Eastern Arizona

Traveler services in Winona began in the 1920s when Billy Adams built a rock building on his homestead 16 miles east of Flagstaff at the edge of the existing main dirt road. This early Winona Trading Post had gas pumps and sold automobile supplies and some groceries to the few traveling motorists of the time. Once the road became Route 66 in 1926 and then paved in the 1930s traffic increased and Mr. Adams built a garage just west of the trading post building and hired a mechanic to perform vehicle repairs. It seems that the elevation climb of over 1000 feet for westbound drivers from Winslow to Winona was punishing on both the automobiles of the day and the travelers themselves so business at the trading post was brisk. Some cabins and eventually a small motel were built on the property. But Route 66 was re-aligned to the south in 1947 and most of the old buildings were razed. A modern gas station now is all that is left of commercial Winona.

The Twin Arrows Trading Post occupies a large parcel of land on the south side of old Route 66. The main geological feature in this area is called Padre Canyon or Canyon Padre. As it is a narrow and deep canyon and the motorist must be particularly alert to see it. The first trading post built just east of the canyon itself in the late 1940s was called the Canyon Padre Trading Post. It consisted of a single building until a pre-fabricated diner was added to the east. In 1954 new owners added two large "arrows" on the property to the west and renamed it the Twin Arrows Trading Post. The two big arrows are actually two telephone poles sunk into the ground at an angle and the "feathers" and the "arrow head" were narrow box structures sheathed in plywood. The two arrows were painted and decorated to become quite colorful oversized facsimiles of Indian arrows visible a mile away in each direction. A garage building was added as a third building at the rear. The Twin Arrows Trading Post operated until the late 1990s and has been closed and fenced off ever since.

Toonerville on Route 66 RPPC The Toonerville Trading Post was 25 miles east of Flagstaff and just 2 miles east of the Twin Arrows Trading Post.

About two miles east of the Twin Arrows Trading Post on the south side of the highway just east of the improved road to Mormon Lake stood the Toonerville Trading Post. I'm not sure of the origin of "Toonerville". Could it have been named for the once-popular newspaper comic Toonerville Folks? The Toonerville Folks comic was a whimsical look at life in the rural hinterlands and featured the Toonerville Trolly and a myriad of characters. After nearly 50 years and some early film shorts, the comic played out and ended its run in 1955. The proprietors of this remote Arizona trading post may have adopted this name to present a friendly, fun image to the motoring public. This real photo postcard shows Texaco gasoline as the brand sold but a matchcover lists the brand as Shell at one time too. Toonerville was opened before World War II and was listed in Jack Rittenhouse's 1946 A Guide Book to Highway 66. It was still an operating enterprise in 1969 when Interstate 40 bypassed the area. I do not know when it closed but may have been soon thereafter. The Toonerville building still exists today as a private residence. The gas pumps are long gone and a new gable roof has replaced the flat roof on the front canopy of the building and the area under that new gable roof has been walled in to be part of the living area within the structure.

Two Guns

Canyon Diablo Bridge RPPC The modern Canyon Diablo Bridge crosses away from the most narrow section of the canyon.

Apache Caves at Two Guns on Route 66 RPPC The Apache Caves structures built at Canyon Diablo at Two Guns by Harry "Indian" Miller.

Two Guns Arizona on Route 66 RPPC The original 1930s-era curio shop at Two Guns.

The story of Two Guns is tied at the hip with a troublesome and tragic history of Canyon Diablo and what became known as the Apache Caves. Two Guns is located less than a mile east of the Canyon Diablo, an interesting geological structure that is sometimes a recognizable traditional small gentle canyon but in the immediate vicinity of the highway is a very narrow but deep desert canyon. Crossing the area either by foot or horseback was always problematic until modern bridges were built.

In 1878 an Apache Indian raiding party viciously attacked a Navajo settlement one day. The Apache band attempted to quickly return to their extended homelands to the west. The pursuing Navajos discovered the Apache party hiding in a shallow cave inside the narrow Canyon Diablo. The Apaches likely thought that they were safe in this hidden sanctuary and probably were waiting for a later opportunity to slip back to their homelands but the Navajos surrounded the cave, shot the guards, and filled the cave opening with dry brush and set it on fire, killing all of the Apaches and their horses in the cruelest manner. As the story made it down to the white man's community, the cave was dubbed the "Apache Death Cave" or just the "Apache Caves".

Harry Miller came to the area just before the commissioning of US Highway 66. Known later as "Indian" Miller for his admiration for the Indians as well as his two long braids of hair, he was previously engaged in the tourist trade near Walnut Canyon east of Flagstaff but moved farther east to lease the land encircling Canyon Diablo and the Apache Death Cave. "Indian" Miller hired local Indians to build a stone structure at the Canyon rim that he called Fort Two Guns. It would be his residence and store. More stone structures were built around the property that would become the pens for his planned animal zoo. A stone structure was built perched above the Apache Caves and a wooden bridge allowed tourists to see into the cave itself. By all accounts "Indian" Miller's Fort Two Guns was quite the enterprise. What makes his efforts so notable was that this was all accomplished before the commissioning of Route 66, making him one of the earliest and most innovative entrepreneurs on the very old road.

When "Indian" Miller shot his landlord in 1926, the subsequent legal proceedings were the "trial of the decade" at least in northern Arizona. Both Mr. Miller and his dead landlord had their own loyal friends in the area. A spectacular trial in Flagstaff ended with the acquittal of Mr. Miller since the jury determined the killing was an act of self-defense, a circumstance that did not sit well with the victim's friends. During the next two years, Mr. Miller's life in the area was made difficult and in 1930 he and his family moved to Route 66 in far eastern Arizona. ("Indian" Miller would go on to operate the Cave of the Seven Devils on Route 66 near the state line.) The widow of the landlord remarried and the new couple continued the business of Two Guns but had to make some adjustments after Route 66 was re-aligned. Jack Rittenhouse's 1946 A Guide Book to Highway 66 describes the business as it was then as having "gas, a small lunchroom, and curios". The original idea of Mr. Miller having a small zoo to attract children and hence their families to the roadside business remained a fundamental part of Two Guns for years to follow.

The last owner to operate Two Guns as a comprehensive travel and local stop bought the place in 1963 and had a modern gasoline station, motel, and restaurant and bar built. The coming of Interstate 40 dealt a major blow but at least there was an exit off the new freeway to access the business. In 1971 the gasoline tanks exploded and most of the newer buildings of Two Guns were severely damaged. Today the modern gasoline station still stands but is abandoned, and the mortared rock structures and zoo pens are in ruins but they too still stand for the most part. The small cages with chicken-wire for the front and top, would never be tolerated today for showcasing animals but for that time they would have been considered typical for the small zoos along Route 66 and other highways. The animals at Two Guns have been documented in a number of different real photo postcards.

Meteor Crater

Meteor Crater RPPC Once promoted as "The Great Meteor Crater of Arizona" and "The World's Greatest Wonder of its Kind", the Meteor Crater has been hosting visitors on Route 66 since the very beginning of the old road.

Meteor Crater was heavily advertised on signs east and west on US Highway 66. Each sign had a red swirling ball that was supposed to represent the hot mass of the ancient meteor as it plunged to Earth. The crater is about five miles south of the last alignment of Route 66.

Scientific opinion about the origin of the Meteor Crater has varied in the last one hundred years but the present consensus is that the crater was formed about 50,000 years ago when an estimated 150-foot diameter meteor slammed into the earth. Today the crater is about 600 feet deep and almost one mile across although scientists believe that it was larger immediately following the impact.

The first serious scientific investigation of the crater was performed by Daniel Barringer, a mining engineer from Pennsylvania. Up to that point in time most people thought that the crater was a volcanic artifact created by the geology of the earth. But Mr. Barringer believed that the crater originated from a celestial meteor. Arriving in 1903, Mr. Barringer filed mining claims on the land and embarked upon a two-decade pursuit of what he believed should be a more-or-less intact meteor just below the visible surface of the crater floor. He and his crews drilled and drilled trying to find metallic material that could confirm the presence of a huge subterranean meteorite but Mr. Barringer died in 1929 without having ever found his buried meteorite. What Mr. Barringer did not know then was that the meteor shattered upon impact and smaller chunks, debris, and particles scattered over the Arizona countryside.

Harry Locke arrived as an amateur student of Mr. Barringer's work and signed on as a property caretaker of sorts. Whereas Mr. Barringer's pursuit was strictly scientific in nature, Mr. Locke also thought about possibilities to supplement his income. He homesteaded a 640 acre parcel to the north of crater that stretched to Highway 66 and built a gasoline station and store that he called Meteor Station. Although Mr. Barringer had died in 1929, Mr. Locke was still sufficiently intrigued with the whole notion of a meteor hitting the earth that he decided to keep Mr. Barringer's work and theories alive. Harry Locke leased his gasoline station and store to the colorful "Rimmy" Jim Giddings and began to build a museum with a viewing tower farther south on his property. When it opened in the late 1930s the Meteor Crater Observatory offered visitors narratives and models that described and illustrated how the meteor impacted the earth, displays of meteorite fragments, and for a fee the opportunity for the visitor to ascend the tower and view the distant crater through a telescope. But this was still the Depression and paying visitors were too few to support Mr. Locke's Observatory and the enterprise foundered and closed.

Rimmy Jim's on Route 66 RPPC Rimmy Jim's was at the turn-off from Route 66 to Meteor Crater. This RPPC shows his store in 1938.
Rimmy Jim's on Route 66 RPPC "Rimmy" Jim Giddings was a colorful character who had little tolerance for the traveling salesmen who came by to sell him something.

"Rimmy Jim" Giddings acquired full ownership of Meteor Station and by 1938, and perhaps sooner, the gas station and store became simply known as "Rimmy Jims." (In fact it is this name for the road junction that is actually printed on my 1948 and 1958 Arizona road maps. Since Mr. Giddings died in 1943 it is interesting that the name on this junction lasted well beyond his years at the location.)

American Meteorite Museum RPPC The American Meteorite Museum as it appeared in the1940s under ownership and direction of Dr. Harvey Nininger.

Dr. Harvey Nininger was a nationally-known meteor researcher who was quite familiar with Arizona's meteor crater, having studied and visited it many times. In 1946 he leased the empty observatory building and renamed it the American Meteorite Museum. The Museum was not only a roadside business that educated the public but scientific research on meteorite fragments from all over the world was conducted here. Success of the museum seemed assured in this post-War period of prosperity but alas it was not to be. In 1949 a new alignment of Route 66 shifted it farther to the north thus setting this enterprise off the main highway that much more. Dr. Nininger moved his museum and research facility to Sedona, Arizona, and by 1953 the rock building originally built by Harry Locke was abandoned again. By today the roof has long-ago collapsed and disappeared and the fragile rock walls of the old Observatory/Museum building have been crumbling but the general outline of the building can still be seen.

Hopi House Trading Post on Route 66 RPPC The Hopi House Indian Trading Post was probably the most beautiful of all the so-called "trading posts" on Route 66.

Hopi House Trading Post on Route 66 RPPC The Hopi House Trading Post was located on the north side of Route 66 where it was joined by the road to Leupp. Some maps refer to this location as "Leupp Corner".

The Hopi House Indian Trading Post was about 10 miles east of the Meteor Crater road and 10 miles west of Winslow at a location sometimes known as Leupp Corner. It was operated by Ray Meany during its halycon years on Route 66. It had a motel, cafe, and a camp for trailers and it sold genuine Indian-made items. Whereas most other trading posts in the area were simple unremarkable one story wooden structures covered with a stucco, the Hopi House shattered that model. With its pueblo-inspired architecture, stepped-back second story, projecting wooden roof beams, it was one of the most elaborate and photogenic of all of the trading posts on Route 66. It was closed soon after Interstate 40 was completed in the area.


Winslow Arizona on Route 66 RPPC Notice the US Highway 66 shield on the right above the man leaning on the lamp post.
Winslow Arizona on Route 66 RPPC Downtown Winslow was a busy place in this view to the west.

Winslow was founded in 1882 as a railroad town and named for Edward Winslow, president of the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad, which at that time held half-ownership, along with the Santa Fe, of the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad that was building west through Arizona. The Atlantic & Pacific Railroad was soon fully absorbed into the Santa Fe Railroad. The most notable building in town is the beautiful La Posada Harvey House Hotel. Some say it was the crown jewel among the Harvey Houses of the Santa Fe Railroad since it was the last one built and few expenses were spared. Bordered on one side by Route 66 and the other side by the railroad tracks, the La Posada opened in 1929 and was operational into the 1950s when it closed with the decline in railroad passenger travel in the USA. It was then used by the Santa Fe for general offices and finally shuttered in 1993. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it was purchased by a private investor and has since been restored as an operating hotel.

West End Court in Windslow RPPC The 1939 AAA Directory of Motor Courts and Cottages listed the West End Court as having "37 cottages with baths".

Second Street was the first alignment of Route 66. As vehicle traffic increased in the post-War period so did bottlenecks particularly in the summertime. In 1951 the two lanes of Second Street were assigned to eastbound traffic and the two lanes of adjacent Third Street were dedicated to westbound traffic, which is how things remain today. The earliest motels and gasoline stations were built along Second Street, of course, but more modern businesses were built on Third Street. Traveler-oriented businesses located between Second and Third Streets were ideal since advertising signs could reach Route 66 travelers in both directions.

Perhaps the most famous commercial business in Winslow was not a hotel or motel or restaurant. It was Wes Troutner's Store For Men. Located on the north side of Second Street several buildings west of the main cross street of Kinsley, as purchased by Mr. Troutner it was a dry cleaning business. It was understandable that the business expanded to include some limited sales of new men's clothing and accessories. Eventually the dry cleaning business was moved to the back of the store as Mr. Troutner's new "Store for Men" took over the main storefront. The story goes that it was James Taylor, then owner of the Jack Rabbit Trading Post east of Winslow near Joseph City, who suggested a new sign for the store that was visible from some distance along the street. A local artist drew a curvy women in western wear and she became the image on the large signboard that overhung the sidewalk. It was not surprising then that Mr. Taylor and Mr. Troutner would put their heads together for a joint and clever marketing campaign to promote their two businesses along Route 66. The Troutner "For Men Winslow Arizona" sign with the woman and the Taylor "Jack Rabbit" sign were paired together on hundreds of signposts east and west along Route 66 to entice travelers to stop at one or both enterprises. The coming of Interstate 40 ended the roadside sign promotion program. Wayne Troutner sold his store in 1990 and later a fire struck the building that housed the Store for Men and it was razed. (The prominent Store for Men sign does not show in any real photo postcards that I know since it came later. It does appear in at least one photo chrome postcard - Petley S8562 - if you look carefully.)

Joseph City

Joseph City was founded by Mormon settlers in the late nineteenth century. Several names were sequentially used for this settlement on the Little Colorado River with Joseph City, named for Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith, the final one.

The Jack Rabbit Trading Post was opened in 1949 by James Taylor in a rectangular building originally built by the Santa Fe Railroad located on the north side of Highway 66. Mr. Taylor is credited with the image of the iconic black long-eared jack rabbit on the yellow background. Mr. Taylor's famous black and yellow jack rabbit sign and Wayne Troutner's equally-famous "For Men Winslow Arizona" sign were paired together along Route 66 for hundreds of miles in either direction. Glenn Blansett leased the trading post in 1961, bought it in 1967, and it has been operated by family members ever since.

San Diego's Frontier Days on Route 66 RPPC"San Diego" Rawson himself organizing items for sale at the Frontier Days trading post. The large sign on top of the building looks to be the same sign seen in the RPPC to the right but "Petrified Wood Jewelry" has been added along the bottom.
San Diego's Old Fort Le Roux on Route 66 RPPC"San Diego" Rawson himself posing at the entrance of his Frontier Days trading post. The photographer, presumably under the direction of Mr. Rawson, labeled this business as "Old Fort Le Roux 1830."
Last Frontier on Route 66 RPPC Unlike many trading posts in the Southwest which had stucco facades, the Last Frontier was built like a log cabin from telephone poles.

The Frontier Trading Post was the last business of Frederick "San Diego" Rawson, a man with a remarkable history. Born in 1861 it is said that he spent a couple of years of his childhood enslaved by Plains Indians. Returned to his family after a US Army engagement with his captors, Frederick Rawson went on to have multiple careers as a prospector, circus animal trainer and emcee, philosopher and author. He eventually came to Joseph City just after the commissioning of Highway 66 and operated a museum in town that displayed his personal collection of early western family household items, furniture, and tools. Business was too slow to support his museum and after his collection was sold Mr. Rawson moved to a small log building at the west end of town and opened an enterprise known as the Frontier Days Trading Post. Later he built a larger log cabin-like building from telephone poles and opened "San Diego's Old Frontier" and offered space on the premises for Navajo Indians to make their jewelry, blankets and quilts. I have two real photo postcards displayed above with "San Diego" Rawson himself out in front of his business. The postcard image displayed at the upper right is labeled "Old Fort Le Roux 1830" about which I can not find any information. "Le Roux" would be "red" in French but French language words as place names makes little sense in Arizona. There is a Leroux Springs north of Flagstaff and a Leroux Street in downtown Flagstaff but they are named after Antoine Leroux, a member of the Lorenzo Sitgreaves expedition. This postcard may be older since "San Diego" Rawson's hair appears grayer. After twenty years in business Mr. Rawson sold the Frontier to Ramon Hubbell, son of the famous Indian trader Don Lorenzo Hubbell, in 1947. Ray Meany, who owned the Hopi House Indian Trading Post west of Winslow, acquired the "Last Frontier" a few years later but his wife Ella received the property as part of a divorce settlement. It was known as "Ella's Frontier" until she died in 1984. Later owners used the building for various purposes but it has been abandoned and in ruins just west of Joseph City on the south side of old Route 66 for many years now.


Route 66 Through Holbrook RPPC Route 66 (Navajo Blvd.) looking north in 1937. The Green Lantern Café is just behind the Standard gasoline station on the left.

Green Lantern Restaurant in Holbrook RPPC The Green Lantern Cafe was listed in Jack Rittenhouse's 1946 A Guide Book to Highway 66. Gilbert and Nevert Scorse operated it as Scorse's Green Lantern Cafe for decades. Gilbert died in 2001 and Nevert died in 2008. This RPPC shows the original Green Lantern building now razed. The Green Lantern moved to a more modern building in its later years.

Like many of the towns through Route 66 passed in the western states, Holbrook was founded during the construction of the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad in 1881. The settlement was named for the chief engineer of the railroad, Henry Holbrook. The Atlantic & Pacific Railroad was eventually absorbed into the Santa Fe Railroad system. Once known as a "town too tough for women and churches" it was virtually lawless for a period of time in the late 19th century. Ranching was the principal business in the early years of Holbrook. It was incorporated in 1917.

Route 66 Through Holbrook RPPC Route 66 (Navajo Blvd.) looking to the north (east on Route 66) showing the businesses lined up on the east side of the road.

Motaurant on Route 66 in Holbrook RPPC The Motaurant was named from a clever merging of "Motor" and "Restaurant". The building is now the Butterfield Stage Company Steak House two blocks from the Wigwam Motel.

Wickiup Motel in Holbrook RPPC The famous Wigwam Motel was not the first motel in Holbrook to be built with structures that looked like teepees. The Wickiup Motel located four blocks east of where the Wigwam would be built had two teepees in front although the rooms in the rear were more conventional. The Wickiup Motel has since been razed.

The Navajo County Courthouse is probably the most prominent building in town. Built in 1898 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it houses municipal offices and the city's official visitor's center. A pre-fabricated jail cell, long-ago shipped by rail to Holbrook, is on display here.

Holbrook became a busy tourist town since it was well-positioned between the cities of Gallup, New Mexico, and Winslow, Arizona. Making it particularly welcome to westbound travelers in the early decades of Route 66 was that fact that the highway was fairly slow-going between Gallup and Holbrook. Highway engineers never seemed to be satisfied with the various alignments between the two cities and changed the highway several times. It was never really a true high-speed all-weather road until Interstate 40 was completed. Holbrook was bypassed in 1979.

The National Old Trails Highway was the predecessor to US Highway 66 in these parts. When US Highway 66 was commissioned in 1926, the north-south Navajo Blvd. was the main business district of Holbrook and Hopi Drive was just the road out of town to the west that basically followed the Santa Fe Railroad. So Route 66 came in from the west on Hopi and turned north onto Navajo, and then bent eastward again north of town for the run toward New Mexico. But Hopi Drive became just as important as Navajo Blvd. since there was more land available for the auto courts and motels that developed on Route 66 in the later years.

As its gasoline business expanded from its beginnings in St. Johns, Arizona, the Whiting Brothers bought an existing Ford automobile dealership on Hopi Drive and moved their headquarters north to US Highway 66 and Holbrook where it remained until the management liquidated their roadside service businesses.

Holbrook has been known for a number of classic motels, cafes and great neon. The most famous motel is the Wigwam Village Motel on Hopi Drive. It was the sixth in a series of seven motels built from the detailed plans of Frank Redford who in 1936 was awarded a United States patent for his clever design. Built by former Whiting Brothers employee Chester Lewis in 1950, the Wigwam Village Motel of Holbrook consists of fifteen individual "wigwam" rooms arranged in a squared-U pattern. The wigwams are actually steel and wood framed structures carefully built to Mr. Redford's specifications with a cement stucco overcoat, and attractively painted. They include special details such as four protruding lodge poles at the top and "cloth" flaps that appear to be pulled back from the doorways. A larger wigwam flanked by two smaller ones were front and center at the roadway edge and were used as the gasoline station for a while but Texaco objected to the unconventional station office and Mr. Lewis had to replace the larger wigwam with the more conventional structure that exists today. The gasoline station eventually closed. The Holbrook Wigwam Village Motel, just one of three surviving Wigwam Village Motels in the United States, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Painted Desert / Petrified Forest Region

Painted Desert Point on Route 66 RPPC The American flag flies above the Painted Desert Point Trading Post located just beyond the western edge of the Painted Desert. Shell gasoline is the brand sold. Look at those large petrified wood specimens in the foreground!

Charles Osborne's Painted Desert Point Trading Post was 21 miles east of Holbrook. It is sometimes confused with the more famous and similarly-named Painted Desert Trading Post approximately seven miles farther east. Both trading posts were simple rectangular buildings faced with stucco but the window patterns in the front were a bit different. Tragically, in 1952 Mr. Osborne had to kill his mentally-unstable son after a violent incident at the post. A coroner's jury refused to indict the then-78 year old Mr. Osborne.

Nyal Rockwell's Old Stage Station was 23 miles east of Holbrook. It began in the 1880s literally as a stagecoach stop. The original stage stop building was assembled from local rocks from the land. Much of the National Old Trails Highway in the West was in fact a patchwork of old stage roads, trails, and railroad service roads. Not surprising then, this old stage stop eventually found itself on US Highway 66. With stagecoaches long gone from the frontier, the stop was re-oriented toward the automobiles of the day. Jack Rittenhouse's 1946 A Guide Book to Highway 66 cited this tourist stop as still being called the "Old Stage Station". A gasoline station and a single garage service bay were on these two hundred acres when Nyal "Rocky" Rockwell took up residence in 1954. As these were the busy halcyon years of Route 66, Rocky expanded the enterprise to include a café and cabins for overnight guests and added two more service bays and wrecker service. But Rocky kept the old name for its sense of history and charm. In 1965 when Interstate 40 opened in the far eastern region of Arizona, not only was Rocky's place completely cut off from traffic but his land was divided into two separate parcels. He did not even have an exit from the new freeway. Highway business plunged to nearly nothing.

[Many Route 66 guidebooks tell us how to take a side trip to Rocky's Old Stage Station which is five miles east down old Route 66 from Exit 303 off Interstate 40. But if you drive this segment of old 66 solely with that purpose you may miss the foundation of the Painted Desert Point Trading Post along the way. Thanks to Russ Olsen for the helping me with the following directions: the foundation of Painted Desert Point Trading Post is past the transmission towers and exactly 3.8 miles east of the junction of old 66 and the I-40 overpass road. Look for a circular driveway on the north side of old Route 66 which allowed travelers to completely pull-off Route 66 to fill their tanks or visit the trading post. Please respect these foundation ruins and do not take souvenirs from the property. Off in the far distance can be seen the beginnings of the Painted Desert. A little more than a mile farther down this road you come to Rocky's, which is right where old Route 66 now stops (it was cut for the Interstate) and Adamana Road begins its five mile run south to the Santa Fe Railroad tracks and the settlement of Adamana. What is left of Rocky's is private property and visitation is not encouraged.]

Like most of today's National Parks, the Petrified Forest National Park began as a very small federal "National Monument" to protect the lands that contained the highest concentration of petrified wood in the vicinity. After a time a greater need was recognized to expand the monument boundaries to encompass and protect more of the petrified wood in the area. The painted desert which is somewhat interleaved with petrified forest lands was also protected as the monument boundaries were expanded to the north. This eventually led to it being given the status of a National Park. First the National Old Trails Highway and then Route 66 came along and crossed the Petrified Forest National Monument at various locations through what is today its narrow waist. Today's Petrified Forest National Park is the only federal national park unit to protect a section of Route 66.

Two traveler stops aggressively competed for more than a decade near the rim of the painted desert. These were the Painted Desert Inn and the Painted Desert Park.

Painted Desert Inn RPPC The Painted Desert Inn began as a private enterprise but was ultimately acquired by the National Park Service.

Herbert Lore built the Painted Desert Inn in 1924 when the National Old Trails Highway was the main road through these parts. The rough primitive structure housed Mr. Lore's café, a curio shop and his living accommodations. Like other curio shops along Route 66, it was stocked with the Indian jewelry, crafts, and souvenirs but petrified wood souvenirs were a major sales item as well. The Painted Desert Inn was north of both the early National Old Trails Highway and Route 66 but signage and the promise of a great view of the beautiful painted desert were enough to entice travelers to leave the main road and visit the Inn. Eventually Mr. Lore's property was completely surrounded by National Monument land. The National Park Service (NPS) bought Mr. Lore's property in 1936. The Painted Desert Inn was poorly designed and maintained and had neither electricity nor running water. With the country deep in the Great Depression and workers from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) available, the NPS began a three-year project to completely modernize and expand the Inn. The newly revamped Panted Desert Inn opened before the War and was operated by different concessionaires over the years, even for a time by the Fred Harvey Company. It no longer offers overnight accommodations nor food service and functions as a visitor center and bookstore today. The Inn was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.

Painted Desert Park RPPC Painted Desert Park aggressively competed with the Painted Desert Inn.

Julia Grant Miller, brother of Harry "Indian" Miller, came to the painted desert area in the 1920s and stayed twenty years operating her Painted Desert Park on Route 66. The Park was the local transcontinental bus stop and had a short viewing tower for travelers to view the painted desert itself. The tower allowed travelers to view the painted desert without venturing north to the Painted Desert Inn which had a superior natural ground-level view. On page 94 of Jack Rittenhouse's 1946 A Guide Book to Highway 66 he mentions this facility and its viewing tower but does not explicitly name it. (He does mention the Painted Desert Inn by name as being just north of Route 66.) Competing with the Painted Desert Inn for tourist dollars and embroiled in controversy with the National Park Service and various locals, Julia Grant Miller eventually sold the property to her son Charley who modernized it and built a taller observation tower in about 1953. As a continuation of its program to acquire private lands within the Monument boundaries, the NPS bought Charley out in 1958. The Painted Desert Park complex was destroyed several years later and no traces remain.

Painted Desert Trading Post on Route 66 RPPC The Painted Desert Trading Post was at the rim of the Dead Wash east of the Painted Desert on an early alignment of Route 66.

In some ways perhaps the most notable of the eastern Arizona trading posts, possibly because the structure still stands, is Dotch Windsor's Painted Desert Trading Post. First a rancher, Dotch Windsor came to the painted desert area when he was running cattle in the 1940s. In 1942 he built his trading post along the north side of Route 66 at an overlook of the Dead River wash east of the Petrified Forest National Monument. Dotch and his first wife operated the trading post together until 1950 when they divorced. Dotch and Joy Nevin married and the two of them ran the trading post until 1956 when they divorced. But it was about this time that Route 66 was set to be re-aligned south closer to where Interstate 40 is today and Dotch soon closed and left the trading post to the weather. Fifty-five years later it still stands on a desolate old stretch of Route 66. Joy eventually settled in Holbrook where a street has been named for her down by the railroad tracks.

Far Eastern Arizona

Wide Ruins Trading Post on Route 66 RPPC This Wide Ruins Trading Post RPPC was printed from a confusing master negative created from a photographic image and many labels.
Desert Village Trading Post RPPC Just west of Chambers was the Desert Village Trading Post mentioned in Jack Rittenhouse's book. This RPPC is from 1940.

Chambers was named for Charles Chambers, an early trading post operator. In 1926 the name was changed to Halloysite, which is a mineral used in the production of ceramics and china. Four years later the name of the town returned to Chambers.

Navapache RPPC Navapache is gone now but it was mentioned in Jack Rittenhouse's A Guide Book to Highway 66.

Log Cabin Trading Post on Route 66 RPPC Al Berry's Log Cabin Trading Post was on the north side of Route 66 just east of Sanders.

Ranchers Supply in Sanders RPPC The Sanders Post Office, café, curio shop, and Chevron gasoline service occupied this building on the north side of US Highway 66 at the junction with US Highway 666.

White Elephant Lodge on Route 66 RPPC Al Berry's White Elephant Lodge was his second endeavor in the Sanders area.

Al Berry began as an Indian trader in the 1930s. He lived in a small house that he built on the south edge of Route 66. In the 1930s he built a larger store made of pine logs on the north side of Route 66 that he called the Log Cabin Trading Post. It was adjacent to some known Indian ruins and close to today's crossroads of Sanders. Mr. Berry carried out further excavation of the ruins and then surrounded them with a fence and charged people admission to see them. On page 93 of Jack Rittenhouse's 1946 A Guide Book to Highway 66 he mentions this unnamed stop at 188 miles (west of Albuquerque). Somewhat unique at that time among the many zoo builders along Route 66, Mr. Berry did not limit himself to native southwestern animals and acquired a lion, gorilla, and other non-native animals. Mr. Berry built the White Elephant Lodge just west of Sanders and for a while operated both stops.

Indian Trail Trading Post on Route 66 in Lupton RPPC The Indian Trail Trading Post was built by Max Ortega in 1946.

State Line Station RPPC The State Line Station was a café and curio shop and was mentioned in Jack Rittenhouse's A Guide Book to Highway 66.

Charlie and Mary's Place on Route 66 in Lupton RPPC Charlie and Mary's Place and the Indian Trail Trading Post shared the same scenic butte.

Arizona Welcome Sign RPPC This "Northern Arizona Greets You" sign apparently was a fixture on US Highway 66 at the state line for many years.

One mile west of the state line, Lupton is the last town in Arizona for east-bound Route 66 travelers (and the first for west-bound travelers obviously). It was named for G.W. Lupton who established a permanent Indian trading store in the area around the beginning of the twentieth century. The red landforms on the north side of Route 66 are particularly scenic and serve as a back drop to many of the trading posts that developed later in this area. Because business people perceived that the west-bound traveler was more likely venturing into the unfamiliar lands of the Wild West for the first time and would be more amenable toward purchasing local souvenirs than the east-bound traveler, most trading posts and tourist stops in this area were located on the north side of Highway 66 for the convenience of these drivers.

The Indian Trail Trading Post was built by Max Ortega in 1946. His son Armand became a major regional entrepreneur who owned several modern stops along Interstate 40 today as well as the famous Hotel El Rancho in Gallup. Armand died in 2014.

Jack Rittenhouse's 1946 A Guide Book to Highway 66 mentions on page 92 the presence of an "arch" that crossed Route 66 as the traveler entered Arizona from the east.