US 66: In the Beginning - the early years of Rt 66.

This page dedicated to Lucille Hamons of Hydro, Oklahoma who passed on August 18, 2000. "The Mother of the Mother Road". Click here for a tribute page

"You see, it's all clear, you were meant to be here, from the beginning" - Emerson, Lake and Palmer, From the Beginning

"... Outside their lives go on much faster. Oh, we won't give in, we'll keep living in the past." - Jethro Tull, Living in the Past

This site is meant to provide information on America's favorite Historical highway, Route 66. The maps are scanned from a Rand McNally Auto Road Atlas for 1928.

If you want to contact the webmaster of this site for any reason, Click here to E-mail me.
Also listed below are the histories of the "Daughter" routes of the "Mother Road": US 166, US 266, US 366 [I], US 366 [II], US 466, US 566, and the oft-maligned US 666.

From 1925:
The original US 60, route 66's planning number, in text form (.jpg from '25 BPR report index)

How and why Route 66 got its number -Article Reprinted with Permission

From 1927:
The original route of US 66, in text form (.jpg from American Highways, 4/27)

Scanned maps from 1928:
City of Chicago, Illinois
From Chicago, IL to Chenoa, IL
From Chenoa, IL to Springfield, IL
From Springfield, IL to St. Louis, MO
City of St. Louis, Missouri
From St. Louis, MO to St. James, MO
From St. James, MO to Baxter Springs, KS
From Baxter Springs, KS to Tulsa, OK
From Tulsa, OK to Oklahoma City, OK
From Oklahoma City, OK to Hydro, OK
From Hydro, OK to Texola, OK
From Texola, OK to Glenrio, NM
From Glenrio, NM to Santa Fe, NM
From Santa Fe, NM to Lupton, AZ
From Lupton, AZ to Williams, AZ
From Williams, AZ to Topock, AZ
From Topock, AZ to Barstow, CA
From Barstow, CA to Los Angeles, CA
City of Los Angeles, California

Route 66 Timeline

1930: US 66 re-routed around Joliet, IL on to modern I-55. Route 66 also bypassed downtown Dwight, IL; Odell, IL; Chenoa, IL; Bloomington, IL. The route from Springfield, IL to Staunton, IL via Carlinville, IL was also bypassed. The original mainline Rt 66 through East. St. Louis, IL over the McKinley Bridge was also bypassed this year in favor of the Chain of Rocks routing.
1931: Delhi, OK bypassed.
1938: US 66 was re-aligned in New Mexico, taking a more direct route between Santa Rosa, NM and Laguna, NM. While this route does make more sense from an engineering standpoint, why would the state capital voluntarily give up such a vital stream of commerce? Was it political revenge? Check out
this site for more.
1939: US 66 extended west to Santa Monica from its prior terminus at US 101 in Los Angeles.
1940: Route 66 moved to the Arroyo Seco parkway in Los Angeles. Route 66 was re-routed to run through Joliet, IL again. Route 66 was re-routed around downtown Dwight, IL; Pontiac, IL; Bloomington, IL; Lincoln, IL; Springfield, IL; Litchfield, IL; Mount Olive, IL. Also, the mainline crossing over the Mississippi River at East St. Louis, IL was switched to the south, following Collinsville Rd and modern I-55.
1973: Truncated to Pasadena, CA
1974: Truncated to Topock, AZ
1976: Truncated to Gardner, IL
1977: Truncated to Normal, IL per maps; IL DOT says St. Louis, MO
1979: Truncated to Scotland, MO
October, 1984: Last segment of old Route 66 bypassed, Williams, AZ
June 27, 1985: Route 66 Decommissioned

The Daughter routes of the Mother Road:
US 166: Originally left US 66 at Baxter Springs, KS and connected to US 81 at South Haven, KS. The 1925 plan for US 160 left US 60 (US 66) at Coffeyville and connected to US 75 at Independence. US 166 was extended east to Springfield, MO in 1945. It was truncated near Joplin, MO in 1966, the rest of the route is now I-44.
US 266: Originally left US 64 at Warner, OK and joined US 66 at Oklahoma City, OK, the same route as the 1925 plan for US 260. From Henryetta, OK to Oklahoma City, OK was retired in favor of US 62 in 1931. This was a part of the old Auto-Trail "Postal Highway".
US 366 [I]: Originally left US 66 at Amarillo, TX and passed through New Mexico on its way to a southwesterly terminus at US 80 in El Paso, TX, the same as the 1925 plan for US 360. This US 366 designation was retired in 1931 in favor of the US 60 extension from Amarillo, TX to Clovis, NM and the US 70 rerouting from Clovis to El Paso, TX (currently US 54 from Alamogordo, NM to El Paso). This was a part of the old Auto-Trail "Postal Highway".
US 366 [II]: A new US 366 was assigned in 1931, taking over the route formerly known as US 470. US 366 left US 380 at Williard, NM to join US 66 at Albuquerque, NM. The portion of the route from Moriarty, NM was incorporated into US 66 in 1938. The remainder was decomissioned in 1939, and is now numbered NM 41.
US 466: The 1925 version of US 460 connected Los Lunas, NM to a point on US 70 near LaJoya, NM. US 466 was a 'reserved' number in 1926, during planning the proposed route was assigned the number US 85. A US 466 was finally assigned in 1934. US 466 left US 66 at Kingman, AZ and headed west, ending in Morro Bay, CA. This route was truncated at the California border in 1964, and fully decomissioned in 1971. Its route is now US 93 from Kingman to Las Vegas, NV; I-15 from Las Vegas to Barstow, CA; CA-58 from Barstow to Bakersfield, CA; CA-99 from Bakersfield to Famoso, CA; CA-46 from Famoso to Shandon, CA and CA-41 from Atascadero,CA to Morro Bay. From 1934-1959, US 466 passed through Creston, from 1960 to 1964 US 466 passed through Paso Robles, CA.
US 566: This route was added to the 1926 numbering, it was not in the 1925 plan. Originally left US 366 at Hondo, NM and connected with US 85 in San Antonio, NM. The US 566 designation was retired in favor of US 380 in 1931.
US 666: This route was US 560 in the original 1925 numbering scheme, US 560 was never used anywhere else. Originally left US 66 at Gallup, NM and terminated at US 450 (now US 160) in Cortez, CO. US 66 was extended south to Douglas, AZ in 1938. US 666 was extended north to Monticello, UT in 1970. US 666 was truncated back to Gallup, NM in 1993, I-40 is on its former route from Gallup to Sanders and US 191 was assigned to the rest of US 666.

More information on US 66 and other US Highways can be found at my main site:
U.S. Highways : From US 1 to (US 830)

Visit Other Route 66 Pages in Web Ring Below

Route 66 Webring
Next Previous Skip Next Email Ring Contact Prev5 Next5 Random Index Join Ring

This page last updated on Sunday, December 10, 2006

This web page originally posted by Robert V. Droz on January 1, 2000.

A fictional "In the Beginning" for Pixar's Cars - Stanley "founded" Radiator Springs in 1909 in ?Arizona? while pathfinding/trailblazing along the National Old Trails Road. He might be a 1909 Ford Model T or a Stanley Steamer, or some hodgepogde of the two - but I like the '09 Ford idea better. His eyes and teeth resemble Mater's - they might be related. He found free flowing water here, important in the desert climate. Presumably, this spring was on a radiator shaped bluff or cliff nearby the town, and likely provides water for the town still. Stanley is deceased by the time of the earliest flashbacks from the films, the late 1950's and early 1960's. Considering Lizzie's functional level and status as his widow, he likely expired locally. Best guess - off the side of a cliff or buried in a dust storm. Sally mentions that the town was bypassed "30 years ago." Assuming the movie is set in modern times, Radiator Springs was bypassed around 1976 or so. Route 66 was moved out to the Intertstate, and a Business route established. Presumably the Business route was terminated with Route 66 in 1985.