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WAKSRT66.jpg (6145 bytes)

the Road to
Riverton, Kansas

WAKSRT66.jpg (6145 bytes)

 

Galena Good Old Days Festival 2003

       
Will Roger's Monument The new Howard "Pappy" Litch Park was named in honor of a local historian and beloved citizen of Galena. It was dedicated during Galena's Good Old Days celebration in June 2003. The land for the park was once a federal weigh station along old Route 66, and the town of Galena though it a fitting site for a Route 66 park. An original Will Rogers Highway plaque was also dedicated during the Good Old' Days celebration. This plaque is one of the original 1952 plaques that was located on the Missouri - Kansas State line. It now resides permanently in the Howard "Pappy" Litch Park for all to enjoy instead of being listed on eBay.

The Will Rogers Monument project was a priority of Darrell Ray of Joplin, Missouri. He made it a goal of his life to put these monuments up and down Route 66 - also known as the Will Rogers Highway. Darrell was supposed to be at the dedication, but he had a heart attack the Thursday before and sadly passed away the following week. He will be missed by all who love the Mother Road.

         
Judy McCanns Morris has a dream! Someday she would like to open her parent's drive-in, the Dairy Dream, again. This was Galena's hot spot during the hey-day of Route 66! Darrell and Naydene McCanns, Judy's parents, would set up special functions and bring in bands for the young folk of Galena back then. Judy's mom, Naydene, put her heart and soul in the drive-in. Naydene served only quality food, her customers meant everything to her.

The Dairy Dream was the place to be in Galena during the 1950s and 1960s. All the teenagers would make it their headquarters for the Saturday night cruise down Main Street. Sadly, today it stands forlorn and forgotten - except by Judy McCanns Morris. Hopefully she will be able to bring it back someday.

Galena's Dairy Dream

       
Galena Dairy Dream

The McCanns' in 1975 at the
Galena Good Old Days celebration.
A portion of the Dairy Dream Drive-In
is in the background.

 

             
Judy showed me a card with a mineral sample that her parents gave out to customers. Seems like the McCanns Family were always going that extra mile for their customers. I've found most "mom and Pop" businesses did. This was America in a simpler time!

I kept running into people during the Galena Good Old Days celebration that told me about their own personal experiences with this old drive-in many years ago. You know, things like, "That was my first job," or "I met my boyfriend there," or "I remember Saturday night and all the fun we had there."  This forgotten - now nondescript - building houses thousands of forgotten teenage memories.

Galena Dairy Dream Souvenir

         

Galina Classic Ride
This 1924 Studebaker Touring Car seems to go well on the streets of Galena.

            

Marsh Rainbow Arch Bridge, Fort Morgan, Colorado
Marsh Rainbow Arch Bridge over the Platte River at Fort Morgan, Colorado

Riverton, Kansas

There was a time when the Route 66 traveler, after leaving Galena and heading west towards Riverton, would have crossed the Spring River on a classic old Marsh Rainbow Arch Bridge. This beautiful bridge was built in 1922 and saw service throughout the entire period of Route 66. Unfortunately it was dismantled in 1986, if it could have held out a little longer perhaps it would have been preserved. The 1990s saw a renewed interest in historic preservation and this old bridge certainly could have qualified for National Resister status I think. The Marsh Rainbow Arch Bridge pictured at left is one that did survive though and is very similar to the old Riverton Spring River bridge. This beautiful bridge has been restored and is a hiking and bicycle bridge over the Platte River at Fort Morgan, Colorado.

       

Riverton, Kansas is a small hamlet on Kansas Route 66. Riverton is home to the Spring River Inn, an old road destination that pre-dates Route 66 by more than twenty years. It has been providing food and lodging to the road wanderer since 1905. The day I came through I stopped at the old Eisler Brothers Store. Here is another landmark from the good old days. During the hey-day of Route 66 many traveler brought their own food along rather than stop at the diners or cafes. Small markets like Eisler Brothers sold bread, meat and other lunch supplies to make sandwiches and provided the means to cut the costs of traveling - especially with large families. On our family vacations I remember my mother packing all the food we would need, and we ate lunch at many a roadside park along the highway.

Eisler Bros Store
       
Eisler Bros Store

The Eisler Brothers Old Riverton Store
is a Route 66 icon that has been going
strong since 1925.
Today it serves sandwiches, sodas and
a whole bunch of Route 66 memories.

       

A few miles west of Riverton on the way to Baxter Springs, Kansas you will find this classy historic Marsh Arch "Rainbow Bridge" on the old alignment of Route 66. This is one beautiful old bridge, though much smaller than the old Spring River Bridge, that did survive the "new is better" philosophy so evident t in our society during the 1970s and 1980s. Through the efforts of the Kansas Historic Route 66 Association this historic bridge was saved and restored in 1992. Not only does this bridge make great photo opportunities, but you can still drive over it!

Kansas Route 66 Rainbow Brige

 

Photographs taken September 2002 and June 2003

Click on an area or city of Route 66 on the map below to take a cyber tour of that section of the  Mother Road

Travel Cyber Route 66 in Kansas

Go West on Route 66

NAVIGATION NOTE: Buckle up and hold on to your mouse! These pages are arranged like the map above, from the western state border to the eastern state border. I have set up this site as if you were traveling from EAST to WEST, much like the Joad family in The Grapes of Wrath. You can click on the Route 66 shields to "travel" the Mother Road in either direction though. Or you can select any shield below to take you to that specific state.

Go East on Route 66

To Baxter Springs

To Galena

 

Select the Route 66 State to Visit

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