While living in the D.C. area, a friend and I decided to visit the 'new' America On The Move exhibit soon after opening in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, It was fascinating from beginning to end. However, Exhibit 10 was of particular interest to me.....The People's Highway, Route 66 1930's-1940's. The huge Route 66 Highway sign illuminated in the floor was Oklahoma, the license plate on the pickup was Oklahoma and the roadside tourist cabin was...yes...Oklahoma...and, of course, the bright orange Phillips 66 sign representing Oklahoma's Phillips 66 Oil.
Seeing the questioning look on my face, my friend said "you know why this is about Oklahoma, don't you"...I didn't. my friend continued..."It's your State's road....Oklahoma was the driving force". The story followed of Cyrus Avery, who grew up in the Cherokee Indian Territory and moved to Tulsa with his new bride. His grave is in the Rose Hill Cemetery on Admiral in Tulsa (the same cemetery where my Maternal Grandparents and my Mother are buried).
When I moved back to Oklahoma in 2005, I began looking at photos of our State's Route 66 on the Internet and was shocked by all the photos that show the towns as dilapidated....it wasn't what I remembered...so I began a quest to photograph between the Kansas border and the Texas border and see for myself if it looked like those images.
It will take several posts, because I am going to do it in small 'bites' with some commentary along the way.....Please See Route 66 in Oklahoma under Labels in the Sidebar.
All maps taken from http://www.historic66.com/oklahoma/det-ok1.html at the link you will also find Turn by Turn directions
If you want to see the history of the road through Oklahoma (it's changed a bit over the years) then please check out this site. http://www.okladot.state.ok.us/memorial/route66/ottawa/historical/book-maps/map3.pdf It's very interesting and are County by County maps produced by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
Part 1 - Kansas Border through Downtown Miami
Part 2 - Ribbon Road So. of Miami to Vinita
Part 3 - Vinita Through Chelsea
Part 4 - Chelsea to Tulsa
Part 5 - Tulsa
Part 6 - Tulsa to Bristow
Part 7 - Bristow Through Davenport
Part 8 - Davenport to Oklahoma City
Part 9 - Oklahoma City