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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/17/2012 in Posts

  1. 2 points
    I would like to start a thread that captures those buildings along the roadside whose days of glory are in the past and now wait for time to take it's ultimate toll. During my road trip travels I am always on the lookout for those buildings that were once part of the road trip experience but are now likely relegated to a distant memories of road trips past. Whenever I pass through a small town, or along what was once the major thoroughfare through an area that is now bypassed by the Interstate, I always keep an eye out for that former gas station, diner, or motel. Sometimes they have been repurposed to fulfill another roll, others are in a state of suspended animation, but many times they are abandoned likely to never be a stop along the highway again. In the 15 or so years that I have taken an active interest in the history of the American road I have had the opportunity to visit sites multiple times seperated by a few years and have witnessed the accelerated decay of some of these buildings, some are even gone completely. The "Kamp"ground office at Two Guns is an example that comes to mind. Each time I pass through that area east of Flagstaff I pull off the Interstate and take a look. Each time there is more grafitti, less of the buildings siding intact, and more of the interior exposed to the elements. I'm sure there are many more examples out there and I hope you will share some of what you've seen. https://fineartamerica.com/featured/painted-desert-trading-post-at-sunset-rick-pisio.html I'll start with an iconic building that I have attempted to reach 3 times, once successfully, but don't expect to see the next time I pass through Arizona. The Painted Desert Trading Post stands in the middle of nowhere, east of Painted Desert National Park, and nearly inaccessible. The section of Route 66 that this building sits on was bypassed sometime in the 50's and like many Route 66 buildings that lost traffic to the Interstate it eventually was abandoned. It has survived the 70 or so years since it last saw customers only because of its remoteness. Time and the elements have taken their toll however. When I was last there the east side of the building has started to slip, the stucco was flaking off, parts of the walls are gone, massive cracks are present in the foundation, and you can see the sky through the roof. There may be hope for the old gal yet. As I was writing the draft for this post I was looking online for some information and came across this article. It would appear that a group has purchased the land and the building with an eye to preserving the structure. I wish them the best of luck! http://www.route66news.com/2018/04/08/group-buys-painted-desert-trading-post/ Roadhound
  2. 1 point
    Rick, Brings to mind a couple of lines from a favorite song: But there's nothing so lonesome, so morbid or drear Than to stand in a bar, of a pub with no beer Great image and story. I believe many women don't fully appreciate sagebrush, old buildings, and remote roads.....but then I may be wrong. John and Alice Ridge of Yellowstone Trail fame seem to share a common love of the old road. And while I have not actually asked Becky, she might be another. My wife is not a member of the club, but she is willing to let me rave on. Keep the Show on the Road! Dave
  3. 1 point
    Greetings all. I wanted to share a rather unpleasant experience I had recently while traveling along an old alignment of US 80 in Arizona. My husband and I were traveling between San Diego, CA and Phoenix, AZ on the Saturday before Christmas. As we had more available time, I wanted to finally take the original route of US 80 through Dome Valley, also stopping by the McPhaul Bridge north of Yuma, AZ. I had done a bit of research before we left, as the old road through Dome Valley had many turns. After visiting the McPhaul Bridge, we headed north on US 95 to the turnoff for Dome Valley. After we made the turn, we found that the old road had signage for a detour for I-8 and directions to "Old US 80" and I-8, which made travel a bit easier. With only one exception, all the turns were well marked with these signs. Near the first big turn, we noticed a border patrol car parked alongside the road, pointed toward traffic. I didn't think too much of it, other than was disappointed to see them. Not long after this, however, I saw they had passed the car that was behind us and was getting closer to us. Again, didn't think too much of this but was a bit concerned. I hadn't been speeding and I had been coming to a complete stop at the stop signs, despite the lack of limit lines. I would have anyway. Now, we proceeded down old US 80 south toward the "newer" alignment of US 80 which follows I-8 a lot closer. Still, the border patrol car was following us at varying distances. We saw another border patrol vehicle just north of the Old US 80 turn near Wellton. At the junction, we turned left, to head down old US 80 toward Wellton and Mohawk. Well, that is when things turned into a problem. After we turned, the border patrol vehicle that had been following us pulled us over. After we stopped, we asked why we were being stopped. They first asked us if we were familiar with Dome Valley. They also asked us where we were going to and where we were going from. They asked why we went a different way and evaded a "Federal Checkpoint", calling it that instead of border patrol checkpoint. They had said the route was "popular with smugglers". They had also taken our driver licenses to, well, we weren't sure what. They told us they were doing a background check on us. They checked their records and asked why we took a different route because, according to their records, we normally took I-8. Remember that when you pass those cameras alongside the roadway. They are indeed tracking your movements. I suspected before but this was proof. I told them we were following old US 80 and even showed them our book by Eric Finley, which shows the alignments of the highway, including Dome Valley. They asked us if they could search the car, even ran a drug sniffing dog by our car. They kept us alongside the roadway for nearly 30 minutes. They had no probable cause other than the fact we drove an open public roadway, which was even signed by the state as a through route. They humiliated us by stopping us alongside a public highway while others looked on. Three border patrol vehicles stopped us. Three. They violated our rights by stopping us without cause. They were truly on a fishing expedition after they asked us why we were going that way, which was still none of their business. Why did it take so long to do a "background check" on us? Why was that even needed? This was a truly disturbing experience, one which I do not intend to let slide. Formal complaints will be filed with various agencies, including the ACLU. So, with their excuse for pulling us over, it does beg many questions. How often does this happen? If the route is indeed an issue for them, why is there no checkpoint along it? Why is the border patrol, not the DEA, looking for drugs? If they are "just doing their job", then why do they need to stop random cars on a public roadway? It would seem that the fact they did so says they are not doing their jobs. This was not how I wanted to travel old US 80. No one should have to deal with this sort of harassment and illegal activity by law enforcement.
  4. 1 point
    Glenrio Glenrio was mentioned in the previous post and I came to the realization that of all the ghost towns that I have been to this tiny town along an abandoned section of Route 66, straddling the Texas-New Mexico border, is probably the most complete example of abandoned roadside architecture in its natural state of slow decomposition. Glenrio was a town that existed because the road was there and ceased to exist when the road was gone. This link from the National Park Service gives a much better summary of Glenrio's history than I ever could. https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/route66/glenrio_historic_district.html My two visits to Glenrio where of two extremes. The first time was in the month of May and it was pouring rain. The old dirt road to the west was a slippery mess and would have been impassable without four wheel drive. I mean it was off the road, slide into a ditch, impassable. At various time I could feel the back tires of my 4x4 lose traction, or sometimes it was the front, and there were brief moments of panic when both would lose traction and my truck felt like it wanted to swap ends before regaining traction and straightening out. The mud that splashed up along the running boards, into the wheel wells, and throughout the undercarriage might have been slippery to drive on but it hardened into concrete. Ten dollars in tokens later at a truck wash in Santa Fe and I got most of it off. Even today, 4 years later, my drive shaft and rear axle are stained with the color of the New Mexico mud, which my truck wears with pride. In the town the skies were dark on that first visit and the air was quiet except for the sound of the raindrops ricocheting off the asphalt and soaking my pants below the knee. It wasn't hard to imagine a 54' Chevy Coupe from Texas pulling into the newly built Texaco station for a fill up, it's wipers leaving streaks along the windshield. The driver, perhaps a traveling businessman on his way west with a load of his product in the trunk, might stop at the Longhorn Cafe for a bite to eat and to wait out the storm before getting back on the road headed towards Albuquerque, or Gallup, or maybe even Los Angeles. My second time through Glenrio was 4 months later in late August and the feeling couldn't have been more different. The air was already stifling even at the early hour of 9:00 am. I grabbed my water bottle and camera and began walking the 4/10 mile length of the town working up a sweat in the process. Broyles Gas Station, the Longhorn Motel, the State Line Bar all looked like they longed to have the clock turned back to before that morning in 1975 when the barriers were removed and traffic was now riding on the brand spankin' new interstate, bypassing the town. It was hard to imagine anyone ever living there. State Line Motel and Cafe Broyles Gas Station. The wood and adobe building was built in 1925 as a Mobil Gasoline franchise. The Little Juarez Cafe. The Art Moderne-style diner was built in 1952 and remained opened until the town was bypassed in 1975. A 1968 Pontiac Bonneville waits for a fill up at the Glenrio Texaco station next to the Little Juarez Café on the Texas side of town. Roadhound http:\\rick-pisio.pixels.com
  5. 1 point
    MGA707, I have a few photos from Glenrio that can be seen HERE. A true Interstate Ghost Town. It's definitely worth a stop and a quick look around if you pass through the area again. Be careful though, there is one residence on the east end of the town that does have dogs. Made me think twice about poking around too much. Rick
  6. 1 point
    Exit O Along Interstate 40, at the state line between Texas and New Mexico, sits "Exit 0." On the south side of the Interstate sits the Route 66 ghost town of Glenrio but at the exit itself there are 2 abandoned service stations on the Texas side of the state line. It was 1980 when the Interstate bypassed Glenrio and shifted traffic north of the town. It is also likely that sometime around that time period that the two service stations were built. Not sure when they serviced their last customers but today they are left abandoned and exposed to the elements. Abandoned Standard\Chevron station in Glenrio, Texas Pump islands at the abandoned Standard\Chevron station in Glenrio, Texas. Wild sunflowers at the site of an abandoned Texaco station in Glenrio, Texas. Abandoned Texaco station in Glenrio, Texas. Roadhound http://rick-pisio.pixels.com
  7. 1 point
    This is like a feast of recollection and reflection, with a big dose of fine writing. I recall that motel….it was probably 10- 15 years ago and Sheila and I were following the Pony Express route. We didn’t stop. The post below gives a bit of the history of the motel. It still had cars in front based on the 1999 Google Earth image. You could have owned a piece of Nevada history, a motel, and RV park for just $225,000. Guess no one wanted to!! http://www.exploreforums.com/topic/3150-schellbourne-station-motel-rv-park/ Dave Keep the Show on the Road
  8. 1 point
    Slots Motel, Schellbourne, Nevada The only scenario that I can see where I would consider stopping at a place like this when it was functioning as a motel would be because all the motels in Ely were full and no rooms were available in McGill either. It's getting late as you drive through the darkness northbound on US93 towards Wendover, kids asleep in the backseat, and your looking for anywhere possible to sleep. Your wary when you find a motel in the middle of a dark desert landscape but the 6 room motel with the roadhouse next door will have to do. Wendover was still at least an hour down the road, if not more. It was one step above pulling onto the side of the highway and sleeping in the car. And what's with wooden railings in front of the rooms? Did they think I was going to hitch my car to it? All it did was make it impossible to back the station wagon up in front of the room and do a straight in unload. We were back on the road before the sun was up. Unfortunately, I don't know much about the life and times of what finally ended up being called the Slots Motel. It is located in Schellbourne, Nevada, where the Tippets Route of the Lincoln Higway\Pony Express Trail intersects with US 93. I do have vague recollections of it looking open on either my 2007 or 2011 trip through that are but neither the 2006 or the 2011 google images show any cars in the parking lot. We didn't explore it either time. To me it looks like a motel that could have been built in the 70's, or thereabouts. There were still some fixtures in a couple of the rooms but most of them had been vandalized with at least broken windows and doors off the hinges. One room was filled with mattresses and a few of the others had mattresses leaning against the wall. Looking through the screen door of the building to the left I could see a bar just inside the door but not much behond that. I didn't enter the building. It may have had a dining room of some sort, probably a few gambling machines or even a small casino. Photos taken Sept 2018 Roadhound http://rick-pisio.pixels.com
  9. 1 point
    I have a new Jeep Wrangler JL sitting in my shop. I have owned Jeeps for most of the last 30 years and really don't like being without one. We had a 2017 JK Unlimited 4 door with everything but leather. It was great for getting groceries or hauling the grandkids, but there was something lacking in the soul department - it just did not speak to me. My wife bought a new high gas mileage DD, so she had quit driving the Jeep. I decided to get rid of it as we really do not need 3 new cars, but she reminded me that when Jeepless, I am usually looking to by one.....and she was right. So I did the logical thing, at least for me, and bought a base model 2 door. The only options are AC and limited slip. Yep, soft top, manual transmission, and roll up windows. How the heck is a guy supposed to survive with something like this? Very well I'm here to tell you! The base Wranglers now come with CC, PS, PB, AM/FM, and a tilt/telescoping steering column. The softtop is the quietest softtop I've ever had on a Jeep....nearly as quiet as the last one was with a hardtop. And so far I'm averaging 22 mpg. I've never been able to get over 17 mpg with a Jeep before. So all-in-all, I'm very pleased with it. The new red one and the old black one on trade day. Might be the perfect touring vehicle......for me at least!
  10. 1 point
    Thanks for sharing! These photos bring back memories. I remember staying there and seeing a show. This was, I think, in 2001. The painted rooms and the opera house are amazing.
  11. 1 point
    MGA707, Love it!!! And great photos, I recall stopping (not staying) there maybe 10-15 years ago. Maybe I have some images in the “archives.” I think the woman was still putting on her one woman shows. What a shame we didn’t stay, but maybe it was not even open. But the place is unmistakable. Are the peacocks still around? Dave
  12. 1 point
    Dave knows this one....located in Durkee, I believe, OR along RT 30 and the Oregon Trail.
  13. 1 point
    Restored Shell Station in Mt. Olive IL on Rt 66....but I don't remember which alignment....one of the older alignments for certain. Someting tells me this ramp has been here a while! Old Motel/Restaurant sign that has been repurposed.....at least once! Located on one of the later alignments north of Litchfield, IL. And look what else we found...... I've been by this place for yEARS and never saw this. I have no idea when it was put there or for what reason, but it is just off I55 along 66 and hidden by the trees. Not a building, but an old brick road from an early RT 66 alignment south of Chatham, IL. And here is a very interesting tidbit....not about the highway, but rather something to see in Springfield, Il. Fleetwood Lindley rests here. Just who was Fleetwood Lindley? Fleetwood Lindley was born on April 4, 1887 and died on February 1, 1963. He was a florist by trade and led a mostly unremarkable life. He was also President of the Board of Directors for Oak Ridge Cemetary where both he and President Lincoln are buried. But, they have more in common than just being buried within a few hundred yards of each other…..Fleetwood Lindley, was the last man alive to have seen the face of Abraham Lincoln. A little explanation is in order methinks! Fleetwood’s Father, Joseph Perry Lindley, was a member of the Lincoln Guard of Honor. This group was formed following the attempted theft of Lincoln’s body from the original tomb in November of 1876. During the reconstruction of the tomb in 1900-1901, it was planned to bury Lincoln’s casket in a steel cage 10 feet underground and cover it with concrete to prevent any more attemps at stealing the body. The casket would be sealed away for eternity. On the morning of September 26, 1901, Fleetwood’s teacher gave him a note from his father stating he should get on his bicycle and ride out to the tomb as fast as he could to witness an historic event….and that he did. The Guard had decided to open the casket one last time to ensure that the body inside was indeed Lincoln. Fleetwood made it to the tomb in time to see the casket opened. I’ll let his works speak for him: “Yes, his face was chalky white. His clothes were mildewed. And I was allowed to hold one of the leather straps as we lowered the casket for the concrete to be poured. I was not scared at the time but I slept with Lincoln for the next six months.” “His face was chalky white….” As spooky as that sounds, it was apparently caused by attempts to lighten his face during the trip from Washington to Sprinfield. There was no doubt who it was however. It was the unmistakable face of Abraham Lincoln. Strangly, Fleetwood Lindley retold this story to Life magazine on January 29, 1963, but he would never see the article published. Fleetwood Lindley passed away on February 1, 1963…a mere three days after the interview. We visited both Abraham Lincoln and Fleewood Lindley during our time in Oak Ridge Cemetary. This was copied from my blog entry about the Lincoln Tomb and Fleetwood Lindley.
  14. 1 point
    Thanks mga707. Of the half dozen or so times that I have been to Death Valley I have always approached from the west side and never made it as far east as Death Valley Junction. Looks like it is worth checking out. Rick
  15. 1 point
    The Henning Motel in Newberry Springs Whenever I am exploring an abandoned piece of property I always wonder what life was like for the people that used to live there, like I am sure a lot of us do. Sometimes I leave with an impression based on something I've read or knowledge I might have but more often than not I leave with nothing more than a few photos of what a place looks like at the time. The rest is a mystery. The photo below was taken in November 2009 on a journey to the Mojave Desert. The Henning Motel was located in Newberry Springs which is roughly 20 miles east of Barstow along Route 66. It was a crisp November morning when we stopped, looked around, and took some photos before continuing east. When I got home I edited the photo and posted it on my website. On a trip along the same route a few years later I noticed that the building had been razed. This morning I got an email in my inbox that made me glad I took the photo when I did. Now I have a glimpse of what life was like when the Henning Motel was in its prime. Roadhound http://rick-pisio.pixels.com
  16. 1 point
    A few months back I was planning for a road trip through Nevada and was researching the Golcanda Summit and found this thread. I had recalled a challenge that was placed by Keep the Show on the Road back when this topic was originated and contacted him to see if the the prize had been claimed. I was amazed to find that in 11 years no one had claimed the prize. It was with great anticipation that I left Interstate 80 at the Golcanda exit and backtracked to the summit. Reaching the summit I drove through the cut, turned my truck around, put it in park, and hiked to the top of the cut to get the classic Stewart shot. Surveying the area from above I picked out the likely spot of the old fencepost and made my way down the hill. Finding a fence post at the expected location I did a sweep of the area to make sure that it was the only one around. Seeing no other fence posts in a 20 foot radius I knew the odds were high that I had found the right post and that in a minute I would be taking a selfie to prove that I had found the treasure. My confidence level was high as I cautiously grabbed one side of the post and gave it a quick flip exposing the bare earth underneath. Nothing but dirt. Had somebody beat me to it in the preceeding 11 years and failed to report their find? Had rodents found the crisp piece of cotton and linen and used it as nesting material? I suppose we will never know and the prize money, such as it was, will remain in Keep the Show on the Road!'s pocket. Roadhound http://rick-pisio.pixels.com
  17. 1 point
    1934 Rand McNally road atlas, good shape, all pages, only five bucks! Hours and hours of old road enlightenment here. Below are the front and back covers, my state, and my local area:
  18. 1 point
    Recently, I became a member of the board for the Ridge Route Preservation Organization. One of my first acts was to help create a new website for the group. The Ridge Route Preservation Organization is a group that is working to get the roadway open and maintained again. I do believe we will be successful in this venture. The new website, http://ridgeroute.org , will act as a newsletter, give updates on the roadway, and help raise funds for our effort.
  19. 1 point
    Hamilton, Nevada For a few short years Hamilton was the prominent mining town in Nevada's White Pine County until the ore ran out. Founded in 1868 the town was already in a state of decline when most of it was destroyed in 1873 by a fire that was intentionally set to collect the insurance money. Hamilton hung on after the fire as its population declined and for first couple of years of the Lincoln Highway it was a place to stop before a bypass was cut over Antelope Summit 10 miles to the north. The Hamilton Post Office finally closed in 1931. Today, piles of brick, scraps of tin scattered in the sage brush, and a few remnants of brick walls are all that remains of the original boomtown. The State of Nevada promotes the path from US 50 at Ilipah to Hamilton as a scenic drive and is well worth it if you don't mind a little bit of dust on your tires. The road is easily passable by a passenger vehicle during good weather but a high clearance vehicle is recommended during rainy season when the dirt & gravel road is wet. The road is closed during the winter months. Since my previous visit to Hamilton in 2007 there has been a noticeable decline in the number of free standing rock and brick walls. Back then there were a few archways plus some almost complete walls still standing. Today most of those structures have all collapsed. There is a 1950's era, maybe 1960's, mining operation set up at the southern end of town with a steel shed that is still standing but it too has been vandalized with doors ripped open and bullet holes in the steel walls. Photo from Ghost Towns: How They Were Born, How They Lived, and How They Died by Tom Robotham (Running Press, 1993) gives an idea of what the main street in Hamilton once looked like. This photo of the remains Whitington Hotel was taken in July of 2007 during my first visit. 2018 view of the Whitington Hotel from approximately the same position as 2007. One of the few remaining walls along the main street that is still standing. Piles of bricks where a building once stood. Roadhound htttp://rick-pisio.pixels.com
  20. 1 point
    Carrol Station On my first, and only previous, drive on Nevada Highway 722, eleven years ago, I passed by Carrol Station without even seeing it. I was looking for a spot on the actual summit when in fact the building at Carrol Station lies east of the summit by about 3 miles. I'm not sure if it was the foliage surrounding it or I was distracted by the road itself but I totally missed it. This time around I made sure to have the GPS coordinates locked in and my eyes open. There's not a lot of history to be found regarding Carrol Summit other than it was once a Texaco station and also the local watering hole for the nearby mines, which were not very successful. One report speculated that in the early days of auto travel it would have been a good place to stop after the long climb over Carrol Summit when heading east and also a good place to stop and let the engine cool before the final 600 foot climb to the summit when heading west. The station itself likely didn't last much past the re-alignment of US 50 that took place in 1962. It's difficult to imagine a gas station staying profitable when the highway traffic has be rerouted 23 miles to the north. Today the Texaco colors have faded and, all the window glass and doors are missing. Many of the floorboards are missing and interior walls have been stripped away. I always like to check the condition of the roof as once that protection is gone the degradation of the building itself seems to accelerate. In this case the shingles on the roof are mostly still present but extremely worn and crumbling. Undated photo of the Texaco Station at Carrol Station (photo from http://www.onlinenevada.org/articles/highway-50-carroll-station) Approaching Carrol Station from the west. Carrol Station Texaco with concrete sign foundation. No sign of the gas island. Roadhound http:\\rick-pisio.pixels.com http:\\www.rwphotos.com
  21. 1 point
    Eastgate Station Today Eastgate Station sits on Nevada Highway 722 and between about 1924 and 1962 was the route of the Lincoln Highway and US 50 through the area. In 1962 US 50 was re-routed to the north through New Pass and Cold Springs, bypassing Eastgate. Keep the Show on the Road! had previously posted some excellent historic photos of this site in the Lincoln Highway forum. https://www.americanroadmagazine.com/forum/topic/1116-rediscovered-lincoln-highway-gas-station-in-nevada/?tab=comments#comment-12491 I have been to this site twice now with an 11 year span between visits. On my most recent visit in Sept 2018 the building looked about the same as it had on my previous visit with the exception of the roof. However, on my previous visit the shingles were, for the most part, intact. This picture by Russel Rein was scanned from Brian Butko's "Greetings From the Lincoln Highway" and looks to be from the late 50's. Today the form of the building is recognizable, the slope of the terrain has been altered, the gas pumps are long gone, and the shingles have departed the roof but the flagpole still remains. Roadhound http://rick-pisio.pixels.com
  22. 1 point
    Hazen Market along US 50A in Nevada I was traveling east on the Reno Highway, US 50-A, having just passed through Fernley headed towards Fallon and points east when my eye caught the Hazen Market sitting on the north side of the highway. The building looked to be no longer in use but in good shape overall with the exception of some weathering on the facade. After taking a few pictures I moved on, postponing any research on the building until after returning home. The information found on Wikepedia is fairly basic: "The Hazen Store is a small complex of buildings in Hazen, Nevada, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The store provided a stopping point in a remote portion of U.S. Route 50 and served as a focal point in the small town of Hazen. The store was built in 1944 to replace an earlier store that was demolished to make way for a realignment of Route 50.[2] The property comprises the main store, a garage, and a bunkhouse formerly used by the Southern Pacific Railroad. The central portion of the structure dates to about 1904, operating at a different location as a saloon called Shorty's Bar until it was relocated in 1944.[2] The Hazen Store was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 28, 2002, as an illustration of a commercial property on the Reno Highway" I also found this article from the Lincoln Highway News from 2008 that shows the building all shined up and looking for new occupants. https://lincolnhighwaynews.com/2008/07/15/road-changes-close-classic-hazen-market-in-nv/ Hazen Market along US-50A in Hazen, Nevada Building that I assume to be the garage mentioned in the Wikipedia article Gas pump in front of the Hazen Market It's a shame that after 70 years of business the Hazen Market has sat idle for the last 10 watching watching the traffic pass it by. Roadhound http://rick-pisio.pixels.com
  23. 1 point
    Great story Dave! Whenever I see a California Ag Inspection Station it serves as a reminder that I'm a day's drive or less from home and that my journey is nearly over. I've never had any hassles though and have always been waived right through. At one inspection station in the Mojave Desert I didn't even get a waive and by the looks of it I would bet it's been a long time since anybody has been pulled to the side there for a Peruvian plum. Rick
  24. 1 point
    On my travels recently in Central Oregon I located and visited an abandoned town with a store and Richfield Oil dealer. As is always the case, the store windows are smoked with age and the interior is full of assorted junk. Wonderful because I don’t really appreciate or enjoy restorations in most cases, and because I know the place is intact. Is the eagle I photographed through the window a version of the famous Richfield Eagle? I know of two versions of the eagle. This one is similar to one of them which has spread wings, but the neck of this cast is not elongated. So for you service station pros, any thoughts? Dave Keep the Show on the Road
  25. 1 point
    Bend and Central Oregon have grown enormously in the past several years, but many historical roads have survived the growth. I made 8mm movies (1967) of Bend when I lived there over 50 years ago, and one is posted here. But this new post and the ones that I hope to follow deal with the roadways of Central Oregon much longer ago, in about 1910. We are going to drive where the first automobilists drove at the turn of the last century. We will travel sections of the old California Banff Bee Line highway, and drive in the tracks of the first ever transcontinental auto race! We may visit a stage station or two, and provide some vintage road maps from the period for your perusal and interest. I am posting this as an introduction. The story will evolve as I re-explore the old roads, and I will try to keep you posted as I learn more. But here I want to to provide a quick and perhaps interesting insight into the development of roads and automobile travel in and around Bend, Prineville, Redmond, Madras, and into the surrounding area including Shaniko, Maupin, Dufur, and several tiny villages in what is called Central Oregon.. When I finish I hope you will be encouraged to drive the roads and see sights you might otherwise miss. In 1900 the first railroad tracks reached the outskirts of Central Oregon, ending in Shaniko, a little over 80 miles north of Bend on our modern roads.. This “end of the line” was the beginning point for transportation into Central Oregon. Virtually all goods and people coming or going, went through Shaniko. The other way to go was over the high Cascades or on a very long steamer and overland ride via The Dalles, and believe me, a rail coach was much preferred! So freight wagons and people converged on Shaniko, and wagons pulled by teams of horses left and returned to Shaniko. It so happened that the area around Bend was also being promoted as the new mecca for agriculture, with irrigation projects and dry land farming offering the promise of a prosperous future for those who got there first. It was not long before eager land developers and boosters realized that transporting boomers, newcomers, and land seekers in an automobile beat a long, slow, and muddy or dusty ride in a horse and buggy. And a ride in an automobile was a novelty for many in and of itself. Practically overnight, between 1909 and 1911 the automobile took over Central Oregon roads. According to the Prineville newspaper, in 1909 there were less than half a dozen auto stages operating in Central Oregon, and by 1910 there were 35, and as many as 50 automobiles a day were on the roads!! Unlike other areas where long distance road travel by automobiles grew out of a tourist and recreational interest, in Central Oregon the impetus was land, not primarily fun and “seeing the sights.” My copy of the Weekly Oregonian of June 2, 1910 (above) shows the gathering of the auto stages at Shaniko, and one on the grade between Antelope and Shaniko to or from Prineville and Bend. Note that they competed with the horse drawn freight wagons for passage!! And note the road bed, with several inches of mud, and the chains on the automobiles in Shaniko. Such were the travel conditions when the roads dried out enough for travel in the spring. Ah, the good old days. Finally, the building in the background in Shaniko is the Columbia Southern Hotel, opened in 1901-02. It is still there! As a young man I remember eating there for lunch at the long community table with the retired sheep herders who were the hotel residents. They were a polite lot, but if you didn’t reach fast, you might not get any mashed potatoes from the big red serving bowl. The photo here was taken on my last visit in 2007….my how time flies! I think one aging sign on the side of the Hotel then still advertised “family style” meals. I’ll check if it still is there when I visit. I hope I can make the trip next week, so as they say “Stay tuned.” Dave Keep the Show on the Road!
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