TOUR AMERICA, 2020: KINGMAN, ARIZONA – THE GRAND CANYON STATE

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Places We Have Called Home In 2020

Home Is Where We Park It – Fort Beale RV Park, Kingman, Arizona

June 2, 2020

21

Temperature 96 Degrees

The Demonstrators Have Arrived

The Mural Trail

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I guess it was only a matter of time.  The demonstrators have arrived at Locomotive Park.

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Plenty of young adults.

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And not so young.  All of one mind seeking justice and making sure that everyone knows that all lives matter.

Time now to travel the Mural Trail.  We discovered, unfortunately, that some of them are no more.  Many businesses have remodeled and painted over the originals.  Here, though, are the remaining ones that we discovered.

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This one will forever be a favorite of mine.

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One for Ford fans.  Remember when the Mustang first came out?  They were the hot ride.

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The century-old Hotel Beale and its rooftop sign in downtown Kingman, Arizona, are one of the most-photographed landmarks in the city, but it has been closed for nearly 20 years and deteriorating because of an owner who refuses to sell it or refurbish it.  The storied old hotel that served as the boyhood home for character actor Andy Devine has a rather lengthy celebrity association. Buster Keaton stayed at the hotel while filming Go West in 1925. Charles Lindbergh was a frequent guest during the construction of the airfield to serve his pioneering T.A.T. Airline. Purportedly, Tap Duncan, Louis L’Amour, and Amelia Earhart were also guests.  What’s to become of it?  At this point in time, unfortunately, no one knows.  But the future for this remarkable icon of history does not look good.

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This mural is on the top of the Kettlehut Antique Store.  This antique store located in the downtown merchants mall has 5 rooms full of just about everything:  dolls, books, and antique furniture to name just a few.

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These murals are on the side of the Gruninger Building.  The W. A. Gruninger Building was designed and built by Gruninger & Son in 1921. Gruninger & Son built it as an investment property. The first floor was a store front for rent. The second floor had office space. The Gruningers had their own office there. Today the building is still used for a store and office space for the downtown area of Kingman.

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A testimony to the ranch hands that made this area great.

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In about 1916, the last year for stagecoach service out of Kingman, a Chalmers-Maxwell-Packard agency opened on the corner of Fourth and South Front Street.  It was Kingman’s first service station. As the traffic on Route 66 was increasing by leaps and bounds it became the largest and most complete auto service facility in Kingman for many years.

But was it ever a Packard garage?  Some say yes, some say no.  On the yes side the current owner of the garage, now in his 90’s, has an astounding memory and clearly recounts, names, dates, and locations for numerous businesses. He has been associated with the Old Trails Garage since age 8 and claims that a Packard dealership operated at this facility for a short period around 1949 or 1950. He also has a matchbook with the Packard logo and the address of the Old Trails Garage.

On the no side many have scoured back issues of newspapers for this area and while advertisements for the Old Trails Garage appear in almost every issue of past papers and they do provide clear indication that Studebaker, Mack, Willys, Buick, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Cadillac, Jeep, and LaSalle have all been sold at the Old Trails Garage complex. There is, however, nothing in the newspaper to link it with Packard.

So the mystery remains.

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Locals tell us that this is the place for a burger and a brew.  Sadly, I don’t believe we’ll be able to check it out.

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Good grief, what is a bath bomb?  Never mind I don’t believe I want to know.

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This one also shows the whole route starting in Chicago, Illinois, then gong through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona before ending in Santa Monica.

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When we first visited this museum we thought there was only the mural

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on the front wall.  How wrong we were. Come, see the rest.

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We come now to the end of our mural tour.

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We’ll end with one of the most photographed murals in Kingman.  The mural on the water tank (remember what the blue ribbon stands for?).  But did you know:

  • The water tanks, once used to add water to railroad steam engines, are more than 100 years old.
  • Rusty and leaking, the tanks were slated to be torn down in 1986.
  • Longtime Kingman resident Betty McBrayer led a citizen effort to save the tanks as historical artifacts.
  • McBrayer had a flair for the dramatic. After collecting more than 1,000 signatures urging the tanks’ preservation, she taped the signatures together into a long scroll and unrolled it across the floor of the city council’s chambers to the mayor’s desk.
  • After the tanks were refurbished, today local residents pitch in with the upkeep — including its prominent Route 66 shield.

Thanks for coming along with us on The Mural Trail.  We hope you enjoyed the murals as much as we did.  We had a wonderful time tracking them down and photographing them, and learning even more of the history of this area.  We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again no matter where you go if you look real hard you’ll always find something to do and see.  This definitely was not a planned stop of ours this summer but it became one full of wonderful things to do.  We’re so grateful for that.  And would you believe – we’re not finished yet! So stay tuned.

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Since we were out and about we decided to make a few stops for several things we needed.  We also decided to stop at Jersey Mike’s and pick up a couple of Big Kahuna’s and bring them home for lunch.

Once again we had another wonderful day on The Road of Retirement.  We are definitely enjoying ourselves to the fullest.  Life is anything but boring.  Day after day we continue to find new things to do and we continue to travel along, hand in hand, singing our song.  Thank you God for the beautiful life that you’ve given us to live.

In ending I believe this says it all.

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Thanks for joining us today.  We always appreciate your company and your comments.  Catch you tomorrow.

These are the voyages of  Elvira and it’s two intrepid travelers.  Our continuing mission: to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have never been before.

See you on down the road!

2 thoughts on “TOUR AMERICA, 2020: KINGMAN, ARIZONA – THE GRAND CANYON STATE

  1. Those murals were amazing. Enjoyed them. I had a 64 1/2 Mustang. Loved it. When in Florida visit Lake Placid to see the murals there if you haven’t already.

    Like

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