Program pays for restoring neon sign

The neon sign at the Frontier Motel in Truxton, a Route 66 icon, is being restored through a National Park Service program dedicated to preservation of the cultural sites of the "Mother Road."

Restoration includes removing, repairing and reinstalling all the original neon.

The sign will be repainted and repairs made prior to replacing the neon lights.

Tom Spear, executive director of the Route 66 Historical Association of Arizona, said funds from the May Fun Run will pay 25 percent of the restoration.

Owner Mildred Parker will pay 25 percent.

A federal grant under the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Act will contribute the other 50 percent, Michael Taylor, program manager, said.

The local association is the only one along all of Route 66 to cooperate with business owners in applying for the Route 66 Corridor Preservation funds.

Spear has been invited to present the Arizona program at a national meeting of state associations.

Bill Shilling, grants administrator with the city of Kingman, worked with the Route 66 Association to prepare the grant application, which includes pictures of the historic motel sign.

"We intend to use Fun Run profits to assist others with preservation along Route 66 in Arizona," Spear said.

Taylor visited motel owner Dennis Schroeder in Kingman recently to discuss the application requirements.

Schroeder has repainted the sign at the Hill Top Motel on Andy Devine Avenue, which is part of Route 66.

Historic Route 66 of Arizona operations director Laura Stevens took Taylor and program assistant Kaisa Barthuli on a tour along Route 66 from Seligman to Kingman.

Taylor visited Angel Delgadillo in Seligman and talked to him while getting a haircut in Angel's internationally famous Route 66 barbershop.

The Delgadillo family has lived for several generations on Route 66 and Angel Delgadillo is credited with saving the road when Interstate 40 opened and bypassed his Seligman barbershop.

The Harvey House and railroad offices in Seligman are being considered for renovation, and Taylor visited people trying to get the projects off the ground.

Congress passed the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Act in 1999 with technical assistance and grants.

Taylor said a majority of the 30 congressional districts that include parts of Route 66 are in rural areas with communities that need economic development which tourism could provide.

He visited Seligman, Truxton, Peach Springs and Kingman during his fact-finding tour from the Santa Fe, N.M., office.

Spear explained to Taylor that the Arizona Route 66 Association would leverage funds from the annual Route 66 Fun Run for preservation projects.

He told them of local landmarks and the tourism impact in Kingman of the 75-year-old highway.

"We recognize Route 66 as the top tourist attraction in Kingman," Spear said.

"The highway is internationally known and draws visitors from all over the world."