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Kansas DOT press release


Kansas Department of Transportation press release.

Kansas Historic Route 66 Byway receives state


News contact: Scott Shields, (785) 296


The Kansas portion of the original Route 66, located in Cherokee County, has been
designated as a Kansas Historic Byway.
With this addition, Route 66 becomes the
eleventh Kansas byway to receive official designation fr
om the Kansas Department of
“The designation of Kansas Historic Route 66 will emphasize the important significance
of the route in this area for visitors and local residents, encouraging them to drive the
route and explore the communities
along it,” said Scott Shields, Kansas State Byways
An historic byway must have resources that are historically significant, be numerous,
visible and have a setting or character that is complementary to the resources. “We are
excited to add Historic Route 66 to the Kansas Byway collection. The route designation
provides travelers a chance to view the relationship between the history of the original
highway and the landscape and structures that define the area, in a combined effort to promote tourism and economic development, while exploring the natural and culturalimportance of the byway communities,” Shields said.
The 13.2 miles of Kansas Historic Route 66 includes paved state, city and county roads,
beginning at the Kansas-Missouri state line and following the original Route 66 route
through Galena, Riverton and Baxter Springs to the Kansas-Oklahoma state line.
The byway offers opportunities for visitors to enjoy a variety of experiences to “get their
own kicks” while driving the original Kansas portion of Route 66, found in the “Ozark
Plateau” or Southeast corner of the state. There are museums, collections, murals and
ghost writing that tell the local history of life along the route. A traveler can drive overmany of the original structures of “The Mother Road,” including the only remainingMarsh Arch Bridge on Route 66, or explore the mining and railroad history of the area.
Visitors can have a picture taken with the tow truck that was the inspiration for the
character “Mater” from the “Cars” movie or discover Schermerhorn Park and the
Southeast Kansas Nature Center south of Galena. They can learn of the importance of
hydroelectricity in Riverton or enjoy a stop at the Eisler’s Brother Store, the location of a
1920’s Route 66 gas station. The stories of Baxter Springs include Native American
history, early battles of the Civil War, a frontier cattle town and baseball. There are tours
offered throughout the year and many dining and lodging facilities available for travelers
as well as locations that offer Route 66 memorabilia for sale.