Skip to main content

Tucumcari Today

Located in eastern New Mexico along historic US Route 66 is Tucumcari. Optimally located between Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Amarillo, Tucumcari was a common stopover for the night for weary travelers taking Route 66 during the highway's heyday. Billboards from miles away would advertise "Tucumcari Tonite" as a way to drum up business in the local economy.

Today, you can find a number of places around Tucumcari that feature old neon signs, Murals celebrating both the Western landscapes and the highway heritage of the area adorn the streets if Tucumcari, along with restored service stations and motor lodges. The murals were painted by the artist Doug Quarles, a former resident of Tucumcari, and you can view a map of the various murals around town here (PDF).

The Blue Swallow Motel, which has been serving travelers along historic US Route 66 since 1939.
The Teepee Curios was once a service station, but after the road was widened through Tucumcari, the business started selling curios to travelers along the Mother Road.
The Legendary Road mural, featuring area landscapes, an ode to Route 66 and buffalo skulls.

An old Texaco station in downtown Tucumcari with a Route 66 mural.

Closeup of the mural.

Cruisin' the Mother Road mural at an old service station in Tucumcari.

The mural also includes an ode to "The Woman at the Pump", honoring women who did their share during World War II.

Kiva Motor Lodge on Historic US Route 66 in Tucumcari. The road is now a business loop route of I-40.

Apache Motel on Historic US Route 66 in Tucumcari.

I like how the Ken's Ice Cream sign fits in well with the other old signs found on Historic US Route 66 in Tucumcari.


Sources and Links:
Exploring New Mexico - Tucumcari Murals
The Route-66.com - Tucumcari
Drawn the Road Again - Tucumcari Tonite

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The original alignment of California State Route 1 in San Francisco

In 2019 the Gribblenation Blog Series covered the history of the Hyde Street Pier and the original surface alignment of US Route 101 in San Francisco.  Given the Golden Gate Bridge opened to traffic in May of 1937 coupled with the fact that the Sign State Routes had been announced in August of 1934 there were still some open questions regarding the original highway alignments in San Francisco.  Namely the question of this blog is; where was California State Route 1 prior to the completion of the Golden Gate Bridge?  Thanks the to the discovery of a 1936 Shell Highway Map of San Francisco and the California Highways & Public Works the answer can be conveyed clearly.     Part 1; the history of early California State Route 1 in San Francisco The genesis point for California State Route 1 ("CA 1") in San Francisco dates to 1933.  1933 was significant due to the State Legislature allowing the Division of Highways to assume maintenance of highways in Cities for the first time. 

Former California State Route 24 through the Kennedy Tunnel and Old Tunnel Road

 Near the eastern City Limit of Oakland high in the Berkeley Hills one can be find the ruins of the Kennedy Tunnel at the intersection of Old Tunnel Road and Skyline Boulevard.  The Kennedy Tunnel opened in 1903 and was the first semi-modern automotive corridor which crossed the Alameda County-Contra Costa County Line.  The Kennedy Tunnel even saw service briefly as part of California State Route 24 before the first two bores of the Caldecott Tunnel opened in 1937.   Part 1; the history of the Kennedy Tunnel The genesis point for California State Route 24 ("CA 24") being extended into the San Francisco Bay Area begins a couple years before the Sign State Routes were announced when Legislative Route Number 75 ("LRN 75") was added by 1931 Legislative Chapter 82.  According to cahighways.org the original definition of LRN 75 was as simply "Walnut Creek to Oakland."  The instigator for the adoption of LRN 75 was construct a replacement route for the Ken

Santa Clara County Route G8 and the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine

Santa Clara County Route G8 is a 29.38 mile County Sign Route which is part of the San Francisco Bay Area transportation corridor.  Santa Clara County Route G8 begins at California State Route 152 near the outskirts of Gilroy and terminates at former US Route 101 at 1st Street/Monterey Road near downtown San Jose.  Santa Clara County Route G8 incorporates the notable Almaden Expressway and is historically tied to the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine.   (Santa Clara County Route G8 map image courtesy CAhighways.org) Part 1; the history of Santa Clara County Route G8, the Almaden Road corridor and New Almaden Mine The present corridor of Santa Clara County Route G8 ("G8") began to take shape with the emergence of the Almaden Expressway.  According to the October 1960 California Highways & Public Works Unit 1 of the Almaden Expressway opened in November of 1959 between Alma Avenue near downtown San Jose south to the Guadalupe River as part of a Federal Highway Aid Secondary pro