Paris Springs, MO. Built in 1930, the Sinclair gas station has been lovingly restored by Gary Turner.
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Bridge to Spencer Garage - Spencer, MO
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Spenser Garage - Spenser, MO
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Carthage, MO
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Red Oak II, MO
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Red Oak II, MO
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Red Oak II, MO
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Phillips 66 - Red Oak II, MO
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Carthage, MO
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Paddoc Liquers - stateline, MO
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Four Women on the Route - Galena, KS
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Phillips 66 - Baxter Springs, KS. The 1930's Phillips 66 Station is a Route 66 Visitor station.
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Quapaw, OK. Quapaw is a fading mining town. However, the town displays several nice murals on its buildings.
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Hole in the Wall Conoco Station - Commerce, OK. Allen's Conoco Fillin' Station was built out from the exterior wall of the final building on main street. Now serving as museum and gift shop owners, Linda and Bobby Allen spend their days comparing stories of the Mother Road with travelers passing by.
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Afton Station (Packard 66 Museum) - Afton, OK. The Afton Station, a former DX gas station, is the Packards Route 66 museum that houses Route 66 memorabilia.
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Rest Haven - Afton, OK
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Route 66 Mall - Chelsea, OK
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Chelsea Motel - Chelsea, OK.
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Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park - Foyil, OK. Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park, featuring the world’s largest concrete totem pole, is just east of Foyil. The largest totem pole is 90 feet, towering over the park in a vivid array of folk art colors. The park also features Galloway’s eleven-sided "Fiddle House" that previously housed hundreds of hand-carved fiddles and today serves as a small museum. Throughout the park are numerous colorful totems that display a variety of Indian Folk Art.
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Blue Whale Park - Catoosa, OK. The most famous attraction of Route 66 is the Blue Whale Park. Built in 1970, the water park included a reptile zoo. When the owners passed away in 1990, the park fell into disrepair. But it is being restored through fund raising and volunteer efforts.
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Blue Dome Service Station - Tulsa, OK. A masterpiece of Art Deco along Route 66 in Tulsa is the Blue Dome. The Blue Dome was built in 1924 and served as a Gulf Oil Station. This was the first station in Oklahoma to have hot water, pressurized air and a car wash. It was also open 24 hours, seven days a week. The station attendant lived upstairs in the dome itself.
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Ollies Station - Red Fork, OK
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Rock Cafe - Stroud, OK. The iconic Rock Cafe was built in 1939 with original rocks dug up from the Route 66 construction. The eatery was damaged by fire on May 20, 2008. The wonderful Dawn Welch, restored the cafe and re-opened a year later. It is my favorite place to eat on the Route.
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Texaco Station - Davenport, OK. The restored 1933 Texaco Station has a montage of old license plates.
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Round Barn - Arcadia, OK. The round barn was constructed in 1898 and is restored with a Route 66 Exhibit.
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POPS - Arcadia, MO
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Pony Bridge - Hinton Junction, OK. The Pony Bridge was built in 1933 and uses 38 small ("pony") trusses to cross the South Canadian River.
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Lucille's Station - Hydro, OK. Lucille Harmons was called "The Mother of the Mother Road" until her passing in 2000. She lived and worked this 1927 gas station/auto court since 1941. It has been restored by a new owner who also built the Lucille's Roadhouse to look like the station.
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Weatherford, OK
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Route 66 Museum, Clinton, OK. The Oklahoma Route 66 Museum is the first official state-operated Route 66 museum in the country. It also has a Valentine Diner, a prefab diner made by the Valentine Manufacturing Co till the early 1970's. The diners were self contained and made to fit railroad flat cars for easy shipping and came complete with grill, counter and stools.
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Kobel's Place - Foss, OK. Kobel’s Place was a well-known fuel stop along the Route. It is one of the few structures left in Foss, but it's also slowly being taken over by nature.
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National Route 66 Museum - Elk City, OK
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National Route 66 Museum - Elk City, OK
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Texola, OK. Truly a ghost town on the border with Texas.
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Conoco Tower Station/U-Drop Inn - Shamrock, TX. The Conoco Tower Station/U-Drop Inn was built in 1936 in the art-deco style popular in the '20s and '30s. It's now a visitor station and houses the Chamber of Commerce.
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Magnolia Gas Station - Shamrock, TX. A few blocks north of the Road, the Magnolia Mobil gas station has been restored and provides a view of the past. It now serves the local historical society.
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Phillips 66 in Texas - McLean, TX. The first Phillips 66 in Texas was built in 1928. It was designed in the Cottage Fashion and often called a "Doll House".
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Super 66 Station - Alanreed, TX. The Bradley Kiser Super "66” Service Station, built in 1930, is maintained by the Texas Historic Route 66 Association.
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Britten Truck Stop sign and leaning water tower - Britten, MO
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Groom, TX. The Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ Ministries was built by a man in Pampa who was disgusted with the huge billboards advertising pornography along I-40 to Amarillo. The cross is the largest in the Western Hemisphere at 190 feet and can be seen from a distance of twenty miles on a clear day.
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Bug Ranch - Conway, TX
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The Big Texan - Amarillo, TX
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Cadillac Ranch - Soncy, TX. Texas millionaire Stanley Marsh hired a San Francisco artist firm in 1973. The group acquired ten Cadillacs built from 1948 to 1963 and the cars were buried nose down. In 1997, the Cadillac Ranch was exhumed and replanted two miles down the road.
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Magnolia Station - Vega, TX. The Magnolia Station was built in 1924 on the Ozark Trail, a route predating Route 66.
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Adrian, TX
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Bent Door Cafe - Adrian, TX. The Bent Door was a unique 24-hour Route 66 cafe, souvenir shop and gas station. It got its name because the doors and windows - recycled from an WWII Army Air Force Base watch tower - where bent.
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Glenrio, TX. In 1901 the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad came through the area and two years later Glenrio was born. Today it's a ghost town.
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Road to Endee - NM
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Endee, NM
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Road to NM
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Blue Swallow Motel - Tucumcari, NM. Built in 1939 by W. A. Huggins,it's listed on the National Register of Historic Places and one of the longest continuously operated motels along New Mexico's Route 66l.
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Wilkerson's Gulf - Newkirk, NM. Wilkerson’s Store and Gulf Gas station survived the I-40 bypass all the way up until 1989.
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Original Comet Restaurant - Santa Rosa, NM
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Comet II - Santa Rosa, NM
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Longhorn Ranch ruins - Moriarty, NM
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Whiting Brothers - Moriarty, NM. In the southwest, Whiting Brothers gas stations were a familiar site along Route 66, a tradition that continued until the 1990’s when the gas station chain ended. The old Whiting Brothers station in Moriarty is the only one that is left thanks to Sal Lucero, a lifelong employee of Whiting Brothers. In the 1980's, Lucero bought the station from the Whiting Brothers and never bothered to change the name.
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La Bajada Hill, NM. The road on La Bajada was Route 66 from 1926 to 1932. It contains more than a dozen hellish switchbacks, and was so steep in spots that automobiles going uphill had to take it in reverse because gravity-feed tanks couldn’t get fuel to the engine.
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Owl Rock - Mesita, NM
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Budville Trading Company - Budville, NM. Named for H.N. "Bud” Rice, the town began when Bud and his wife Flossie opened an automobile service, trading post, and tour operation in 1928. Doing a great business to the many travelers of Route 66 for many decades, the store was held up by desperados in 1967 and unfortunately Bud was murdered. Flossie continued to run the family business for another 12 years before the business closed for good.
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St Joseph's Church - San Fidel, NM
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Whiting Brosthers - San Fidel, NM
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Lava beds near McCartys, NM
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Grants, NM. Grants Cafe opened in 1937 and still operates today.
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Uranium Cafe - Grants, NM
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Bandera Volcano and Ice Cave - Grants, NM
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Running Indian Mascot on the Bowlins Old Crater Trading Post - Bluewater, NM
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Bowlins Old Crater Trading Post - Bluewater, NM
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Continental Divide, NM
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Whiting Brothers - Continental Divide, NM
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Road to Arizona
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Painted Desert Trading Post - Navajo, AZ
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Painted Desert Trading Post - Navajo, AZ
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Painted Desert Trading Post - Navajo, AZ
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Painted Desert Trading Post - Navajo, AZ
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Dead Wash by the Painted Desert Trading Post - Navajo, AZ
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Painted Desert Inn, Petrified Forest National Park, AZ
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Painted Desert at Petrified Forest National Park, AZ
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Petrified Forest National Park, AZ
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Blue Mesa at Petrified Forest National Park, AZ
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Wigwam Motel - Holbrook, AZ
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Standin' on the Corner at Winslow, AZ
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Roadside zoo ruins, Two Guns, AZ
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Two Guns, AZ
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Two Guns, AZ
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Apache Death Caves - Two Guns, AZ
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Twin Arrows, AZ
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Red Garter Bed and Bakery, Williams, AZ
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Williams, AZ
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Pete's Gas Station Museum, Williams, AZ
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Rod's Steakhouse, Williams, AZ
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Williams, AZ
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Desotos Beauty and Barber Shop - Ash Fork, AZ
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Delgadillo's Snow Cap - Seligman, AZ
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Delgadillo's Snow Cap - Seligman, AZ
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Delgadillo's Snow Cap - Seligman, AZ
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Route 66 Gift Shop - Seligman, AZ
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Seligman, AZ
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Route 66 Motel - Seligman, AZ
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Historic Route 66 General Store - Seligman, AZ
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Historic Route 66 General Store - Seligman, AZ
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Roadkill Cafe - Seligman, AZ
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Peach Springs, AZ
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Hackberry General Store - Hackberry, AZ
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Hackberry General Store - Hackberry, AZ
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Hackberry General Store - Hackberry, AZ
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Hackberry General Store - Hackberry, AZ
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Route 66 Museum - Kingman, AZ
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Cool Springs, AZ
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Cool Springs, AZ
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Oatman Hotel and Cafe - Oatman, AZ
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Ed's Camp - Cool Springs, AZ
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Switchbacks on Oatman Highway as seen from Shaffer's Fish Bowl Spring
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Sitgreaves Pass, AZ
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Oatman Highway, AZ
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Oatman Highway, AZ
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Oatman Highway, AZ
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Oatman Highway, AZ
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Whiting Brothers - Yucca, AZ
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Yucca Cafe - Yucca, AZ
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Golf ball home - Yucca, AZ
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Yucca garage - Yucca, AZ
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Yucca Motel - Yucca, AZ
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Road to California
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Welcome Wagon - Needles, CA
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Wayside Market - Essex, CA
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Chambless, CA
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Roadrunner's Retreat Cafe and Station - Chambless (East Amboy), CA
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Cadiz Summitt, CA
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Infamous Roy's - Amboy, CA
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Visions of the past - Bagdad Cafe and Motel - Newberry Springs, CA
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San Bernandino Mts in California
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Whiting Brothers Gas Station - Newberry Springs, CA
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Road to California
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Daggett, CA
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Casa Del Desierto, Barstow, CA
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19c Polly Gas - Helendale, CA
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Bottle Tree Ranch - Helendale, CA
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Emma Jean's Holland Burger - Oro Grande, CA
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San Bernandino Mts, CA
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Joshua Tree National Park - Twentynine Palms, CA
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Joshua Tree National Park - Twentynine Palms, CA
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Joshua Tree National Park - Twentynine Palms, CA