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New Mexico Route 66

Bard and
San Jon Area

New Mexico Route 66

 

Forgotten Bard, New Mexico

Bard is another old town that has become a ghost of Route 66. Originally founded in 1906, it became dependent on the business that Route 66 brought through it. When Route 66 died, it died. Evidently Bard never grew to be a big town as Rittenhouse gives the population of the town at 26 lonely souls. It once had a gas station, garage and a post office. According to Rittenhouse the town only had one building back in 1946. From traces of signatures in concrete I found among the ruins it looks like Bard had somewhat of a building boom back in the 1950s. There's not much left of Bard today. If you drive too fast down the old Route 66 alignment you just might miss it. I know I did the first time through.

Memories of Another Time

      

Bard Ruins

Sunset on Bard

 

San Jon, New Mexico

Route 66 in San Jon

San Jon ("J" is pronounced like an "H") is really the first large town you come to on Route 66 since entering New Mexico. In 1946 it had a population of 250. It was the first real stop for early Route 66 travelers with several gas stations, garages, motor courts, stores, cafe and a small hotel. It was founded in 1902 and became an important ranching and shipping center in 1904 with the arrival of the railroad.
      
Saturday nightlife was a big industry around here, and San Jon provided all sorts of relaxing past times for the local cowboys for many years. The Interstate passes closely to San Jon, but even that has not helped keep some of the businesses open. When I came through San Jon on old Route 66 the main street was virtually deserted. Closed businesses attest to the fact that the travelers have passed San Jon by in favor of Tucumcari. Tucumcari is not far down the road and receives the bulk of the Interstate trade today.

Old San Jon Gas Station

 

Gas Station and Auto Court West of San Jon

Ruins of an old Gas Station and Auto Court a few miles west of San Jon along a section of old Route 66 heading towards Tucumcari, New Mexico.

 

Photographs taken September 2002

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 New Mexico

Go West on New Mexico 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 New Mexico Route 66

Tucumcari Tonight

To New Mexico Ghosts- Endee & Glen Rio

 

Select the Route 66 State to Visit

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