Route 66 Caravan

America's Biggest Road Trip!

Route 66 Caravan Road Log:
May 06, 2003


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Flagstaff's Original Roadhouse

Founded in 1876, Flagstaff got its name from a tall lone pine, stripped of bark that was used as a flagpole and trail marker for wagon trains bound for California traveling on Beale's Camel Route. That trail later became Route 66. Flagstaff found its place in western history with the arrival of the railroad in 1881. It became a major shipping center for cattle and lumber. The University of Northern Arizona opened its doors in 1899, making Flagstaff the cultural center of Northern Arizona. Tourism became Flagstaff's major industry in the twentieth century with the advent of Route 66, and the close proximity of the Grand Canyon.

Flagstaff is still going strong and is a popular year round destination point. Skiing in the winter, and cooler mountain temperatures in the summer make it a favorite for the modern traveler, just like in the days of old Route 66.

The Museum Club

Fantastic Route 66 Roadhouse Perhaps one of the most famous Route 66 Landmarks in Flagstaff is the Museum Club. Built in 1931 by Dean Eldredge as a museum to house his extensive taxidermied animals and curiosities. Early Route 66 tourists would stop at his museum and for a mere 25 cents would be shown some of the strangest oddities of nature.
In 1936 after Dean passed away his museum was turned into a night club ~ that's polite for "roadhouse" I think Route 66 Roadhouse sounds better anyway ~ J

The fact that the Museum Club had been around for awhile was brought home by dad back in the mid 1980's. I was living in Page, Arizona and was stationed at the Navajo Army Depot in Bellemont. I would spend the night in Flagstaff on my drill weekends. The Museum Club was always a nice watering hole after work.

Martin Zanzucchi Museum Club Owner
Martin Zanzucchi, owner since the 1970s, welcomes Hampton's Save-A-Landmark Route 66 Caravan.

I used to stay at the Crown Motel (now the Howard Johnsons).  My dad had been visiting us up in Page when one of my duty weekends rolled around and he came down to Flagstaff with me. We went to get a room at the Crown Motel and he glanced over at the Museum Club and was quite surprised to see it still going strong.

"That old place still there?" he said. "I went there years ago, you must have been maybe two, three years old then Guy. Do they still have that tree and all those stuffed animals in there?"

Well I tell you what, that surprised me to no end. Imagine that, I was going to a roadhouse my dad once went to thirty years earlier! I wish now that I had drilled my dad a little more about the Museum Club in the 1950's, because he passed on a year later. I bet there was a good Route 66 story there, but at the time the lure of the Mother Road had not matured in me yet; the seeds were planted but needed more nurturing. It wasn't too long after that the Coast Guard transferred my group to Lake Havasu City and I left Flagstaff behind. But I do remember my last time in the Museum Club. It was another drill weekend and my wife came down from Page on Saturday night for a little getaway. After dinner at the Crown Cafe we went to the club for a nightcap and to do some dancing. It was a pleasant evening. Funny thing though, about 9 months later my youngest son was born. I still can't figure that one out. Perhaps the magic of Route 66? Could it be that my son is a third generation Route 66er? I must ponder this one.

Jim Conkle & Martin Zanzucchi

66 Caravan at the Museum Club

Martin Zanzucchi and Jim

Route 66 Caravan Arrives

Guard Bear

Museum Club Rt. 66 Booth
The Museum Club has character and charm!

 

Route 66 Roadside Attraction

Kevin Hansel mounts the new Route 66 Roadside Attraction sign before the ceremony begins.

Kevin Mounts the Sign

Sign Ceremony

Roadside Attraction Sign ceremony with Jim, Leslie Connell of the Flagstaff Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Martin.

Dan Jones, General Manager of Hampton Inn & Suites Flagstaff, helps Martin remove the cover to reveal the new sign while Leslie offers her approval.

Museum Club Sign Unveiling

Museum Club Roadside Attraction Sign
Friendly Museum Club Staff

Museum Club employees pose with our Route 66 Caravan RV. From left to right: JoAnna Blankenship, Jane Bliss, John W, Kayla Nelson, and Jennifer Puma.

Museum Club Neon


West 66
Previous Log
Go West down the Mother Road

Road Log pages read like a book:

Follow the Route 66 Caravan
down the Mother Road ~
select the Route 66 direction
you would like to go.

East 66
Grand Canyon Caverns
Go East on the Mother Road

 

 

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