In 1926 plans were made for the creation of a road stretching from Chicago to Los Angeles . Now, 85 years later, we reverently refer to this 1500-mile ribbon of concrete as the " Mother Road ." For many years this two-lane highway carried travelers across our nation, passing through cities and villages alike. Later, the Interstate highway system would siphon off the multitudes that enjoyed seeing the U.S.A. in its transitional state.
Sapulpa was privileged to be a part of Route 66. During the years when U.S. 66 ran through the heart of Sapulpa, many travelers would stop and visit our local restaurants and shops. Undoubtedly they had questions about our town—How do you pronounce its name? How long has the city been here? What do people around here do for a living?
Back then we learned geography by driving on vacations and mingling with the local folks. Air travel today denies us this privilege.
We can remember certain icons in our area that travelers would look for on repeated trips through our territory. One was the Meramec Caverns sign on a barn roof north of town. Another was the Rule-Reel Furniture giant chair, also north of town, where all the young ladies would go to have their photograph taken. The Diamond Truck Stop Cafe on North Mission served many a meal to hungry tourists during active days of U.S. 66 and later when hordes of European tourists would stop by to sample Oklahoma cuisine while cruising the Mother Road.
Another item of interest was the bridge crossing Rock Creek west of town. Built in 1921 during the "roaring twenties," this bridge was designated as Bridge No. 18 of Creek County. The highway itself was originally part of the famous Ozark Trail, which by 1921 had become State Highway No. 7 and later became part of Route 66 when the highway was officially designated in November 1926.
A part of the original Route 66 still exists west of town, beginning at a point just to the northwest of our City Golf Course and winding along Ozark Trail for a few miles before merging into Oklahoma 66.
The song, "Get Your Kicks on Route 66" mentions Joplin , Missouri and Oklahoma City , but fails to mention towns in between these cities. Perhaps it was because the word SAPULPA would not rhyme with any of their lyrics. But that's OK. Many travelers will remember our town because of its distinctive name and wonderful people.