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Isn’t it Time You Took a Trip on Route 66?

Kingman Museum

A mural on the outside of the Mohave Museum of History and Arts depicting life in Kingman over the years.

A leisurely one-hour drive from Lake Havasu will have you feeling as if you’ve traveled back in time as you visit Kingman and one of the longest stretches of Historic Route 66. A number of historic markers, museums, and other venues will have you longing for the simpler times. Known as the Mother Road, Route 66 was the first major major highway connecting the Midwest to the west, stretching from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles. If you would like to drive this route in a truck then you may need an ELD Device, you can purchase one of these devices from https://fleetmastersinc.net/best-eld-devices/. If you are interested in purchasing an ELD Device then you may want to check out a guide online to find out some more information, you can do this by checking out https://bestelddevices.com/best-eld-guide/.

Traveling north on State Hwy. 95 to I-40W will land you squarely in Kingman, home to western movie star, Andy Devine. In fact, exiting on Andy Devine Avenue places you in the middle of museum row and the Powerhouse and Route 66 Museum–an imposing structure that is hard to miss. It was originally built in the early 1900s as a power station to provide electricity to the area mines before the completion of Hoover Dam. Today, the building serves as home to the Kingman Visitor Center, the Route 66 Museum, and the Kingman Chamber of Commerce.

The ground floor of the museum features 3,600 square feet of electric vehicles on display thanks to the Historic Electric Vehicle Foundation. The exhibit has many rarely seen electric vehicles dating back to the nineteenth century and features many vehicles that you never imagined existed.

Kingman Museum

Part of the electric car display at the museum: Willie Nelson’s electric golf cart. (Note the portable bar on the back of the cart).

The second floor of the museum has a number of murals and displays designed to take a person on a time-lined trip down Route 66. Covering early Native American trade routes, U.S. Army led survey expeditions, and the plight of desperate people fleeing to California from the Midwest during the Dust Bowl era, the museum is a rich collection of history. Visitors can also see what life was like to travel Route 66 during the 1950s through a series of dioramas depicting the excitement of the original Mother Road.

After a day of checking out the sites at the museums in Kingman, why not take a walk across the street from the Powerhouse/Kingman visitor Center (On route 66 no less) and take in an old fashion burger, fries, and malt at the Mr. D’z Drive–In? Try the Andy Devine Burger if you’re extra hungry.

After a day of checking out the sites at the museums in Kingman, why not take a walk across the street from the Powerhouse/Kingman visitor Center (On route 66 no less) and take in an old fashion burger, fries, and malt at the Mr. D’z Drive–In? Try the Andy Devine Burger if you’re extra hungry.

A short walk over to Beale Street brings you in touch with the Mohave Museum of History and Arts. Rather than relive the heyday of Route 66, the museum takes a look at local history, including a look at the Hualapai Indians, mining, and transportation—along with a few gunslinger tall tales thrown in for good measure. Famous western sidekick and movie star Andy Devine also has a section of the museum devoted to his career.

Railroad buffs will want to spend some time at the Kingman Railroad Museum that operates three model train displays of “O” “HO” and “N” gauge model trains. Trains still play an important role in Kingman’s economy and can be see passing by just feet away from the entrance of the museum.

While there are plenty of historic sites around Kingman, first-timers owe it to themselves to visit the many museums to learn about the rich history of Kingman that was all made possible, in part, by the good fortune of being along Route 66. If you find yourself in need of a free route planner, try Badger Maps.

Did You Know?

  • Kingman is touted as the Turquoise Capital of the World and is one of the world’s largest producers of turquoise which is mined outside of town.
  • The airport in Kingman off Route 66 was dedicated back in 1929 by Charles Lindberg and Amelia Earhart.
  • Famous western writer Louis L’Amour spent much of his time in Kingman.
  • Pamela Anderson was picked up by the Kingman police on Andy Devine Avenue in 1992 and taken in for indecent exposure after posing for a Playboy Route 66 photo shoot.

Andy Devine

Andy Devine’s director chair and parade saddle. Hand-tooled silver for this one-of-a- kind saddle, plus the historical significance, makes this saddle worth in the tens of thousands of dollars.

The Legacy of Andy Devine

He was friends with the likes of John Wayne, Roy Rogers, Will Rogers, Walter Brennan and Jimmy Stewart. Known for his distinct, squeaky, comedic voice, Andy Devine was a western sidekick that starred in more than 400 films. Born in 1905, Andy was raised by his parents in Kingman after his father purchased the Beale Hotel in 1906. Starting out in silent films, Andy went on to star in screen, and television, not to mention his many radio appearances.

Andy died back in 1977 and the stretch of Route 66 that runs through Kingman was renamed Andy Devine Avenue. Every September the town of Kingman remembers Andy with the Andy Devine Days which includes a parade and PRCA rodeo.

Special thanks to Joshua Noble of the Kingman Visitor Center for his hospitality and personal tour. To find out more about Kingman, check out www.GoKingman.com

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