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Arizona Route 66

The Wild West
and Route 66

Arizona Route 66


The Wild Old Days of Holbrook, Arizona

Holbrook, Arizona was founded a year after the Atlantic and Pacific RR was built along the old Beale Camel Road. The year was1882, and Holbrook was to become a hell-raising Babylon on the Little Colorado. Whiskey and the "ladies on the line" were the order of the day. Saloons with names like Bucket of Blood were common. Lawless and violent behavior was prevalent. One of the west's most celebrated gunfights took place here in 1887, a spin-off of the Pleasant Valley Range War. And President McKinley sent a reprimand to the sheriff of Holbrook in 1899 for sending out an ornate invitation to a public hanging. Holbrook became the county seat for Navajo County in 1895 and until 1914 it was said to be the only county seat in the U.S. that didn't have a church. The Aztec Land and Cattle Company, better known as the Hashknife Outfit, began operations in Holbrook in 1884 and became the second largest cattle ranch in the U.S.
Hasknife Cowboys in Holbrook Cowboys that rode for the Hashknife were as rough as they get. It was said that many of them were wanted men, or men that weren't wanted anywhere else. Twice, members of the Hashknife Outfit were linked to train robberies at Canyon Diablo. Rough Night at the Bucket of Blood Saloon
By the time Route 66 arrived, Holbrook had settled down somewhat. The days of the open range were over. Holbrook became an overnight mainstay on old Route 66 and tourism became a major industry for this wild west town.

Holbrook and Route 66

With the Painted Desert, Petrified Forest and Indian Reservations nearby, Holbrook became the tourist headquarters for Route 66 travelers. Every Route 66 guidebook of the day spoke of the things to do and see around this country. Remnants of the businesses that sprang up to service these travelers can still be found in Holbrook if one gets off the interstate to explore.

Holbrook Motor Hotel

Route 66 in Holbrook

     

Trading Posts, old cafes and colorful motels still line Route 66 in Holbrook. The area around Holbrook is a rock hound's paradise. The Painted Desert is one of the rich fossil ground in the United States for dinosaur remains and new discoveries are being made all the time.

Rock Hound's Paradise

     
WigWam Motel in Holbrook

Wigwam Motel in Holbrook

      
Vintage Vehicles at the Wigwam One of the most interesting, and probably most photographed Route 66 attractions is the Wigwam Motel. Originally built in 1950, it has survived the demise of the Mother Road and proudly asks  Have You Slept in a Wigwam Lately?

There is a Wigwam Village Motel along Route 66 in California too, but that says "Do it in a Teepee". Cultural difference? These are the only two Wig Wam Motels left along Route 66 today.

 

Geronimo Trading Post near Holbrook , Arizona

A few miles west of Holbrook you can find another throwback to the Route 66 days that's still going strong. The Geronimo Trading post beckons the traveler to come on over and see what's inside. If you like to collect Route 66 memorabilia then you need to stop and check it out. I still like these old Trading Posts. They bring back pleasant memories of my childhood.
Geronimo Trading Post

Don't forget to stop at the Geronimo Trading Post for all your Route 66 souvenir needs. I got my official squashed Route 66 penny here.

Teepees at Geronimo Trading Post

Photographs taken November 2000 & May 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 Arizona

Go West on Route 66

NAVIGATION NOTE: Buckle up and hold on to your mouse! These pages are arranged like the map above. 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. Clicking West Route 66 or East Route 66 will take you to the next town or area on the map in that direction. Or you can select any shield below to take you to that specific state.

Go East on Route 66

To Winslow

To the Painted Desert

 

Select the Route 66 State to Visit

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