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Route 66

Kansas
Route 66

Route 66

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[Kansas Map]


Kansas Route 66 is the shortest stretch of the road in any of the Rt. 66 states.

 

Only 12.8 miles of the old Mother Road cut through the lower eastern corner of the state. Here’s a classic example of the old saying, "Good things come in small packages!" Kansas packs more of the Route 66 Experience in its dozen miles than any of the other states. Kansas Route 66 has the distinction of being completely paved by 1929 making it the first state to pave all of Route 66. Okay, maybe it was easier for Kansas to do this, after all 12.8 miles is easier to pave than hundreds of miles. But Kansas paid for this honor years later, it is the only Route 66 state to be completely bypassed by the Interstate that replaced Route 66.

Eisler Bros. Store, Riverton, Kansas
Eisler Bros. Store in Riverton

     

Downtown Galena, Kansas
Galena's Main Street is quiet now.

Kansas Route 66 is now State Highway 66 and though a short stretch of road it is full of great sites to see. Here the old highway goes through three towns steeped in the history of our nation’s move west: Galena, Riverton and Baxter Springs. This small segment of road is rich in western history. From the days of the Texas cattle drives, Quantrill’s bloody raids during the Civil War, and the fascinating mining boom town era, Kansas has it all. Of course lets not forget the great Route 66 heritage of Kansas either! Here you will see examples of architecture left over from the boom days of cattle, mining and transportation.
     
Kansas businesses, as in the other states, provided the Route 66 traveler with all the amenities needed for a safe trip. The automobile service industry became a major industry during the early years of travel on Route 66 and other two-lanes and provided an economic base for many of the small towns connected by these new highways. When the mines played out in Galena, Route 66 still brought prosperity to the town. Baxter Springs was serviced by five major truck companies and was the site of a division point and maintenance shop for another freight company. The highway brought prosperity with its road related gasoline and service businesses.

Galena Building

          

Beautiful Architecture

Like the motels, the opportunities for the automobile service industry were unlimited. The cars followed the ribbon of highway, and where there were cars, there were parts to be sold, gas and oil to be bought, and repairs made.

Route 66 saw the hey-day of the service station. Many service stations were independently owned and operated small businesses. The service was real too. These were the days of full service stations where the attendant would gas up the car, check the oil and clean the windows without being asked. Clean restrooms were a must. Some gasoline companies employed special workers who would travel up and down the highway checking on the cleanliness of the restrooms at each station.

     
Kansas Route 66, though only 12.8 miles long, will take you down the road and into a fascinating period of American history. Relive the glory days of a nation and tour Route 66 in the "Sunflower State" you'll see what I mean.

 

Photographs taken September 2002 and June 2003

Detailed Vintage Kansas Route 66 Map:

[1955 Kansas]

 

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

Route 66 West
Baxter Springs

Route 66 East
Galena, Kansas

 

Select the Route 66 State to Visit

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