Wednesday, March 19, 2008
We spent two days in Kingman, AZ waiting for weather to improve higher in the mountains. This town is currently best known as the point of revival of Route 66. With this in mind, we visited the Route 66 museum and had a look back at the history of this famous highway route. Since this part of the country can get quite hot in the summer, I found the invention to cool down in an automobile before Air conditioning very interesting.
We also visited the Mohave History and Art Museum which has a collection covering the area from prehistory thru the current time. One of its exhibits brought back childhood memories with the Andy Devine section. His father purchased the large hotel in town when Andy was a small child. He went on to have a successful career in Hollywood, most notably as a faithful sidekick in western series and movies.
Lastly, we visited the Army Air Corp and airport museum which is just getting started. They have no planes on display from the Army Air Corp, but have a very interesting collection of personal histories of servicemen who were trained at the airfield during WWII. There were over 45,000 air crewmen trained there. They did have the helicopter that was used in the MASH movie on display.
The historic section of Kingman is a bit of a monument to the good old days of Route 66 with classic diners and motels. Like much of the southwest, the rest is devoted to gaining population from baby boomers wanting a warmer place to live.