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Petes Gas Station Museum on Route 66 in Williams, Arizona | by Scandblue
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Petes Gas Station Museum on Route 66 in Williams, Arizona

Much Better Viewed Large On Black


After visiting the Grand Canyon, we spent an afternoon visiting Williams, Arizona and walking down the old town's Route 66 admiring the vintage buildings, cafes and shops. We still didn't see it all and want to return for another visit soon. Above is a photo of Pete's Gas Station Museum on Route 66 in Williams.




Pete's Route 66 Gas Station Museum is a homage to old time gas stations, part museum and part gift shop, specializing in a collection of gas station memorabilia, including old gas pumps, vintage oil cans, vintage signs and equipment. It's owned, operated and is being restored by Pete's son. It's been a station for a very long time but the current building was built in 1949. It operated as a gas station till 1989 when it ceased operation and the tanks were removed from the ground. It sat idle for several years but is now whipped back into presentable shape. Half of the garage is a museum and the other half is a gift shop. The late 1940’s classic Ford sedan out front is Pete's.




October 13, 1984 (I wonder if it was a Friday) the last remaining stretch of Route 66 was bypassed by the opening of a six mile segment of nearby Interstate 40. But Williams lives on. It is another true Route 66 town. Williams not only survived but is at the heart of a Route 66 revival. The downtown area has been cleaned up; new streetlights, fresh paint, and sidewalks have brought the town back to life. The community takes pride in its special relationship to the Mother Road and it shows.


Williams was named for one of the most colorful of all Mountain Men, Old Bill Williams. Though it is debated whether he ever was in the area of the town and mountain that bears his name, it is a well known fact that he was "acquainted with every inch of the Far West" as he would have put it. Williams was founded in 1876 and nothing much happened here until the railroad arrived in 1882. In 1901 the Santa Fe Railroad laid tracks from Williams to the Grand Canyon and insured Williams' claim as Gateway to the Grand Canyon.


The Grand Canyon Railroad reopened in the late 1980's and started running train tours to the Grand Canyon from the beautiful Frey Marcos Harvey House and Depot which has been restored to its former grandeur. The Grand Canyon has always been a Route 66 destination though it is located 50 miles from the Mother Road. Route 66 was always the primary highway vacationers used to get there.


Route 66 souvenir shops offer every imaginable piece of memorabilia of the old road. There are plenty of fine motels and cafes that bring back the flavor of Route 66 in its hey day. Williams is a great place to stop and explore and maybe even stay a day or two if you have the time.



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Taken on May 9, 2009