KINGMAN – Route 66 author, historian and ambassador Jim Hinckley will present a history of tourism in Kingman at 2 p.m. Saturday at Mohave Museum of History and Arts, 400 W. Beale St.
The free program, “120 Years of Tourism in Kingman,” is Hinckley’s first presentation at the museum.
He will tell an entertaining story about a community that thrived on tourism, yet never became a destination until the era of renaissance on Route 66.
Hinckley will use historic photos from the museum and journal entries from travelers such as Edsel Ford, who stopped in Kingman during the summer of 1915, to illustrate the evolution of the town from a highway pit stop to an international destination.
His presentation will include stories from the railroad, Fred Harvey enterprises (Harvey Houses), celebrities such as Jack Dempsey, Buster Keaton and Will Rogers, and a few nefarious characters who rolled through town.
At 6 p.m. Saturday, Hinckley will lead an illustrated walking tour of historic downtown Kingman.
Sue Snell, secretary of the museum’s board and chairwoman of the special events committee, said the museum surveyed people at past presentations about what they wanted to see, and several of them requested more historical background on Kingman.
“We decided to do a local program with a local historian and author on what Route 66 means to Kingman,” Snell said.
Hinckley is known internationally for his books, magazine articles, photographs, blogs, videos and presentations on Route 66. He’s largely responsible for Route 66 associations in the Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Germany, Australia and Japan.
He shares his love for the automobile and modern-day adventures on the open road.
Last week, he was interviewed by CBS Radio in St. Louis and by Missouri State University about his new book, “100 Things to Do on Route 66,” which includes the Electric Vehicle Museum at the Powerhouse Visitor Center in Kingman, Chillin’ on Beale Street, Route 66 Fun Run and Grand Canyon Caverns.
He also hosted members of the Dutch Route 66 Association, New Zealand’s Route 66 tour group and U.S. Bikers group from The Netherlands. On Sept. 26, he’s meeting with Tron Morberg of the Norwegian Route 66 Association to discuss details for a European Route 66 tour in 2018. The next day he meets with Zdnek Jurasek of Czech Route 66 Association about the second European Route 66 Festival in August 2018.
Details have yet to be announced for an Oct. 8 event with the Route 66 Cruizers and the Grand Canyon Caverns for an introductory tour and lunch. John McEnulty, owner of Grand Canyon Caverns, wants to show improvements and new developments at the caverns.
October is going to be a busy month for Hinckley as he has scheduled presentations about Route 66 tourism in Las Vegas and Tucumcari, New Mexico; Shamrock, Texas; Elk City, Oklahoma; Joplin and Cuba, Missouri; and Joliet, Illinois.
Hinckley has set up a Nov. 7 luncheon for an Australian tour group at Grand Canyon Caverns.