U.S. Route 66 in Oklahoma

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U.S. Highway 66

Will Rogers Highway
US 66 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by ODOT
Length374.6 mi[2] (602.9 km)
(as close as possible to the latest surface alignments, except at Tulsa and Oklahoma City)
The length of SH-66 is 192.8 mi (310.3 km)
ExistedDecember 7, 1926[1]–April 1, 1985[1]
Major junctions
West end US 66 at Texas state line
Major intersections
East end US-66 at Kansas state line
CountryUnited States
Highway system
  • Oklahoma State Highway System
SH-65 SH-66

The historic U.S. Route 66 (US-66, Route 66), sometimes known as the Will Rogers Highway after Oklahoma native Will Rogers, ran from west to northeast across the state of Oklahoma, along the path now taken by Interstate 40 (I-40) and State Highway 66 (SH-66). It passed through Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and many smaller communities. West of the Oklahoma City area, it has been largely replaced by I-40; the few independent portions that are still state-maintained are now I-40 Business. However, from Oklahoma City northeast to Kansas, the bypassing I-44 is mostly a toll road, and SH-66 remains as a free alternate.


Pavement markings indicating the historic alignment of Route 66

The history of Route 66 in Oklahoma can be traced back to two auto trails—the St. Louis, MissouriLas Vegas, New Mexico, main route of the Ozark Trails network, and the Fort Smith, ArkansasAmarillo, Texas, Postal Highway.[3] In the state highway system, approved in mid-1924, the portions of these in Oklahoma, which crossed at Oklahoma City, became SH-7 and SH-3 respectively.[4][5] US 66 was designated in late 1926, and followed these state highways with one exception: a new SH-39 was created to carry Route 66, leaving SH-7 at Commerce and heading east and north to the state line in the direction of Baxter Springs, Kansas.[6] (The short stub of SH-7 north of Commerce remained until it became part of US-69 in the mid-1930s.[7])

Over the years, many portions of Route 66 west of Oklahoma City were replaced with I-40. On the other hand, the Turner Turnpike and Will Rogers Turnpike were built parallel to Route 66 east of Oklahoma City, and Route 66 remained on the old road as a free alternate to the turnpikes. Route 66 was eliminated by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials on April 1, 1985. In Oklahoma, the portions west of Oklahoma City that had not been rerouted onto I-40 became business loops of I-44 through Sayre, Elk City, Clinton, and El Reno. The still-independent route, starting at US-81 in southeastern El Reno, became SH-66, using surface streets except through Oklahoma City and Tulsa, where Route 66 had been rerouted onto the freeways. SH-66 ends at US-60 west of Vinita, where Route 66 overlapped US-60 and US-69 to east of Commerce. The remaining independent portion to the Kansas state line became part of a new US-69 Alternate.[1][8]

Route description

Texas border to Elk City

New-style SH-66 shield west of Arcadia

By 1916, a series of unpaved state roads was laid out from Texola, just east of the Texas state line, east via Erick to Delhi, north to Sayre, and east and north via Doxey to Elk City.[9] It became part of Route 66 in 1926; this initial alignment ran along the state line from a bit south of the old railroad grade south to E1240 Road, and then ran east through Texola on Fifth Street. After a mile south on N1680 Road, it turned east on E1250 Road to Erick, then south again on N1750 Road, east on E1260 Road, south on N1810 Road, and east on E1270 Road to Delhi. Traffic turned north at N1870 Road (now US-283), jogging west on E1250 Road at the mismatch in the section lines, and entered Sayre on N1870 Road. The bridge over the North Fork of the Red River in Sayre was built of timber in 1924 and upgraded and widened with steel in 1933. It was bypassed in 1958, and has been demolished; its remains are on private property. The original Route 66 passed through Sayre on Main Street (now SH-152) and Fourth Street, leaving to the east on Benton Boulevard (E1180 Road). It then turned north on N1900 Road, east on E1170 Road (there was a cutoff on the southeast side of the railroad at this turn), north on N1960 Road, east on E1160 Road, and north on N2000 Road into Elk City on Randall Avenue. Short sections of this — a bridge on E1170 Road east of N1950 Road (SH-34) and the crossing of Elk City Lake on N2000 Road — no longer exist.[1]

A new alignment from the state line to Elk City was built in the late 1920s. It only coincided with the earlier route through Texola and through Sayre; the rest was entirely separate. Except in Sayre, where the city had paved the road with Portland cement (PC) in 1926, the state began paving the road in 1928 and 1929 with asphalt over a concrete base from Elk City to several miles east of Hext. It switched to PC in 1929, paving the remainder from east of Hext to the state line from 1929 to 1931. This alignment followed E1240 Road from the state line to Texola, and then the present main road through Erick and Hext to south of Sayre. The old cement lies in the center of the four-lane road through Texola, and then mainly follows the westbound lanes to Erick, through which it again lies in the center. A short abandoned piece of PC, including ruins from a former bridge over a creek, is located to the south of the road, between N1700 and N1710 Roads. Beyond Erick, the PC was again built in the present location of the westbound lanes, but has since been paved over until the I-40 interchange (exit 11). Just past exit 11, the road becomes two lanes, and the original road — mostly built as PC, but later resurfaced in asphalt, and once the westbound lanes of a divided highway - is now abandoned to the north of the open roadway; a 1928 concrete federal aid primary marker lies 0.8 miles (1.3 km) west of Hext. Beyond Hext, where I-40 comes in from the south, the two-lane road crosses to the original roadway; the later eastbound lanes are now the westbound lanes of I-40. The 1929 alignment curved to the north into N1870 Road west of exit 20, following Main Street and Fourth Street as the original route did. However, it continued beyond Benton Boulevard to Sayre Avenue, turning off onto the present four-lane I-40 Bus. towards I-40 exit 25. Just prior to the exit, Route 66 curved northeast along the northside frontage road. It crossed to the south side after exit 26, crossing Timber Creek on a 1928 through truss bridge, and crossed again just east of the N1910 Road overpass. This part of the north frontage road, from east of N1910 Road to exit 32, retains the original 1928-1929 paving, as well as a 1926 box drain. Between exit 32 and Elk City, the original road (resurfaced) is now the westbound lanes of I-40 Bus., where another 1926 box drain still stands.[1]

A second set of lanes was added, mostly on the south side of the two-lane road, from 1955 to 1961, except through Texola, Erick, and Sayre, where the existing road was widened to four lanes. The old road was bypassed in several places: west of Texola, where the new road went diagonally northwest to the state line; between N1700 and N1710 Roads, where a straighter alignment was built to the north; entering Sayre from the south, where it continued on what is now the northside frontage road to Fourth Street (effective July 14, 1958); and at Timber Creek, where the two-lane road used the southside frontage road, and both directions of the four-lane road used the present I-40. Between the Sayre and Elk City business loops, except over Timber Creek, the new eastbound lanes are now the eastbound lanes of I-40; further west, between Sayre and Hext, they are the present westbound lanes.[1]

I-40 was completed in its present state in 1966 between Sayre and Elk City; the bypasses of both cities opened in October 1970, with the Sayre bypass project extending west to the point east of Hext where I-40 curves away from the old road. (The relocation here was made on June 1, 1970.) The rest of I-40 west to Texas opened on September 2, 1975. Except for the bypasses around Sayre and Elk City, Route 66 was moved to the new I-40; most of it was given to Beckham County, but the old route through Erick, which had overlapped SH-30, became SH-30 Business. When Route 66 was decommissioned on April 1, 1985, the Sayre and Elk City business loops were created. I-40 Business through Erick, between exits 5 and 11, replaced SH-30 Bus. in 1987, based on traffic data.[1]

Through Oklahoma City

Route 66 was signed in Oklahoma City by 1929. Its initial routing entered from the west on 39th Street and turned south on Classen Boulevard and east on 23rd Street. SH-7 entered from the south on Robinson Avenue, which also carried SH-4, SH-9, and US 77. At the intersection of 23rd Street and Lincoln Boulevard, just north of the State Capitol, SH-3 and SH-9 continued east, along with US 266, while the other routes, including Route 66, turned north. After leaving the city limits, continuing on Lincoln Boulevard (including the present Beverly Drive), it jogged east on Grand Boulevard (now I-44) to reach Kelley Avenue.[10] By 1931, traffic was routed via Western Avenue rather than Classen Boulevard, and a new US 66 Alternate bypassed downtown, turning north rather than south on Western Avenue to Britton and east on Britton Road to Kelley Avenue.[11] By 1935 Route 66 used May Avenue rather than Western Avenue; the alternate route continued to use Western Avenue,[12] moving to Classen Boulevard south of 53rd Street on March 18, 1936. The alternate route was eventually moved to May Avenue on May 6, 1947.[1]

On March 2, 1953, about the time the Northwest Expressway, Northeast Expressway, and Turner Turnpike were completed, US 66 was realigned to make use of this bypass. It turned north from 39th Street at May Avenue to reach the expressways, and followed them to Kelley, where it continued to turn north towards Edmond. The continuation of the Northeast Expressway to the Oklahoma City Terminus of the turnpike was labeled SH-66A; this route had extended west to May Avenue before March 2.[13] (SH-3 used the Northwest Expressway west of May Avenue.) The old Route 66 through downtown, via May Avenue, 23rd Street, and Lincoln Boulevard, became US 66 Business, and the alternate route was eliminated. A short realignment was made on August 2, 1954, using the new West Expressway from 39th Street and May Avenue to the Northwest Expressway west of Classen Boulevard.[1]

SH-66A became part of Route 66 by 1956, when the new road (now I-35) was built from the Turner Turnpike north to Route 66 east of Edmond. The old route via Edmond became SH-66 (and SH-77, since it had replaced US 77).[14] The business route was deleted on March 5, 1979, and at about the same time the new route of the West Expressway, bypassing Classen Circle, was completed.[1][15]

Through Tulsa

The Round Barn in Arcadia

By 1929, Route 66 had been marked through Tulsa, entering from the southwest on Southwest Boulevard (then Quanah Avenue) to the old 11th Street Bridge over the Arkansas River, being a concrete arch bridge from 1916 that is now on the National Register of Historic Places. The route left the bridge on Maybelle Avenue, and turned east on 11th Street, north on Cheyenne Avenue, east on 7th Street, north on Detroit Avenue, east on 2nd Street, north on Lewis Avenue, and east on Admiral Place to the city limits. Outside the city, the original route turned south on Mingo Road and east on 11th Street, turning north on 193rd Avenue to reach Catoosa.[10] A relocation, approved on July 7, 1932, simplified the routing through Tulsa, taking it east on 11th Street all the way from the bridge to 193rd Avenue. (US 75 and SH-11 remained on Admiral Place, the former using the old Route 66 alignment through downtown.)[1][16]

US 66 Bypass was established on June 4, 1951, along the proposed Skelly Drive, which was not finished until the late 1950s, when it became part of I-44. Route 66 itself was moved to Skelly Drive on November 3, 1959, and the old route on Southwest Boulevard and 11th Street, west of the Skelly Drive interchange east of downtown, became US 66 Business. (The only change in this route was made in the early 1970s,[17] during construction of I-444, when it was moved to 12th Street west of Denver Avenue.) The business route was eliminated on January 15, 1973, removing all state highways from surface streets in downtown Tulsa, except for a temporary routing of US 64 and SH-51 on 15th Street until the Broken Arrow Expressway was completed.[1][18]

Tulsa to Kansas border

As with the rest of Route 66 in Oklahoma, the majority of this segment follows SH-66, with a number of older alignments that take Route 66 through many of the communities along the way. From the northeast side of Tulsa, at the intersection of 193rd Ave and I-44/SH-66, two routes are available, depending on which sources one considers to be official:

  • The first route proceeds north on 193rd Ave, crossing under I-44, and turns northeast onto Cherokee St. This route turns east onto Rice St, crosses SH-66, and then turns northeast onto "Old US Highway 66". This road turns north as it joins with 225th St. This road splits into a "Y" just before it intersects with SH-66. Maps indicate that both sides of the "Y" intersect with SH-66, and that the right side of this "Y" leads the traveler to cross SH-66 again, to find an abandoned segment of Route 66 on the other side.
  • A second route proceeds north on 193rd Ave, past I-44, and turns northeast onto Cherokee St. One then turns hard right onto Antry Dr., then left onto SH-66. The route turns east onto Rice St, then northeast onto "Old US Highway 66", north on 225th St, and then northeast back onto SH-66.

Route 66 then follows SH-66 northeast through Verdigris and into Claremore. One may either continue on SH-66 all the way through town, or divert one block west and take the older alignment down J.M Davis Blvd. The route re-joins SH-66 via Stuart Roosa Dr., at the north end of town.

The Coleman Theatre in Miami OK

Route 66 then proceeds north and east via SH-66. Other communities along this stretch of road include Sequoyah, Foyil, and Busyhead. In Chelsea, SH-28 briefly merges with SH-66, then diverges north after about 5 blocks, while SH-66 continues toward White Oak. After White Oak, US 60/US 69 join the route. Just beyond this intersection, SH-2 joins the route as the road continues to Vinita. In the downtown area of Vinita, SH-2 diverges to the north while US 60/US 69/Route 66 turn to the right. The highway crosses I-44 just east of the city and intersects with SH-82 and SH-85. At the latter junction, the highway takes a turn to the north and continues through Afton.

Just east of Afton, there are two possible alignments:

  • One may turn off to the right onto E 220 Road. This is actually a stretch of the original 9-foot-wide (2.7 m) "sidewalk" highway. The driver would follow the road straight at first, then follow the original roadbed as it curves to the right, avoiding the 90-degree intersection ahead. This joins with S 520 road and intersects with and crosses US 69. One should proceed straight on S 520 Road, crossing US 69 and eventually crossing over I-44. Less than 1 mile (1.6 km) later, the roadbed curves to the east onto 210th road, again avoiding the 90-degree intersection. Less than 1 mile (1.6 km) after this, the sidewalk road becomes regular paved roadway, which then intersects with US 69. At this point, Route 66 turns north to follow the main highway.
  • Alternatively, one may remain on US 69, bypassing the sidewalk road entirely and continuing northeast. After about 2 miles (3.2 km), US 59 joins the route (about halfway between the two ends of the sidewalk route). At the US 60/US 69/I-44 interchange, US 69 continues north while US 60 diverts east.
"Sidewalk highway" section of Route 66 near Miami, Oklahoma.

Shortly after Narcissa, another section of the old Route 66 alignment is available, again as a stretch of sidewalk highway:

  • At 140th road, the original Route 66 alignment turns to the right, onto another stretch of sidewalk highway. The roadbed turns north onto 540th road after 1 mile (1.6 km), then east onto 130th road after another mile. After about 1.5 miles (2.4 km), the route turns north onto "E" St. SW. The route continues north through a rural-looking residential area and joins with SH-125 after one mile (1.6 km). After another 1.4 miles (2.3 km), the road bends to the right and crosses the Neosho River, then bends to the left and joins with Main Street in Miami, Oklahoma. The Route continues north through town. Like the stretch of road near Afton, the sidewalk roadbed bends and curves around the corners, avoiding the actual 90-degree intersections entirely.
  • Alternatively, one may remain on US 59/US 69, bypassing the sidewalk road. SH-10 joins the route about 3.3 miles (5.3 km) beyond Narcissa, and US 59 diverts to the west at this intersection. US 69/Route 66 continues northeast into Miami. At the intersection with Main Street, SH-10 proceeds east, while US 69/Route 66 diverges to the north.

Route 66/US 69 continues north through Miami. As the highway exits to the north, an alternate alignment becomes available:

  • At the intersection with Newman Road, US 69 bends northeast. Just past Newman Road is an exit that takes one back onto Main Street; a sign is currently in place directing travelers to take this exit to remain on Route 66. From here, Route 66 proceeds north through the "back" side of Commerce, Oklahoma. Route 66 turns east at Commerce St. and proceeds through the downtown area of Commerce. Route 66 turns north at Mickey Mantle Boulevard to rejoin with US 69.
  • Alternatively, one may remain on US 69, bypassing the downtown area of Commerce.

US 69/Route 66 bends to the east as it exits the north side of Commerce. About 1.8 miles (2.9 km) after this bend, US 69 diverts to the north. Alternate US 69 begins at this point, and Alternate 69/Route 66 continues east, bending north as the highway enters the south end of Quapaw, Oklahoma. The route continues through Quapaw and proceeds northeast beyond the Oklahoma/Kansas state line to Riverton, Kansas, where US 66 splits from alternate 69 and heads eastward as Kansas state highway 66 (K-66).

Major intersections

This list follows the final non-freeway alignment.

US 66 west – Amarillo
Texas state line

SH-30 south – Hollis
west end of SH-30 overlap
SH-30 north (Sheb Wooley Street) – Sweetwater
east end of SH-30 overlap

US 283 south – Mangum
west end of US-283 overlap
Sayre SH-152 (Main Street) – Cordell

US 283 north – Cheyenne
east end of US-283 overlap

SH-34 south – Carter, Mangum
west end of SH-34 overlap

SH-6 north – Sweetwater
west end of SH-6 overlap
Elk City
SH-6 south (North Main Street) – Granite, Altus
east end of SH-6 overlap

SH-34 north – Hammon, Woodward
east end of SH-34 overlap
SH-44 south – Foss, Burns Flat, Altus
US 183 south (6th Street) – Cordell, Hobart
west end of US-183 overlap

US 183 north (4th Street)
east end of US-183 overlap

SH-54 south – Corn, Colony, Mountain View
west end of SH-54 overlap
SH-54 north (West Main Street) – Thomas
east end of SH-54 overlap
SH-58 north – Hydro
west end of SH-58 overlap

SH-58 south – Carnegie
east end of SH-58 overlap
Hinton Junction

US 281 south / SH-8 south – Hinton, Anadarko
west end of US-281 / SH-8 overlap

US 281 north / SH-8 north – Geary, Watonga
east end of US-281 / SH-8 overlap

US 270 west – Calumet
west end of US-270 overlap
El Reno
US 81 north (Choctaw Avenue) – Kingfisher
west end of US-81 overlap

US 81 south – Chickasha
east end of US-81 overlap
SH-92 south (Garth Brooks Boulevard) – Mustang

SH-4 north (Cornwell Drive) – Piedmont
west end of SH-4 overlap

SH-4 south (Ranchwood Boulevard)
east end of SH-4 overlap
OklahomaWarr Acres SH-3 (North MacArthur Boulevard)
Oklahoma CityGrand Boulevardinterchange; now I-44 west / Lake Hefner Parkway

US 270 / US 66 Bus. / SH-3 / SH-74 (May Avenue)
interchange; east end of US-270 overlap
Pennsylvania Avenueinterchange

SH-66A west (Northwest Expressway)
at-grade intersection
Classen BoulevardClassen Circle (traffic circle)
Western Avenueinterchange
Grand Boulevard westat-grade intersection

US 77 north (Broadway Extension) – Edmond
interchange; west end of US-77 overlap; now I-235 south

US 77 south / US 66 Bus. west (Lincoln Boulevard) – Downtown Oklahoma City
interchange; east end of US-77 overlap
Grand Boulevard eastat-grade intersection
Britton Roadinterchange
Turner Turnpike / Sooner Road – Tulsainterchange
Memorial Roadinterchange
Edmond US 77 (2nd Street) – Wichita, Edmondinterchange
see SH-66
Creek Turner Turnpike – Oklahoma City
US 169 south – Glenpool
west end of US-169 overlap

US 169 north (West 23rd Street)
east end of US-169 overlap

US 75 north / SH-33 east (Heavy Traffic Way)
east end of US-75 / SH-33 overlap
US 64 / SH-51 (South Denver Avenue)
US 169 (South Peoria Avenue)
SH-11 (South Memorial Drive)
county line

SH-33 west (East Admiral Place)
west end of SH-33 overlap
SH-33 east – Chouteau, Siloam Springs
interchange; east end of SH-33 overlap; now US-412
Will Rogers Turnpike – Joplininterchange
see SH-66
US 60 west – Nowata, Bartlesville
west end of US-60 overlap

US 69 south – Pryor
west end of US-69 overlap
SH-2 north (Wilson Street)
Will Rogers Turnpike

SH-82 south – Langley
SH-85 south – Bernice
US 59 south – Grove
west end of US-59 overlap

Will Rogers Turnpike / US 60 east – Fairland
interchange; east end of US-60 overlap

US 59 north / SH-10 west – Welch, Lenapah
east end of US-59 overlap; west end of SH-10 overlap

SH-10 east (Steve Owens Boulevard) / SH-125 south (Main Street) – Seneca, MO, Fairland, Grove
east end of SH-10 overlap

US 69 north – Picher
east end of US-69 overlap

SH-137 south
US-66 east – St. Louis
Kansas state line
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


Fort Reno in El Reno, Oklahoma, built 1874.

US 66 in Oklahoma is home to many National Register of Historic Places sites connected in some way with the historic highway.

Fort Reno served as a US military post from 1874 (long before Oklahoma attained statehood) through World War II.[20] The Chandler Armory, built under the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression, served as home of the 45th Infantry Division of the Oklahoma National Guard during World War II and continued in service until replaced by a modern building in 1971. It was restored in 2007 as Chandler's Route 66 information site and convention hall.[21]

Miami's Coleman Theatre, established 1929.[22] has long entertained visitors with everything from live music to cinema. Miami also has the Miami Original Nine-Foot Section of Route 66 Roadbed, which along with the Coleman Theater is on the National Register of Historic Places listings in Ottawa County, Oklahoma.

The restored native folk art collection of Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park in Foyil dates from 1937.[23]

Tulsa landmarks include the giant Meadow Gold neon sign at 11th & Peoria. Originally at 11th & Lewis, this 1934 sign has two 30-by-30-foot (9.1 m × 9.1 m) faces and has been mounted on a pavilion at its new location for visibility.[24]

Arcadia's Round Barn has served as a de facto community hall since 1898.[25] The distinctive large dome of the Beckham County Courthouse has stood over downtown Sayre since 1911. [26] McLain Rogers Park, constructed as a Clinton city park as part of a Great Depression Federal Emergency Relief Administration, the Civil Works Administration, and the Works Progress Administration joint project, includes playgrounds, tennis and volleyball courts, miniature golf, picnic areas, a baseball field and a bandstand.[27]

Various Oklahoma road segments[28] are of historical importance, including the 11th Street Arkansas River Bridge in Tulsa,[29] the Lake Overholser Bridge in Oklahoma City[30] and the Bridge #18 at Rock Creek (which has been restored and is open) in Sapulpa.[31]

Restaurants, stores and motels

Rock Café in Stroud, Oklahoma.

The 1939 sandstone Rock Café[32] contains a large collection of both local memorabilia and souvenirs from Pixar's research of US 66 in the area for the animated film Cars. Proprietor Dawn Welch is the model on which Sally Carrera, the Radiator Springs hotelier who fights to rebuild and restore the town, is based.

A Milk Bottle Grocery occupies a tiny corner of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma near the Gold Dome, its small building overshadowed by a huge milk bottle constructed as an advertisement on the store's roof.[33]

A 66-foot-tall neon roadside sign in the shape of a soda pop bottle marks Pops restaurant in Arcadia. Pops is a modern attraction situated near the Arcadia round barn.[34]

The Chelsea Motel in Chelsea[35] and West Winds Motel in Erick,[36] once lured many weary travellers from US 66 but lost their clientele when the road was bypassed. Both are still extant but have been converted to other uses; they are no longer open to the public.

Filling stations

Lucille Hamons operated the Provine Service Station near Hydro, Oklahoma from 1941 until her death in 2000, earning the title "Mother of the Mother Road" for her widely reputed generosity to travellers during hard economic times.[37] After the freeway bypassed the site, the Interstate highway passed directly in front of old Route 66 and the Hamons' Court but was separated by a fence and provided no easy access to the site as the only off-ramps were in Hydro and Weatherford.

Other historic stations which remain on US 66 in Oklahoma include Avant's Cities Service Station and Jackson Conoco Service Station in El Reno, Oklahoma,[38] a Marathon Station in Miami,[39] the Seaba Station in Warwick,[40] the Threatt Filling Station in Luther,[41] the Vickery Phillips 66 Station in Tulsa[42] and the Y Service Station and Café in Clinton.[43]

Museums and monuments

The National Route 66 Museum in Elk City, Oklahoma, is operated by the Elk City Chamber of Commerce. It includes history and displays about all eight states through which Route 66 runs, from Illinois to California.[44] The Route 66 museum is part of the larger Old Town Museum Complex which showcases pioneer life in western Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton was built on land donated by the late Walter S. Mason Jr., a retired country veterinarian who once served as president of the Best Western hotel chain. It is designed to display the iconic ideas, images, and myths of the Mother Road.[45]

Tulsa, Oklahoma, has The Cyrus Avery Centennial Plaza, located next to the east entrance of the historic 11th Street Bridge. The bridge was one of the large motivating factors in building the Route through Tulsa, avoiding having to build another bridge over the Arkansas.[46] The Plaza contains a giant sculpture weighing 20,000 pounds (9,100 kg) and costing $1.178 million[47] called "East Meets West" of the Avery family riding west in a Model T Ford meeting an eastbound horse-drawn carriage.[48] In 2020, Avery Plaza Southwest opened at the west end of the bridge, which features a “neon park” with replicas of the neon signs from Tulsa-area Route 66 motels of the era, including the Tulsa Auto Court, the Oil Capital Motel, and the famous bucking-bronco sign of the Will Rogers Motor Court.[46][49] Other future plans for that area include a Route 66 Museum.[50] Tulsa has also installed "Route 66 Rising," a 70' by 30' sculpture on the road's former eastern approach to town at East Admiral Place and Mingo Road.[51] On Southwest Boulevard, between W. 23rd and W. 24th Streets there is a granite marker dedicated to Route 66 as the Will Rogers Highway which features an image of namesake Will Rogers together with information on the route from Michael Wallis, author of Route 66: The Mother Road;[52] and, at Howard Park just past W. 25th Street, three Indiana limestone pillars are dedicated to Route 66 through Tulsa, with Route 66 #1 devoted to Transportation, Route 66 #2 devoted to Tulsa Industry and Native American Heritage, and Route 66 #3 devoted to Art Deco Architecture and American Culture.[53] At 3770 Southwest Blvd. is the Route 66 Historical Village, which includes a tourism information center modeled after a 1920s-1930s gas station, and other period-appropriate artifacts such as the Frisco 4500 steam locomotive with train cars.[54] Elsewhere, Tulsa has constructed twenty-nine historical markers scattered along the 26-mile route of the highway through Tulsa, containing tourist-oriented stories, historical photos, and a map showing the location of historical sites and the other markers.[55] The markers are mostly along the highway's post-1932 alignment down 11th Street, with some along the road's 1926 path down Admiral Place.[55]

Just west of Tulsa in Sapulpa is the Heart of Route 66 Auto Museum which opened in August 2016 in an Armory built in 1948. It features the world's tallest replica of an antique visible gas pump, being 66 feet in height.[56] The globe was placed on top and lights turned on July 20, 2017.

The Afton Station Packard Museum in Afton is a former filling station restored as a privately owned museum, offering souvenirs and Route 66 information.

A Memorial Museum to Will Rogers is located in Claremore, Oklahoma, while his Birthplace Ranch is maintained in Oologah, Oklahoma.[57]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Oklahoma's Memorial Highways & Bridges: Historic Route 66, including maps from Jim Ross, Oklahoma Route 66, 2001
  2. ^ Google Maps driving directions:
  3. ^ Staff. "Map of the Ozark Trails". Drive the Old Spanish Trail. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
  4. ^ State of Oklahoma, Preliminary Designation of the State Highway System, approved August 28, 1924
  5. ^ Rand McNally Auto Road Atlas, 1926, accessed via the Broer Map Library
  6. ^ Oklahoma State Highway System 1927, Progress Map as of November 1, 1927
  7. ^ Oklahoma State Highway Commission, Official State Highway Map of Oklahoma, February 1934
  8. ^ Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Chronological History of US Highway 69 Alternate
  9. ^ Oklahoma Department of Highways, The State of Oklahoma, 1916: this map shows the original main road, mostly along section lines, though it is occasionally off by a mile from what other sources indicate.
  10. ^ a b Oklahoma State Highway Commission, Official Map of the State Highways of Oklahoma (back side), January 1, 1929
  11. ^ Oklahoma State Highway Commission, Official Highway Map (back side), July 1, 1931
  12. ^ Oklahoma State Highway Commission, Official State Highway Map of Oklahoma (back side), 1935
  13. ^ Oklahoma State Highway Commission, Oklahoma (back side), 1953
  14. ^ Oklahoma State Highway Commission, Oklahoma (front side), 1956
  15. ^ Oklahoma State Highway Commission, Oklahoma 1979 Map (front side)
  16. ^ Oklahoma State Highway Commission, Official State Highway Map (back side), August 1933
  17. ^ Federal Highway Administration, National Bridge Inventory database, 2006
  18. ^ Oklahoma State Highway Commission, Oklahoma 1974 Map (back side)
  19. ^ "US 66 in Oklahoma". Google Maps.
  20. ^ "Fort Reno". National Park Service. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  21. ^ "Chandler Armory". National Park Service. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  22. ^ "Coleman Theatre-Route 66: A Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary". Nps.gov. April 18, 1929. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  23. ^ "Ed Galloway's Totem Pole Park". National Park Service. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  24. ^ Per signage at the site.
  25. ^ "Arcadia Round Barn". National Park Service. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  26. ^ "Beckham County Courthouse". National Park Service. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  27. ^ "McLain Rogers Park". National Park Service. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  28. ^ "Oklahoma Road Segments". National Park Service. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  29. ^ "11th Street Arkansas River Bridge". National Park Service. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  30. ^ "Lake Overholser Bridge". National Park Service. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  31. ^ "Bridge #18 at Rock Creek". National Park Service. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  32. ^ "Rock Cafe". National Park Service. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  33. ^ "Milk Bottle Grocery". National Park Service. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  34. ^ "Pops landmark". Retrieved June 6, 2012.
  35. ^ "Chelsea Motel". National Park Service. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  36. ^ "West Winds Motel". National Park Service. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  37. ^ "Provine Service Station-Route 66: A Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary". National Park Service. August 18, 2000. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  38. ^ "Avant's and Jackson Service Stations". National Park Service. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  39. ^ "Miami Marathon Oil Company Service Station". National Park Service. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  40. ^ "Seaba Station". National Park Service. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  41. ^ "Threatt Filling Station". National Park Service. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  42. ^ "Vickery Phillips 66 Station". National Park Service. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  43. ^ "Y Service Station and Café". National Park Service. Retrieved May 10, 2012.
  44. ^ "National Route 66 & Transportation Museum". TravelOK.com. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  45. ^ "Route 66 Museum". Oklahoma Historical Society. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  46. ^ a b "It's a big part of our history: City should resurrect 11th Street bridge over Arkansas River, preservationists say". Kevin Canfield, Tulsa World, January 30, 2019. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  47. ^ "Sculpture dedicated to Cyrus Avery, the 'Father of Route 66'" Archived 2015-07-14 at the Wayback Machine, KJRH. November 9, 2012. Accessed July 6, 2015.
  48. ^ Barber, Brian (May 18, 2008), "Cyrus Avery plaza's construction nearly finished", Tulsa World. Accessed July 6, 2015.
  49. ^ "Tulsa resurrects a lost piece of Route 66 history". Michael Overall, Tulsa World, August 23, 2020.
  50. ^ "Interactive Route 66 museum, drive-in theater pushing for a 2022 groundbreaking". Erin Christy, KTUL, January 4, 2022 (accessed on MSN News). Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  51. ^ John Klein, “Landmark Rises on Route 66,” Tulsa World, November 27, 2018.
  52. ^ Per the granite marker at the site.
  53. ^ Per plaques at the site.
  54. ^ "Route 66 Historical Village". TravelOK.com. Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  55. ^ a b "Sign seeing: Route 66 historical markers were 'a long time coming'". Michael Overall, Tulsa World, October 15, 2019. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  56. ^ John Klein, “Site Worth Seeing,” Tulsa World, August 21, 2018.
  57. ^ "Will Rogers Memorial Museums". Retrieved January 10, 2019.

Further reading

External links

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