Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Sat, Oct. 19

Powerhouse focal point of Fun Run

There is no place more fitting to be the focal point of Route 66 Fun Run activities in Kingman than the Powerhouse Visitor Center.

The annual event begins Friday.

"Kingman is the heart of Route 66 and the Powerhouse holds the Route 66 Museum, offices and headquarters for the state association," Beverly Liles, president and chief executive officer of the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce, said.

The Route 66 Museum opened on the second floor of the Powerhouse on May 5, 2001 during the 14th annual Route 66 Fun Run.

Paul Snyder is its director.

"We have exhibits covering the history of Route 66 up to the 1950s and then on current day aspects of the road," Snyder said.

"The overriding concept of Route 66 was the overlaying of routes that were traveled before it opened.

It covers the 35th parallel in Arizona."

Most of the artifacts in the museum are donated.

The history of the highway can be traced through photographs and newspaper clippings in scrapbooks available for public viewing in the reading room.

The reading room is sponsored by the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona, which has its headquarters on the first floor of the Powerhouse.

Admission to the museum is $3 for everyone 13 years of age and up and free for anyone 12-and-under.

Snyder said a discount would be offered to Fun Run participants, who wish to visit.

The Powerhouse was built in 1907 and brought the first electricity into Kingman.

But the opening in 1938 of Boulder (now Hoover) Dam brought cheap hydroelectric power into the region and marked the end of the Powerhouse's role as a generating station.

The building was abandoned in the 1970s.

It began to regain some of its stature when a restoration project commenced in the mid-1990s and is today listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A visitor's information desk and 1950s era diner can be found on the first floor of the Powerhouse.

The second floor houses chamber of commerce offices, the Carlos Elmer Photo Gallery, Old West gift store and a hobby shop.

The Powerhouse will be dedicated as a Route 66 landmark by the Hampton Inn Preserve a Landmark Project during the Fun Run, Laura Stevens, director of the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona, said.

Show & Shine judging of vehicles will be conducted along Andy Devine Avenue between 3 p.m.

and 5 p.m.

May 3.

Two bands will provide live entertainment in the Powerhouse parking lot that day.

Joey and the Yucky Ducks are scheduled from 11 a.m.

to 2 p.m., and Eclipse performs between 2:30 p.m.

and 5:30 p.m.

Drawing tickets also will be sold at the Powerhouse on Saturday.

Half of the money from ticket sales goes into the Route 66 Association general fund and half to the drawing winner.

Tickets will be $1 apiece or six for $5.

Other activities are planned throughout the day at Locomotive Park, which is across the street from the Powerhouse.

Liles has lived in Kingman for nearly 35 years and never dreamed during her early years here that Route 66 would become a significant piece of history in Mohave County.

"The highway got us to Flagstaff and into California," she said.

"Back then we really didn't think a lot about it.

"Route 66 was just our way to go east and west.

It wasn't until the interstate went through (in the 1980s) that it became a historic highway."

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