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Arizona Route 66

Truxton Canyon Area

Arizona Route 66


 

Valentine, Arizona in Truxton Canyon

Ruins at Valentine

Truxton Canyon or Crozier Canyon, as Jack Rittenhouse called it in 1946, opened up before me. I'm not quite sure what the correct name of the canyon is. There is a Crozier Canyon spring at the small community of Crozier, located near the entrance to the canyon. Route 66 once ran through this little community, but that alignment was gone even before Jack Rittenhouse came through.   I've always known the canyon as Truxton Canyon, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs sign at Valentine says Truxton Canyon Agency.
I guess it all depends on which name strikes your fancy at the time. I think they're both correct. Truxton or Crozier Canyon is a pretty stretch of highway in Northern Arizona where old Route 66 and the Santa Fe tracks run side by side. The area offers some nice photo opportunities.  I had driven a few miles into the canyon when I spied some ruins on the right side of the road. I was approaching the old town of Valentine and these ruins could have been what are left of the old gas station, grocery, and cabins mentioned by Jack Rittenhouse in his guidebook.

Just a little way beyond the ruins on the right side of the road  I made a left turn off Route 66 and went under the railroad tracks. To my surprise I found another old building at Valentine that was invisible from the road because of the railroad right of way. Notice the wide steps and the remodeling on the entrance. There is only one large room on the first floor, like a hall or church. What this building once was surprised me. This cool old building was once the school for the white children in the Valentine area. With the close proximity of the Valentine Indian School down the road I wouldn't have expected another schoolhouse. I forgot about the race segregation of the old days though. Some things have changed for the better in our society.

Old Store at Valentine, Arizona

Mystery Building at Valentine, Arizona

Schools Out at Valentine Indian School

The Valentine Indian School

Originally the community at Valentine was called Truxton Canyon. This area was set aside for the Haulpai Indians in 1900 and an Indian school was built on the site. The Indian agent also served as postmaster. For a brief period the school was closed and the post office was discontinued. When the post office was reestablished in 1910 a new name had to be designated for it according to postal rules.

The name Valentine was chosen in honor of Robert G. Valentine, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1908-1910. I left the ruins on Route 66 and schoolhouse for the white children and drove another two miles to the Valentine Indian School. The Indian School was built around the turn of century to help the Hualpai Indian youth adjust to the "White Man’s Road". The school is now closed but the site is still the headquarters for the Truxton Canyon Agency of the B.I.A.

Valentine, Arizona

 

Hackberry General Store - Route 66 Gem

Hackberry General Store

Hackberry is located about 4 miles beyond Valentine down old Route 66. Prospectors found a rich vein of ore here in the 1870's. A large Hackberry tree grew by the spring and gave the town its name. The ore played out, but the town of Hackberry hung on. The actual town of Hackberry lies across the tracks from Route 66, but the Hackberry General Store is right on the old road.
What a great place! The old vintage gas pumps and signs beg one to stop and take a look, but the real gem is a 1957 Corvette in mint condition. Talk about a magnet to the traveler. As I was taking pictures of Hackberry I got a kick out of watching motorists drive by, stop and back up just to get a closer look. In one case an RV drove by, I saw the brake lights come on, then the backup lights, and the warning horn sounded on as it backed up and parked. A couple got out and started snapping pictures of the old vet, all the while speaking excitedly in German. Well, to set the record straight, I have to admit I took my share of pictures of that beautiful vintage auto too. Hackberry is a great stop on a great road.

57 Corvette Stole the Show

Hackberry Taxi

I was hoping to meet the owners, John and Kerry Pritchard, but they weren't in just then. I talked to the cashier though. She had moved to Hackberry a few years before and originally was from Phoenix. Though she was making only half the money in Hackberry, she loved her work and wouldn't  think of moving back to the big city at all. Route 66 seems to have that effect on people.

~ May 2001

 

Hackberry 2003
Hackberry General Store 2003

Hackberry is as colorful a stop as you will find on old Route 66. John and Kerry Pritchard have managed to collect an eclectic assortment of Mother Road momentos to visually delight the most hardened of road wanderers. In other words ~ it is just plain fun!

Photographs taken March, May 2001 & May 2003


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Travel Cyber Route 66 in Arizona

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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.

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