Route 66 museum to open in May

The Kingman Route 66 Museum at the Powerhouse Visitor Center has some of its first exhibits in place as sheet rock finishers and the museum workers share the space.

"We will be open for the May 2001 Fun Run," said museum Director Karen Goudy.

"The museum will not be complete, but there will be a lot for visitors to see."

The May 2001 Fun Run will mark the 75th anniversary of the opening of U.S.

Route 66 in 1926.

The first cross-country highway linking Chicago and California has been called the "Main Street of America," and "The Mother Road."

Three symbols of the transportation route that became the famous 66 highway to the west were moved into he museum last week.

A wagon, a 1929 Chevrolet truck, and a 1950 Studebaker automobile were moved into the second floor museum last week.

To admit the vehicles, a hole the size of a garage door was cut in the wall on the second floor.

"It took all day to maneuver the car and truck through the hole," Goudy said.

The vehicles were taken in the Powerhouse on the first floor where the large meeting room is located.

They were lifted to the second floor and put through the hole cut in the wall.

Lee and Gail Bruno of Kingman donated the 1929 truck to the museum.

Kingman Police Chief Larry Butler and his wife Sharon donated the Studebaker.

The motors were removed prior to lifting the vehicles through the hole.

The gasoline and oil would be a hazard in the museum.

Goudy and museum volunteers were painting display areas Wednesday as soon as the sheetrock installation was ready.

Murals previously prepared for the walls have been installed in part of the museum and signs are being placed to tell the transportation story.

The truck will be loaded with items of the 1930s era to resemble one of the many vehicles used by Midwesterners moving west to California from the dust bowl.

"We need junk," Goudy said.

The museum board and volunteers have been searching local stores and flea markets for anything from the era that a family might have loaded on the truck for the move west through Kingman.

They have a mattress, washtub, some kitchen items and a few farm tools.

A bed frame is among the many items still needed.

Goudy said photos and artifacts from every period, beginning with the Beale expedition are needed.

Early railroad items are also needed.

Any information, photos or artifacts of the clash of cultures between the Americans Indians and the settlers would be welcome, Goudy said.