Getting Our Kicks in Kingman, Arizona (Route 66 Day 3, Pt. 1)

June 8, 2018

We stayed overnight on the 7th at a Best Western in Kingman, Arizona. There are actually two Best Westerns in Kingman, only a short distance apart.

In Kingman is the Kingman Powerhouse Visitor Center, at 120 W. Andy Devine Ave. (which is also Route 66).  The building, built between 1907 and 1911, was operated by the Desert Power & Light Company and besides powering local mining operations, also supplied power for the construction of Hoover Dam, until the Dam began producing cheaper hydroelectric power in the late 1930’s. It was restored 60 years later when it was opened as a Visitor Center in 1997. 20180608_094732This is, in my opinion, the best of the Route 66 museums scattered along the route. It has stories, dioramas, maps, photos, old equipment and comprehensive information about Route 66 over the years. You really get the sense of what the Mother Road was to migrants, businesses, and individuals over the decades. It is worth spending an hour here.


Here you can read the story of The Great Bunion Derby. In 1928, there was a foot race on from L.A. to New York, following Route 66 as far as Chicago. Andy Payne, a 19-year-old part-Cherokee farm boy, desperately wanted to be in the race and finally persuaded his dad to get a $100 loan for the entrance fee. His 200 competitors were experienced runners from all over the world. The race started on March 4, 1928 and on May 26, 3400 miles later, Andy Payne ran to victory in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Only 55 runners finished the race! With his $25,000 prize money, Andy bought a car, drove back to Oklahoma, paid off his father’s farm mortgage, and married his high school teacher.

This diorama shows a typical migrant family traveling with all of their possessions in tow.


Follow the chapter numbers to read the history of Route 66.


Burma Shave ads became famous along the Mother Road. These ads used a series of signs alongside the road spaced at regular intervals. The messages were quirky and clever.





In the basement is a display of electric cars – and I thought they were a new phenomenon!20180608_101446


The Detroit Electric Model 60 began production in 1907.


Also in Kingman is Mr. D’s Route 66 Diner at 105 E. Andy Devine Ave., which we took photos of, but didn’t stop to have lunch there. In spite of its good reputation for burgers, it wasn’t yet 11:00 a.m. so we were not hungry and decided to drive on.20180608_103504.jpgHackberry General Store, which we also did not stop at, is 24 miles north of Kingman on Route 66. You can check out the web site linked above.

Hackberry general store.jpg
Downloaded image from Flickr

We finally did stop for lunch at the Hualapai Lodge and Tourism Center, on the Hualapai Reservation, in Peach Springs, Arizona. (There is also a Hualapai Reservation inside the Grand Canyon, but we were told their dialect and customs were somewhat different.) We ordered buffalo stew and fry bread. I also bought some beaded jewelry and socks in their gift shop.





2 thoughts on “Getting Our Kicks in Kingman, Arizona (Route 66 Day 3, Pt. 1)

  1. Very cool. Looks like a nice adventure. I have traveled 66 through most of Illinois and Missouri. My goal is to travel all of it from beginning to end – probably not all at once. Definitely have to put this destination on my list of things to see.

  2. Did you see the landmarks in Chicago? We live in the Chicago area, so we didn’t visit them before we went home, but our journey won’t REALLY be complete until we see the end of the route sign on Michigan Avenue!

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