About Seligman, Arizona
Facts, Trivia and useful information
Elevation 5,242 ft (1.598 m). Population 456 (2000).
Time zone: Mountain (MST): UTC minus 7 hours. Summer (DST) no DST⁄ PDT (UTC-7). In the 1940s, Pacific Time Zone began in Seligman.
Seligman is a town located on the northern border of Yavapai County, in northwestern Arizona. It has been called "a flat spot in the desert" due to its meadows surrounded by high mesas. (Map of Seligman).
Seligman's Chino St. - Route 66, now and then...
A Photo from 1947 showing Route 66 in downtown Seligman
In the photo below you can see that the original rectangular sign survived (without the word "Texaco"). The other post with the star on it found a new home across the road. The street was widened in 1966 and many of the buildings on the right side lost the overhangs on their facades. The two story building behind the Texaco was the White Horse Cafe, now gone.
The same spot on Route 66 today
Northwestern Arizona has been populated for over 10,000 years. The Havasupai (also known as Supai) and the Hualapai people were farmers who lived to the north and west of what is now Seligman. in the Grand Canyon region.
Arizona was a province of the Spanish Empire in America but they never settled the area. They did however survey the copper mines near Jerome, AZ in the 1600s.
After its independence in 1821, Mexico assumed sovereignity over the territory but lost it to the U.S.A. after its defeat in the Mexican American War of 1846-48.
Lt. Edward "Ned" Fitzgerald Beale was commissioned by the U.S. government to survey and open a wagon trail from Ft. Smith (Arkansas) to California. He passed through what is now Seligman.
Once the US Army subdued the Navajo people of eastern Arizona in the 1870s, settlers flowed west and a stage stop on the Mojave Road was established here.
the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad (later the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad) reached Seligman in 1882 and built a station named "Prescott Junction" after the "peavine" railway (Prescott and Arizona Central Railway Co.) that linked Phoenix, Prescott with the main A.T. & S.F. line.
In 1886 it was renamed Seligman. In 1891 the Prescott rail link was moved east to Ash Fork to shorten it so Seligman became a large switching yard and cattle shipping center. Passenger trains ceased stopping in Seligman in 1984.
The Name: Seligman
After Jesse Seligman, one of the founders of the New York City bank, J.W. Seligman Co., who helped finance the construction of the railroad in the region.
James A. Lamport claimed his homestead in 1895 and after he subdivided it, it became part of the downtown area as the Lamport addition.
By 1915 there was a road from the station to Cataract Canyon, a branch of the Grand Canyon with high red cliffs and waterfalls 67 mi. north of town.
The National Old Trails Highway was routed through the town in the 1910s and Rout 66 used this alignment when it was created in 1926. The Road became a central part of the town's life (Read more about Seligman Commercial Historic District) until the town was bypassed by I-40 in 1978.
Rebirth: Birthplace of Historic Route 66
Local residents led by Angel Delgadillo formed the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona and persuaded the State of Arizona to list Route 66 as a Historic Highway. This "saved" the Mother Road and restored some of its former glory. Now many nostalgia seeking travelers drive through Seligman to get their kicks on Route 66.
Where to Stay in Seligman
Spend a night in Seligman at one of its motels:
>> Book your Hotel in Seligman
More Lodging Near Seligman along Route 66
Heading East.... In Arizona
- 23 miles. Motels and Hotels in Ash Fork
- 42 miles. Motels and Hotels in Williams
- 65 miles. Motels and Hotels in Bellemont
- 76 miles. Motels and Hotels in Flagstaff
- 100 miles. Motels and Hotels in Twin Arrows
- 133 miles. Motels and Hotels in Winslow
- 167 miles. Motels and Hotels in Holbrook
- 213 miles. Motels and Hotels in Chambers
West, in California...
- 136 miles Hotels and Motels in Needles
- 25 mi from Kingman, Motels and Hotels in Yucca
- 29 mi from Flagstaff Motels and Hotels in Sedona
- 30 mi from Williams Motels and Hotels in Valle
- 52 mi from Williams Motels and Hotels in Tusayan
- Motels and Hotels in Grand Canyon Region
Close to Route 66 ...
>> There is an RV campground in Ash Fork
Weather in Seligman
Due to its altitude it is not so hot in summer as other parts of Arizona but it is lower and therefore has less snowfall than the higher cities of Flagstaff and Williams.
The weather is dry with average summer high (Jul) is a hot 92.6°F (33.7°C) and the average summer low is 56.3°F (13.5°C). During winter, the average high (Jan) is around 53°F (11.7°C) and the average low is cool 23.4°F (-4.8°C).
Rainfall is around 12.9 inches per year (328 mm). There are around 54 rainy days each year. The rainy season is July to September with 5.5 in (140 mm).
Snowfall is 11 inches (28 cm) starting late in October and ending in late April. On average there are 6 snowy days per year.
This part of Route 66 like all the area located west of the Rocky Mountains has virtually no tornado events.
Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
Getting to Seligman
You can reach Seligman either by driving along Interstate 40 or using the Historic Old Route 66 in Arizona.
Map of Route 66 in Seligman
Map of Seligman and US Highway 66, Arizona.
The map below shows several alignments of Route 66 near Seligman, the color key For Seligman only is the following:
(for the other parts of the map, check the color key of the map of the corresponding city)
Pale Blue: the original alignment of Route 66 through Seligman town
Red: I-40, where it covers the old roadbed of Route 66.
See Route 66's alignment in Arizona Map
Remove or restore State shading
Route 66's alignment in Arizona: the Historic Seligman Section
Route 66 across Arizona
U.S. highway 66 better known as Route 66 was designated as an All-American Road and National Scenic Byway in the state of Arizona.
The section of Route 66 that begins east of Seligman and continues all the way to Topock on the Colorado River is the longest remaining section of Route 66 in the entire U.S.A.
Click on the following link for a Full description of Route 66 across the state of Arizona.
Below you will find plenty of information on the alignments of Route 66 in Seligman.
Sights and Attractions in Seligman, Arizona
What to Do, Places to See
Birthplace of Historic Route 66
Seligman is the place to see some icons of Route 66's heyday, Motels like the Aztec, Court Deluxe, Supai, Bill Mar Den, the Cottage Hotel and landmarks like the Snow Cap Drive-In, Old Richfield Service Station, Angel & Vilma Delgadillo Gift Shop, Historic Seligman Sundries, Black Cat Bar and the Grand Canyon Caverns too.
Historic context, the classic Route 66 in Seligman AZ
For those interested in the "good old days" of Route 66, Jack DeVere Rittenhouse's book, written in 1946, "A Guide Book to Highway 66" is a great resrource.
Rittenhouse lists the hotels in Seligman as follows: "... hotels: Havasu, Navajo, Central and Seligman; courts: Dluxe and Court Royal." In those days the town retained "much of its apperance of a cattle town, with its sidewalk awnings and even occasional hitching rails." (hitching rails were used to tie up horses).
West of the town he mentions the Deer Lodge cabins and the Hyde Park café and cabins but not the now famous "Grand Canyon Caverns" (we will get back to these below).
Route 66 annual Fun Run
During spring, each year the 3-day Route 66 Fun Run starts off at Selgman. It is known as the "150-mile rolling party on wheels".
There are hundreds of classic cars driving down Route 66 enjoying themselves. Read more at www.azrt66.com, the website of the Arizona Route 66 Association.
City Tour in Seligman: walking tour of the Route 66 classics
The Historic District
The downtown area was centered around the railroad station, on Main and Railway Ave. to the east. And it was along these (and Chino Ave. westwards) that the original town grew up. There was a Harvey Hotel by the station (demolished in 2008) and the Havasu (mentioned by Rittenhouse) on Main and Railroad Ave. (also gone), built to cater to those traveling by rail.
The National Old Trails Highway was routed along these streets in the 1910s but, when Route 66 was re-oriented along eastern Chino Street in 1933, the commercial buildings followed it: Car dealerships, service stations, curio shops and motel swere built along it. This is what (in part) survives until this day as the "Seligman Commercial Historic District".
It had its boom period for three decades until 1963, when news of the new Interstate stopped all new commercial construction in town.
Seligman Commercial Historic District
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
Get out of your car and get ready for a short walk. Start your tour at the eastern tip of town, visiting Seligman's Historic Commercial District on the Southeastern corner of Route 66 (East Chino St. and Lamport).
Snow Cap Drive-In
301 East Chino Street (East "Historic Route 66")
This is a "mom and pop" Route 66 Café that used an eye catching parapet on the roof with ice cream cones. It was built in 1953 by Juan Delgadillo and his family. He became part of the Snow Cap Drive-In chain of Prescott Arizona and sold their ice creams until the company went broke in 1997. Juan negotiated with them and became owner of the name, the last Snow Cap in operation.
Delgadillo's Snow Cap Drive-In
Head west and cross the road. You will reach an old service station:
Old Richfield Service Station
Now the J&R Mini Mart and Café
It was built in 1949 as the Richfield Gas Station and Garage owned by Joe Delgadillo. During that period it switched suppliers (to Mobil and Exxon).
When traffic dropped after I-40 opened the store became a grocery, Thai restaurant and finally a gift shop and mini-mart.
Street View, note the canopy over the gas pump port is still in place.
Next to it, is the original Texaco gas station sign that belonged to the service station that was in front of it, across Route 66, on the westbound traffic side of the road.
Angel & Vilma Delgadillo Gift Shop
22265 W. Historic Route 66.
(Street View).Built in 1914 it has two residences. Angel Delgadillo set up his pool hall and barber shop there in 1972 (note the striped barber pole on the facade). In 1987 it became the office of the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona and that led Angel (founder and president of the Association) to sell Route 66 souvenirs in his shop. This new business grew and took over the old pool hall part of the store. Read more at the the shop's website By clicking you will leave our Website. Come back soon!
Head west and on the corner of Floyd St. and Chino St. is the iconic Court Deluxe Motel.
22295 W. Historic Route 66
Built around 1932 in sandstone by Frank Campbell. It has been catering to travelers ever since, first as the "Court Deluxe" and later as the "Deluxe Motel" and the "Deluxe Inn".
You can Book a Room in this motel.
The 1930s postcard stated the following: "Steam Heat. Back of card: COURT DE LUXE, new, fireproof, on U. S. Highway No. 66 at SELIGMAN, ARIZONA. Two hours drive to the scenic Grand Canyon, three hours to Boulder Dam. Quiet, restful, attractively furnished, fireproof. Steam heated rooms with or without tub or shower baths and kitchenettes. For one or the family. Closed garages. Popular prices. Robert Jones, Manager".
A 1930s postcard showing the Court De Luxe (Motel)
The De Luxe Inn, Seligman, as it looks today
Keep on westwards, cross Floyd and see the refurbished remains of the Shell Service Station.
Shell Gas Station
It was Olson's Shell filling station and the place where Greyhound busses stopped in town. It dates back to 1961 and after closing in 1985 it reopened in 1998 as the Road Trip Museum ⁄ Return to the 50s Gift Shop. (Street View).
Next door to it is the Rusty Bolt, in a building from 1933, used over the years as a dry-cleaners, 24-7 restaurant and nowadays a curio shop.
There is a vacant lot next to it, where a cafe stood until it burned down in 1962. Cross Main St. and visit the Copper Cart.
103 W Chino Ave.
Built in 1952. The postcard below, from the 1960s advertises it: "THE COPPER CART RESTAURANT in Seligman, Arizona This is a delightful spot to stop for a meal when you ar e driving along U.S. Highway 66. With food comparable to that found in fine city eating places and with its clean and attractively decorated cafe and dining room, you'll want to make it a point to stop here for a meal."
See how it looked in the mid 1960s (date guessed, based on the cars parked in front of it).
Same sign, but moved now to the corner. The brick column and the cart shaped sign on the roof are also still there.
The Copper Cart today, still survives on Route 66
Next door is a building that is more than one hundred and ten years old:
Historic Seligman Sundries
115 East Chino St.
The building was erected in 1905 as the Pioneer Hall Theatre and Dancehall. When Route 66 opened in 1926 it switched to become a Soda Fountain, Trading post and drugstore, Ted's Fountain Trading Post. The postcard below, from the 1940s gives us an idea of what it sold: "Seligman AZ - Ted's Fountain Trading Post: Famous For Malts. RT66-2113", and on the back: "Navajo Rugs, Curios, Sundries. Back of card: The home of Ted's famous Malts is located halfway between Grand Canyon and Boulder Dam on Highway 66. Dealers in Navajo rugs and jewelry, Indian baskets and curios of many tribes. Elevation 5260. Distances from Seligman."
During the 1950s it had a neon sign shaped like a thunderbird. It is now a curio - souvenir shop and coffee house, the Historic Seligman Sundries.
Sundry. noun. Plural: sundries.
various items not important enough to be mentioned individually.
An old postcard (1940s) of Ted's Fountain Trading Post
Street View of the old Ted's Soda Fountain, now the The Historic Seligman Sundries
Cross Chino Ave (Route 66) and head west to 1st Street and then northwards along it tp the first corner (Schoney Ave). There you will see the Cottage Hotel.
Built in 1912, it is a registered historic building owned by the Seligman Historical Society.
Vintage 1915 photograph of the Cottage Hotel in Seligman
Greenlaw Photo Collection (Click for larger image)
Head back to Route 66, and on the corner of 1st St. is the Supai Motel:
22450 Route 66
An iconic Route 66 motel with its distinctive neon lighed sign. Opened in 1952
You can Book a Room in this motel.
The early 1950s postcard below states: "SUPAI MOTEL SELIGMAN, ARIZONA. Phone - 953. Seligman's newest and finest motel. (In center of City on Highway 66.) Tile baths, tubs or showers. Air-Conditioned by Frigidaire, panel type heat. Franciscan furniture, spring air mattresses, carpeted floors. Owned & Operated by Mr. and Mrs. H. Lanier."
An late 1950s postcard of the Supai Motel
Same Motel nowadays
Head eastwards and next door you will see another motel:
Built in 1962 it was called the Nomad Motel until it was renamed in 1970 as "Romney Motel" and is still open, accommodating guests. Street View).
Next to it is the Black Cat Bar:
Black Cat Bar
Tom and Maude Jolly owned the "Black Cat Café" on Railroad Ave. but when business moved to Route 66 they did the same in 1935 moving to the present location. Acquired by F. Hyde, he renamed it "Black Cat Buffet".
When US 66 was widened through town in 1963 the original building was demolished and replaced by a new one built behind it. It's still in operation. Street View.
Head east to Main Street and look north along it. You will spot two buildings: one on the northwest corner, now a grocery (see Blue arrow below) on 100 North Main Street and one across Main Street, the Old Post Office. A brick building with corbels on its front and side walls Red arrow below).
A 1940 photo looking along N. Main St. from Route 66
Arizona Archives Historic Photographs (Click for larger image)
On the northeastern corner of Main St. and Route 66 (Green arrow above) is one of the oldest buildings in Seligman: Central Commercial.
Pitts & Washington Central Commercial
(Street View). The store named Pitts & Washington was built by Jim Pitts in 1903. When Route 66 opened in 1926 it was acquired by the Commercial Company of Kingman and named Central Commercial. See a 1940 photo of it (with its canopy). After closing in 1965 it lost its canopy when Route 66 was widened the following year.
Head east along Route 66 and you will find the Canyon Lodge, which opened in 1963 and still caters to travelers. And next to it The 1933 building which was the Shell Station, formerly Dr. Conner's Garage and Olson's Chevrolet. Now the Road Runner.
Crossing Floyd St. is the historic Texaco Station.
222 East Chino St.
Built in 1936 it has housed many buildings but served mainly as a Texaco Station during the heyday of Route 66. It was also Donovan's Garage and later a Ford dealership. The white sign is the original one, and you can make out the word "TEXACO" under the white coat of paint.
It is pictured further up in this page.
Head west and after crossing Lamport St. you will reach the Aztec Motel.
22200 Route 66
The first structure was built in 19115 by Juan Delgadillo (the uncle of the Juan who owned the Snow Cap); he ran the motel with is wife, Pancha. The place also had a gas station and a restaurant.
It changed hands in 1955 and the place was remodelled. It has remained unchanged and in operation ever since. As you can see in the postcard below, the sign is basically the same.
The walking tour ends here.
A vintage postcard of the Aztec Motel
A view of the Aztec Motel today
Drive around Seligman
Eastwards: Bill Mar Den Motel
21455 West I-40 Business Loop
Get your car and drive east and you will reach the Stagecoach 66 Motel which still lodges travellers. When it opened in the early 1960s, it was named Bill Mar Den Motel, and its iconic sign is still there, a tribute to the designers of the 1960s.
You can Book a Room in this motel.
A detail of the Bill Mar Den Motel Sign in a 1960s postcard
www.66postcards.com (Click for larger image)
The motel was the location of a Ford TV commercial back in the 60s.
Westwards: Navajo Motel
22750 Route 66
Turn back and drive through the downtown area to the west end of town and visit what now is the Historic Route 66 Motel and in the past was the Navajo Motel, "NAVAJO MOTEL 15 Deluxe Units - individually controlled heat - tiled showers. Phone: 784 Mr. and Mrs. E. A. Shipsey Owners and Managers".
See a Vintage Postcard of the Motel.
Tours and Nearby places to visit
Grand Canyon Caverns
The Caverns are 26.5 miles west of Seligman along Route 66, Map of the itinerary.
The Cavern was discovered by chance when Walter Peck almost fell into a deep hole in 1927. He decided to make some money from it by lowering the tourists into the caves with a winch (named Yampai at that time and later renamed Coconino Caverns). Then he widened the entrance with stairs in the mid 1930s.
The place was renamed "Dinosaur Caverns" in 1957 and in 1962 the name change again to "Grand Canyon Caverns".
See the mummified 150 year old remainns of a bobcat, a recreation of an 18,000 year old Ground Sloth, whose bones were found in the cave. And tour the caverns 200 - 300 feet below the surface (now there's an elevator).
Read more at the Cavern's website By clicking you will leave our Website. Come back soon!
The Alignment of Old Route 66 Ash Fork to Seligman
Leaving Ash Fork
Map of the segment, it was used from 1926 to 1979. At I-40s Exit 144, the old alignment merges and disappears under the westbound lanes of the Interstate.
West of Ash Fork
The roadbed used from 1926 to 1965 then heads to the south side of I-40 and can be driven along a 3.2 mile segment (you can reach it from Exit 139). However its western tip is also under I-40; See the Map of this segment, below is what it looks like:
The 1926 to 1965 alignment of Route 66 west of Ash Fork as seen from the eastbound lanes of I-40
All the alignments then resurface at Exit 139, where they head towards Seligman as the Longest remaining segment of Route 66 in the whole of the U.S., and it ends at Topock on the Colorado River, at the California state line.
The Crookton Road segment
From Exit 139 westwards begins the 1920s to 1979 stretch of Route 66. It is known as Crookton Road as it heads straight towards Crookton Hill (6.3 miles away) and skirts around its base. The railway had set up a siding here and named it Crookton after General George Crook (1830-1890), who fought in the American Civil War and the Indian Wars.
Just before it curves around the hill, a fork opens to the right which is the pre-1940s alignment. Both meet again 0.8 miles west of the hill. See a map of the older alignment.
The road then curves to cross the railroad. To your right is the "old" 1930s bridge on the alignment used from 1920s until the 1930s.
The current roadbed was built in the 1930s and was Route 66 until 1979. Over the next few miles, the "old" pre-1930s alignment winds across the current road. (See a street view of it).
It heads into town (the road until 1930 went along Railway Ave. and Main St., as shown in Map Later it adopted the current alignemnt along Chino Street.
At the end of 1937, the Arizona Highway Department reported that the number of cars traveling on Route 66 that year with out-of-state plates numbered 514,332.
To relieve traffic congestion, the Highway Department widened 66 through Seligman in 1966.
The map below from 1951 shows the old Route 66 from Seligman to Kingman.
Note to the north, on the Colorado River, the "Bridge Canyon Dam Site" and the road linking it to the spot where Truxton would be founded that same year.
What are now known as "Grand Canyon Caverns" appear as "Coconino Caverns"; and "Hyde Park" appears on the map too.
> > See the previous segment Williams to Ash Fork
> > See the next segment Seligman to Peach Springs
> > See the full Williams to Kingman segment
Outdoors, National and State Parks
There are plenty of outdoor spots where you can enjoy nature close to Seligman.
You can visit the Grand Canyon, from Williams.
Beal Road (at Ash Fork)
Read about it at our Ash Fork page.
Special thanks to www.66postcards.com used under Fair Use.
Image Used as per Google Street View Image Api Updated Dec. 31, 2014.
Jack DeVere Rittenhouse, (1946). A Guide Book to Highway 66.
Historic Route 66 in Arizona All-American Road, National Scenic Byway, www.fhwa.dot.gov.