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Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!
Keep the Show on the Road!

National Parks Highway - America's Last Free Map Rack

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I have said here before that I love the authentic, not the restored or re-created. But I can’t even convince my wife that a long abandoned school house on a rise in an alfalfa field like the one at Govan (below) on the old NPH is ten times more interesting than a museum’s re-creation of a school room of the past…so I know I am practically alone in my love of the original…….that no one has messed with.

 

ARGovanSchoolClose.jpg

 

Which leads me to the “Last Original Free Service Station Maps and Rack in America.” Oh, sure, you can go to some lovely restoration of a service station somewhere and see a real map rack, probably filled with someone’s real period maps, sitting perhaps in its proper place by the door, visible through the window. But that is like a Stradivarius reassembled from old violin parts….it ain’t the same.

 

I know exactly where the racks were placed because in the “old full service days” I was a gas jocky and frequently restocked the map rack. Why just inside the door, in the window? Because you had to get them for a customer, and if you could just reach inside and grab one, it saved you several steps and a few seconds, …..and “in the window” because you wanted people to ask for maps.

 

And why did you want to be bothered with maps? Well for one thing it offered another opportunity to make a sale…”need that oil changed, I wouldn’t be driving too far on those back tires, those wipers look like they need replacing, when did you say you are you headed for Oregon….you should lube her before you go…the rack is open now”…...hey, this was in the full service days!

 

Where is the “Last Original Free Service Station Map Rack in America Complete with its Original Maps in its Original Place?” If you are following the National Parks Road posts here you know it is in Hartline, Washington, in the old Hartline Motor Supply and Garage window….next to the door, of course!!

 

How do I know it is the last example of this genre in the whole country? Well show us another!! :P:D

 

ARHartlineOldMaps.jpg

 

 

And what about “America’s Last Original Unrestored Contoured Wooden Painted Billboard on its Original Site Advertising a Tourist Hotel.” Where is it? Right again…..on the National Parks Highway! On the old concret alignment about 8 miles east of Davenport. And again, how do I know it is the last one…you got it……show us another. B):huh::rolleyes: (BTW, the photo software “restored” version is also below, and I sort of like it. At least it is easier to read….gees, what does that say about my “authentic?”

 

ARDavenportSignReal.jpg

 

ARDavenportSign.jpg

 

 

I hope the maps stay in that window for another ten years and the Davenport Hotel Sign weathers to a rough slab right where it stands….so when you travel the National Parks Highway, or the Yellowstone Trail, you will be taken back in time right on the original site.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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My favorite photo here is of the schoolhouse. I really want to walk up to it and peer in the windows!

 

Thanks for painting the picture of the functioning service station...

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My favorite photo here is of the schoolhouse. I really want to walk up to it and peer in the windows!

 

Thanks for painting the picture of the functioning service station...

 

Jim,

 

Can you see it when kids were going there? Note the bit of paint still showing. Not quite Red, but close!

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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It's a grand building, with plenty of character. You can almost see the children running around it in your photo.

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It's a grand building, with plenty of character. You can almost see the children running around it in your photo.

 

There is a similar old school house at a well-preserved southern Arizona (Santa Cruz County--NW of Nogales) ghost town called Ruby. Ruby is privately owned, gated and fenced, and can only be visited by guided tour with advance notice. Which is great since it keeps the buildings preserved and the vandals and other riff-raff out!

Anyway, Ruby has a similar old two-room schoolhouse, last used in the WWII years. And outside in the playground they still have the swings and a really cool--and high!--metal slide. Which you can't have today! Liability issues, you know--junior may fall off and crack open his head!

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There is a similar old school house at a well-preserved southern Arizona (Santa Cruz County--NW of Nogales) ghost town called Ruby. Ruby is privately owned, gated and fenced, and can only be visited by guided tour with advance notice. Which is great since it keeps the buildings preserved and the vandals and other riff-raff out!

Anyway, Ruby has a similar old two-room schoolhouse, last used in the WWII years. And outside in the playground they still have the swings and a really cool--and high!--metal slide. Which you can't have today! Liability issues, you know--junior may fall off and crack open his head!

 

mga707

 

Ruby sounds like a treat. Where did I read about it? Have you mentioned it before?

 

It is too bad that we are so protective of the kids' bones, but we let them rot their brains. :o

 

Besides, I fell off a slide many a time and hit my head.....and look what it has done for me!! :blink:

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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mga707

 

Ruby sounds like a treat. Where did I read about it? Have you mentioned it before?

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

I haven't mentioned it on here before, but Ruby is well known among ghost town fans. It's a small site (nowhere near the size of Bodie CA, for example), but it is a first-rate example of a "true" ghost town; i.e., one with a population of zero.

 

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