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Seligman, Arizona and Historic Route 66

 

 

Seligman was founded in 1886 at the junction of the railroad from Prescott to the Santa Fe’s main line. It was known as Prescott Junction until it was renamed after Jesse Seligman, a prominent New York banker responsible for financing railroad construction and companies. The railroad played a big part of Seligman’s community for the next hundred years by establishing repair facilities and the famous Harvey House.

 

Seligman, the birthplace of Historic Route 66, is a small, unincorporated town situated in the beautiful Upland Mountains of Northern Arizona. In 1987, the State of Arizona dedicated old U.S. Route 66 from Seligman to Kingman as Historic Route 66, due to the efforts of the Seligman Chamber of Commerce. The dedication will assure the preservation of the longest remaining stretch of old Route 66 left in the United States.

 

Seligman was established a few years later than the other communities stretched out along the Santa Fe line. Originally called Prescott Junction, Seligman takes its name from a pair of New York bankers. The Seligman brothers had helped bankroll and were part owners of the Aztec Land & Cattle Company (the Hashknife outfit). They were also large stockholders in the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad. In the 1890’s, the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad became the Santa Fe Railroad, and during this time, the railroad moved its roundhouse to Seligman.

 

Despite the new I-40 bypassing the town in the late 1970’s and in February, 1985 when the Santa Fe closed its operations there, several key Seligman businessmen have prevailed and continue to provide unique opportunities for tourists to enjoy the aura and enchantment of Route 66 in this memorable town.

 

As of 2010, the town had 445 residents.

 

Many of the town's original structures - motels, shops and restaurants - still stand. A number of historic homes and cottages are in the process of being renovated.

 

And, to make things even more interesting - the town you can stroll through today was not originally located in its current location. The town, founded in 1886, was located more than a mile to the southeast of the present location. Most of the houses and structures were moved piece by piece to where they are today.

 

In November of 1987, the state dedicated US 66 from Seligman to Kingman as "Historic Route 66".

 

For more information on Seligman, Arizona visit:

The Seligman Buzz