OK County 66 – Route 66 in a Nutshell

Arcadia, Oklahoma.

Do you like all things Route 66 but don’t have time to travel the entire Mother Road? There is but one place to go, then. OK County 66, just out of Oklahoma City near the little town of Arcadia, Oklahoma.  John Hargrave apparently needed something to do after he retired, so he bought some land adjacent to Route 66 and built a roadside attraction.  Here you can see miniature versions of attractions found all along Route 66. For example, just outside of Flagstaff, Arizona there are two large telephone poles done up to be giant arrows. At OK County 66, you can view the twin arrows without having to drive all the way across New Mexico and half-way through Arizona toward Flagstaff. Alright, so they aren’t telephone poles, and they aren’t actual size, but they are big in spirit, just like John Hargrave.It isn’t often that I get to meet the person or persons behind the attractions I share with you here at Journeys with Johnbo. While wandering around the grounds, we happened upon the owner who was more than willing to share his love of all things Route 66. Interestingly enough, he’s only traveled sections of the road in Oklahoma, but that didn’t stop him from bringing those out-of-state roadside attractions here to his OK County 66 attraction.

Wandering inside, we found a replica diner that would seat a good number of people. There is a lot of detail, but it isn’t an actual open-for-business restaurant. Before John retired, he spent his working life as both an aircraft mechanic and a school bus mechanic. We chatted at some length about our mutual respect for aviation, though I spotted only a couple of aviation related items.

Yes, in the gallery below, there’s a replica of Herbie, the Love Bug sticking out of the second floor of the building like it had burst through the wall of a parking garage. If you climb the stairs just inside the diner, you can park yourself in Herbie’s driver’s seat and enjoy the second-floor view out Herbie’s windshield.

Outside again, near the Twin Arrows, another Volkswagen sits nose down in a tribute to the iconic Cadillac Ranch along Route 66 near Amarillo, Texas. Apparently he couldn’t find a Cadillac to bury as they must all have been buried in Texas. On the property that John bought when he retired, he also built a tribute to the Wigwam Motel, a chain of motels with cabins built like a TeePee, one of which is located just off Route 66 at Holbrook, Arizona.

Near the entrance to the parking lot, you’ll find Petro Man ready to put some Gulftone in your tank (not really.) A Kachina Doll and a “Tucumcari Tonight – 2000 Rooms” honors the small town of Tucumcari from where hundreds of similar signs stretched for miles along Route 66 inviting travelers to stop for the night in New Mexico.

After a morning that focused on the tragedy of the Oklahoma City bombing, our visit to OK County 66 at Arcadia restored our faith in America and reminded us of those times when the automobile was relatively new and the open road beckoned bringing families to visit new and interesting places. Route 66 remains a pleasant time in our country’s automotive history. The gallery of images below features snapshots of John Hargrave’s OK County 66 attraction. It’s worth a stop if you’re travelling the Interstate. When you stop, tell John that I said, “Hi!”

John Steiner

6 thoughts on “OK County 66 – Route 66 in a Nutshell

  1. I’ve probably mentioned that our dream is to travel the entire route sometime late next year. So far we’ve only done California into Arizona. John’s recreation is amazing in the research and work that has gone into his attraction. It fits the look and feel of the real thing. Can’t wait to see it.

  2. I once read of a collection of miniature sights in China. There, you will find the great wall in miniature, as well as mini terra cotta warriors. Basically all of the tourist sights only in miniature in the same spot for the tourist who is limited in time… This reminds me of that. What an eclectic mix of memorabilia and worthy celebration of a slightly bygone era!

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