Birthplace of Historic Route 66

Seligman is another town on the Arizona segment of Route 66 that was impacted when the Mother Road was decommissioned and traffic went to the nearby Interstate 40 instead. Even though it is located pretty close to an exit on the Interstate highway, most travelers would drive past the town unless they needed to stop for rest stop, and the town became just like any other exits on the long Interstate highway where the focus for the travelers was to get to the destination in the shortest amount of time possible.

In 1987, a longtime Seligman resident, Angel Delgadillo, started a petition with several other Route 66 enthusiasts requesting the state of Arizona to designate the segment of the road between Seligman and Kingman as a historic route. The Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona was founded with the goal to preserve the rich history and cultural influence of the road and where travelers could still experience what it was like to drive on this route as it was in the past. By 1990, similar organizations were started in the other states on Route 66, and now all segments of Route 66 in Arizona and significant portions in the other states are marked as Historic Route thanks to the grass root efforts from these local activists. In many places, you can meet people like Mr. Delgadillo who are happy to share their knowledge or even life experience meeting travelers who passed by the Mother Road. They could be attraction in themselves in addition to visiting the landmarks.

When we reached Kingman after the drive through the old Route 66 from Needles, CA, it’s already dark and we still had quite some distance to cover for the day. So we decided to get back on the Interstate to go at higher speed. It was close to dinner time, so we decided to stop in Seligman, the next town we knew of from the guidebooks that seemed to have good dining options.

We decided to eat at a place that had curious name, the Road Kill Cafe. We wondered if they actually indeed served road kills (animals that got killed on the road accidentally). It turned out that they simply named their dishes as if they were prepared with road kill meats; I’m not sure if they would be allowed by law to serve those for health reasons. The place itself had character with its quirky decorations, definitely making it a unique place to stop (certainly better than eating at generic fast food chain restaurant).

It turned out that there were some interesting places in Seligman where you could meet locals like Mr. Delgadillo who could tell you stories about the Mother Road. However, it was already pretty late on a Sunday night by the time we were done with dinner, and we still had at least three hours of driving that we wanted to cover for the day. So we stopped by at a nearby gift shop to take photo from the outside while we filled up our gas tank, and then we continued on our road trip. You can see on the photo below that they definitely had quite a selection of Route 66 memorabilias there.

Route 66 gift shop

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