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

Interstate 238; the Interstate numbering abomination carved out of an otherwise mundane State Highway

How does one make an otherwise unremarkable stretch of State Highway the absolute bane of the road community?  Make a small portion of said State Highway into a Interstate Highway but one that retains it's completely out of grid State Highway number.  One such route does exist; California State Route 238 and it's better known segment Interstate 238.


CA 238/I-238 (I'll be referring to this highway frequently as Highway 238 for simplicity) including a relinquished segment in Hayward is a 16 mile "highway" starting at I-680 in Fremont which heads northwest to I-880 in San Leandro.  Only an approximately 2.1 mile segment of Highway 238 between I-580 and I-880 is part of the Interstate system.

The numbering oddity behind I-238 stems from the fact that California Legislatively does not allow numbering duplication.  In the eyes of the Legislature there is no difference between a State Highway, US Route and Interstate Highway.  That being the said all highways maintained…

Interstate 380

This past weekend I drove over twenty Californian highways with a good chunk of them being around the San Francisco Bay Area.   The first highway I attempted was Interstate 380 from San Francisco International Airport west to I-280.


I-380 is an approximately 1.7 mile freeway connecting from US 101 at San Francisco International Airport west to I-280.  The entire routing of I-380 is within San Mateo County and despite it's small size was conceived as a much larger route.

According to CAhighways.org the path of I-380 was first conceived as Legislative Route Number 229 in 1947 between US 101 Bypass west to US 101 in San Bruno.

CAhighways.org on LRN 229

LRN 229 was extended to CA 1 Pacifica in 1959 by the Legislature.  While LRN 229 in it's original form was too small display on State Highway Maps it does appear in full scope by the 1960 addition.

1960 State Highway Map

During the 1964 State Highway renumbering LRN 229 was reassigned as LRN 186 which is reflective on the State Hig…

The Cemetery inside the Interstate 85 Median

Near Gaffney, South Carolina between exits 95 and 96, Interstate 85 separates to allow for a wider median.  The reason - a small family cemetery that dates to the mid-1800s.  The Lipscomb-Sarratt or  Ross-Lipscomb cemetery is an example of the numerous small family burial plots that were found within many rural farms and plantations throughout the South during the 18th and 19th centuries.

The cemetery consists of at least 13 gravestones with six that still have legible markings.  Most of those buried passed away between 1850-1880.   The cemetery is also one of the oldest in Cherokee County.



How the cemetery came to exist in the middle of an increasingly busy Interstate 85 is an interesting story.  In the early 1950s, South Carolina moved US 29 onto a newly built a two lane express highway from the North Carolina State Line near Grover to northwest of Spartanburg.  At the time, the cemetery sat just to the new highway's south.  What is now the Southbound lanes of Interstate 85 car…