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California Route 66

Ludlow Area &
Mojave Desert

California Route 66


Siberia, California - Funny Name for a Town in the Mojave

Siberia in the Mojave Desert

Siberia was a water stop and siding for the Santa Fe Railroad. When Route 66 came through many Mom and Pop cafes and tourist camps operated out of here in the 1930s and 1940s, providing the weary desert traveler some comfort. Siberia never amounted to very much apparently. Jack Rittenhouse in his famous 1946 A Guide Book to Highway 66 doesn't even mention it. I thought Siberia was interesting though.
After my disappointment at finding Bagdad, the once larger town, so completely erased off the face of the earth it was nice to find some stone ruins to explore. I still can't help but wonder at how this tiny community got its name. Perhaps it was wishful thinking that gave the town its name. On those hot summer days in the Mojave, residents probably wished they were indeed in Siberia. At least naming the town Siberia made it seem cooler - right?

2003 Update: I came back through this area in April 2003 looking for the ruins at Siberia. Alas, since 2001 they have been removed. Only the most astute road wanderer could find the site of Siberia today.

Ruins at Siberia, California

 

Route 66 in the Mojave Desert

Mojave Route 66
Route 66 seems to go on forever at Siberia!

 

Murphy Brothers has been closed for awhile now
1908 Ludlow Mercantile in 2000

Ludlow, California - Old Town

Ludlow is a town that refuses to die. I could have included this town in my Ghost Town web also. Located along the railroad tracks of the 35th parallel, it became a water stop for the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad in 1882 (now the Santa Fe RR). The discovery of ore in the nearby hills assured the town of growth in the late 1880's. The decline of mining and rail traffic in the 1940's spelled Ludlow's decline. Ludlow is a ghost town of two eras; it was also a stop on old Route 66. When Interstate 40 was built Ludlow died a second time. Businesses moved once more to meet the demand of travelers on the new Interstate leaving another collection of highway memories baking in the intense Mojave heat.

    

Trains don't stop here anymore.

Trains just pass through Ludlow these days.

Ludlow cabin for rent...cheap too. Ludlow homes stand silent.
     

Ludlow, California - Route 66 Town

A short block from the railroad tracks and the old 1882 town of Ludlow the ghosts of a newer Ludlow still stand to offer mute testimony of another failed dream. During the heyday of Route 66 Ludlow was a welcome stop for the tired and thirsty traveler, a place to rest and get away from the heat of the Mojave Desert. This second more modern ghost town tells a tale of the glory days of Route 66 when travelers would stop for a bite to eat or get repairs on their cars. If they were heading west they knew that the next day they would be on the golden shores of the Pacific Ocean.

Route 66 Ghosts at Ludlow ~ Forgotten Ludlow Businesses

      

Old Ludlow Cafe in its Prime
Ludlow Cafe in the 1950s

Ludlow Cafe  2001

      
The Ludlow Cafe served its last ice cream malt years ago, and the mechanic on duty at the Ludlow Garage went home some time ago. Across the street from the Cafe a weathered building slowly returns to the desert. What was it once? A hotel, maybe a small store, perhaps a bar that once served ice cold beer to dusty desert wanderers?
   
Ludlow Garage, Mechanic NOT on Duty

Ludlow Business

 

Photographs taken February 2000, March & May 2001


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 Route 66 in California

Go West on Route 66

NAVIGATION NOTE: Buckle up and hold on to your mouse! These pages are arranged like the map above, Pacific Ocean being West Route 66 and the Colorado River East Route 66. 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 Newberry Springs and Daggett

To Bagdad, Amboy and Chambless

 

Select the Route 66 State to Visit

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