From the bloggers at Roadtreking.
It was John Steinbeck who named Route 66 “the Mother Road” and for countless tens of thousands from roughly 1926 through the early 60’s, it was THE way west, a 2,000 plus mile journey through eight states.
In the 1930’s, when Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath, it was the road refugees from the dust bowl used to flee their dried up farms in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. But in the ensuing years, it was fun, adventure, tourism and the classic road trip experience the lured most folks and local communities built thriving businesses that served them – motels, drive-in restaurants, gas stations, tourist shops and hokey made-up attractions like the world’s biggest ketchup bottle, or the world’s biggest rocking chair to lure the tourists in.
Then, the interstate highway system bypassed most of Route 66 and interstates like U.S. 55 and U.S. 40 siphoned off the once-steady streams of Route 66 traffic. It was officially removed from the United States Highway System on June 27, 1985. Communities which once bustled with business shriveled up and almost died.
To read the full story by Roadtreking, click here.