Oklahoma is home to a sizable portion of Route 66 - maybe even the longest portion in the United States. This
state's Route 66 is also where the legend really began - John Steinbeck's description of the Mother Road, Will
Rogers traveling along the highway, the Phillips 66 gas station. The state also maintains large sections of the
highway as State Highway 66, so unlike
Texas, a traveler can take the road almost in its entirety.
This beautiful, long truss bridge sits west of Oklahoma City on an old section of Route 66. The bridge is drivable, though is mostly used by
cyclists and walkers. It spans the North Canadian River just north of the point where it empties into Lake Overholser.
Arcadia is home to the red round barn, a bona-fide must-see along the Route 66 trek. It's hard to believe that just a little over ten years ago, this
beautiful 19th century barn was falling in on itself. Inside is a cool souvenir shop, and you can climb up for a view.
Click here to visit Route 66 in Texas!
The grave of Jesse Chisholm, Cherokee trader and namesake of the Chisholm Trail, lies just north of Route 66 outside the town of Geary.
A great neon sign for the Capri Hotel on Rte 66 in Tulsa. This motel sits where Rte 66 becomes a feeder road to I44 and I 244. What's great about
Oklahoma's Rte 66 is that it's been re-created as a state highway, and the old sections are drivable. In Tulsa, Rte 66 is along 11th Street.
Along Rte 66 in Tulsa I came across a store called "The Stove Hospital." They repair old stoves, ovens, and heaters here. I have never been so
fascinated by kitchen appliances before! I just had to take a picture of one of the stoves, even if only through the window.
The famous Blue Whale at Catoosa, a Rte 66 town just northeast of Tulsa that is growing by leaps and bounds. The Blue Whale was built by a
man named Davis for his wife, and they opened the Whale and the pond as a swimming hole for locals (the whale acted as a slide and diving
board). Today, the Davis descendants and the City of Catoosa operate the Blue Whale as a free attraction to anyone driving along the old road.
Though no swimming is allowed, you can still hear the echoes of laughter and enjoyment of a generation inside the belly of the Whale.
This concrete bridge over the Arkansas River in Tulsa was built in 1916 and carried drivers until the 1970s, when a newer bridge was built
beside it. Luckily, Tulsa kept the old bridge. When you walk on it, you are standing on the actual Mother Road!
Tulsa's old Bell Motor Court is just a shell with the skeleton of its neon
sign waving to tourists who miss the way travel used to be.
Oklahoma's Route 66
Pops is a soda store and restaurant in Arcadia is one of Route 66's
newest attractions.
Questions or comments? E-mail me: robin@redriverhistorian.com
Original alignment outside of Miami - where Bonnie and Clyde traveled!
In 1925, Route 66 had not been numbered yet. It was still Highway 7 east of Oklahoma City, and Highway 3 west of Oklahoma City. (OK DOT)
finance the paving of the highways, counties either paid taxes or citizens donated one week's worth of labor a year. Very quickly, however, the
volunteer labor system was abandoned and replaced with prison labor. (OK DOT)