The famous “Mother of the Mother Road” didn’t become a part of Route 66 lore until 1941. She and her husband Carl bought a gas station and tourist cabins on a rural part of the road in Oklahoma. Because she was so rugged and self-sustaining, yet constantly lent assistance to motorists, she become legendary.
A Trade Route
People didn’t just use Route 66 to go on road trips – it was a vital way of life for many. Farmers who lived in rural communities nearby the highway were able to transport their crops, dairy products, etc. faster and to a wider area than before, helping them to increase profits.
Trucking companies both small and large found the road to be vital to transporting goods in much of the Midwest and Southwest United States. They had begun competing against the railways, which previously were the only practical means for moving large amounts of goods around the country.
The big champion of Route 66 was Cyrus Avery. He was a businessman from Tulsa, Oklahoma and had a vision of improving the roads in his home state. Avery was also the chairman of the state highway commission and had a hand in creating the national highway system.
In 1926, Avery proposed a plan to build a highway that would stretch from Chicago to California. Before that, he pioneered the successful Ozark Trail highway that extended from Missouri through Oklahoma and Texas.View on One Page