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Oklahoma Route 66

Clinton Area

Oklahoma Route 66

 

Clinton Motel Clinton, Oklahoma is a great Route 66 town that is still prosperous. The land surrounding Clinton was bypassed in the great Oklahoma land rush because many felt the land was worthless. In 1903 the Frisco Railroad came through the area and the town of Clinton was founded. Clinton became an important trading and shipping center for the surrounding farms. In 1946 Jack Rittenhouse states that the population of Clinton was 6,726. It has grown some since then. After World War II Clinton was home to the National Highway 66 Association for 28 years. The association disbanded in the 1980s but that didn't stop Clinton's interest in Route 66. The community here has a great respect for its Mother Road. The new Route 66 Museum is the first state sponsored Route 66 museum in the nation. It is one fantastic place to absorb the history of this celebrated highway too.
          

Clinton Motel
Classic Route 66 Motor Court in Clinton.

                
Route 66 Museum in Clinton The city of Clinton is proud of its Route 66 heritage and they have built a beautiful Route 66 Museum to show it. This is another must stop place for the avid Mother Road fan. Pat Smith, director of the museum and her husband Virgil have put in a lot of work here. The Clinton Route 66 Museum has great exhibits that illustrate the many time periods of the Mother Road. It is like a time line of American history. Be sure to check out their newest attraction at the museum, a fully restored Valentine Diner! Virgil Smith was instrumental in getting the restoration work done on it too. I love those old roadside treasures like this diner.
         
The Valentine story is pretty interesting. The Valentine Manufacturing Company made pre-fab diners that one could order from their catalog. The company was in business for decades and closed down in the 1970s (I believe). The diners were made to fit railroad flat cars for easy shipping and came complete with grill, counter and stools. It was all self contained. Once unloaded from the railroad car it could be set on a slab and be operational in hours! The Valentine motto was something like this, "If business is not good where you're at, just pick up and move." Many small towns along Route 66, and other two-lanes had these diners. When you travel the road look for them tucked away here and there far from the Interstates.

Clinton Museum Valentine Diner

             
Clinton Mother Road Museum

Clinton Route 66 Museum

        

Times sure have changed in America! The Clinton Route 66 Museum has many exhibits that illustrate this fact too. This cigarette calendar from 1958 is a great example of just how much our society has changed in the last 50 years. When it came out Jane Mansfield's exposed cleavage caused quite a scandal! Today if this same calendar came out it would be the pack of cigarettes that would cause an uproar ~ and possibly lawsuits!

Times Change

 

Clinton Route 66 Portland Cement Back on the old Mother Road after leaving Clinton and carefully navigating my way through the beautiful Oklahoma countryside, I found Portland cement, that wonderful material that old Route 66 was made from. When I was on the cement and not the asphalt I knew I was on the historic highway. My car's tires made a strangely familiar sound as they rolled over the seams in the Portland cement slabs. This road rhythm brought back memories of my childhood and our family vacations. I would lay in the back seat of our family car and watch the telephone poles pass by one by one - all the while being lulled to sleep by the rhythmic thump-thump of our tires on Portland cement.
          
Foss Station

Kobel's Place, another old gas station and garage, is slowly being concealed by the lush (remember, I'm from desert country) Oklahoma forest near Foss.

Foss, Oklahoma

Photographs Taken May, 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 Oklahoma

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 Elk City

To Hydro &
Weatherford

 

Select the Route 66 State to Visit

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