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Valentine

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Historic School and mythical Post Office

The small community of Valentine is known for its Historic Valentine School, the Crozier Canyon resort (now abandoned), and the Valentine Post Office with the Union 76 service station and Chief's Motel.

Valentine AZ

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About Valentine, Arizona

Facts, Trivia and useful information

Elevation 4,347 ft (1.326 m). Population 38 (2000).
Time zone: Mountain (MST): UTC minus 7 hours. Summer (DST) no DST⁄ PDT (UTC-7).

Valentine is a very small village in central Mohave County, in the northwestern part of Arizona, located on Route 66. (Map of Valentine).

Abandoned Service Station in Valentine

old abandoned service station in Valentine, on Route 66,  Arizona
Service Station close to Valentine's old Post Office in, Valentine, Arizona, by A. Whittall From Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

History

Robert G. Valentine photo

Robert G. Valentine: the town was named after him

For the prehistoric and Spanish - Mexican history of this area, check our Peach Springs page.

After the U.S. took this territory from Mexico, the government commissioned Captain Lorenzo Sitgreaves (1810 - 1888) to explore what is now Valentine (1851). He was followed by Lt. Edward "Ned" Fitzgerald Beale (1822-1893), who surveyed a wagon trail in 1857, to link Arkansas with California.

Once the local Hualapai natives had been defeated and relocated in a reservation, the railway built its tracks along Beale's trail through what would become Valentine (1883).

Settlement began with the opening of the Truxton Canyon Training school (which we describe below.

The National Old Trails highway passed through Valentine in the 1910s and became Route 66's alignment in 1926, providing a steady flow of travelers until it was bypassed by I-40 in 1979.

Where to Stay near Valentine

Spend a night in Peach Springs, close to Valentine at its Hotel:

>> Book your Hotel in neighboring Peach Springs

More Lodging Near Valentine along Route 66

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>> RV campgrounds close to Valentine

Weather in Valentine

The weather in Valentine is sunny and dry. Summers are hot and winters cold. It has around 280 sunny days per year.

Average summer temperature: High (Jul) 97° (36.1°C) and low 58°F (14.4°C). Average winter temperature: Low (Jan) of 27.8°F (-2.3°C) and high 53°F (11.7°C).

Not much snow falls in Valentine, some 3 in. (7.5 cm). Rainfall is around 11 inches (280 mm) yearly, with summer being the rainy season.

Route 66 and Valentine, AZ
Location of Valentine on Route 66

Tornado risk

As it is west of the Rocky Montains there are virtually no tornados in Valentine.

Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
 

Getting to Valentine

You can reach Valentine along Historic Route 66 in Arizona from Selimgan (east) or Kingman (west) and reach those towns via I-40.

Map of Route 66 in Valentine

, Arizona.

The map below shows the different alignments of Route 66 near Valentine; the color key is for Valentine only, and 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 Valentine
Red: I-40, where it covers the old roadbed of Route 66.
Blue: The old alignment of Route 66 that can be seen but not driven close to Valentine.

See Route 66's alignment in Arizona Map

  Click to See the "Lupton to Williams" alignment (Eastern Part of US 66 in Arizona)

Remove or restore State shading
 

Google Maps. Terms. Icons.

Route 66's alignment in Arizona: the Historic Route 66 through Valentine

Route 66 logo

Route 66 across Arizona

U.S. Route 66 was been designated an All-American Road and National Scenic Byway in the state of Arizona.

The section of Route 66 that runs from Seligman, goes through Valentine, and ends at Topock on the Arizona - California state line 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 near Valentine.

Sights and Attractions in Valentine, Arizona

What to Do, Places to See

Famous for its School and Post Office

Valentine has the Valentine Post Office, the Historic school and the remains of Chief's Motel, the remains of the 7-V Ranch Resort at Crozier Canyon and some old service stations like the Union 76.

Historic context, the classic Route 66 in Truxton

Jack DeVere Rittenhouse drove the whole of Route 66 gathering information for his book, published in 1946 ("A Guide Book to Highway 66"), of course he drove by Valentine and had the following to say about it:

He noted the change from the relatively flat area east of Valentine to the abrupt relief at Crozier Canyon, there the "road begins to wind through" the Canyon.

Rittenhouse mentions Crozier Canyon as "a settlement down in the canyon" and notes that the older alignment of Route 66 "ran through this canyon community", he adds that there was a swimming pool at the former resort.

He adds that the road has several cuts along the canyon and places the post office 16 miles west of Peach Springs adding that there was a "gas station, grocery and a few cabins" there. The Valentine Indian School is 2 miles further down the road.

It is clear that the modern village of Valentine right beside the school is not the classic Route 66 community. The location of the 1946 village is two miles further north, at what is now (see Map) the Keepers of the Wild Nature Park.

He has nothing more to add until reaching Hackberry,4 miles west of Valentine.

City Tour in Valentine

Actually Valentine is not a city, its is a dispersed Village with several small groups of houses. The history of the town explains this layout.

There was a day school in neighboring Hackberry, established in 1894 by the Massachusetts Indian Asociation. Its purpose was to "civilize" the natives and instill Christian values in them. It was however an instrument of forced assimilation of the native people. But it was too far from the Hualapai tribe and worse still, two students had died in Albuquerque after being mistakenly sent there by the authorities.

A new school was needed and that led to the creation of the Truxton Canyon Indian School.

Historic School in Valentine

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

the old Schoolhouse at Valentine Arizona

The Historic Valentine School Credits.
Click on image for a Street View

The Truxton Canyon Training school was created by President McKinley in 1898. He also created a reserve of 795 acres in George Aitken's ranch in "Truxton Canyon", next to the railroad, to provide easy access for teachers and supplies.

A siding was built there and named "Truxton".

The school itself opened in 1901 and the schoolhouse was built in 1903. It was a boarding house for boys and girls who lived there from September to May.

It was expanded in 1924 and again in 1927 and 1929. Its bricks were manufactured on site by the Hualapai students.

After closing in 1937, two of the three main buildings were demolished. The fields cultivated by students went fallow and the settlement withered. It is now owned by the Hualapai Indian Nation.

Over the 36 years of its existence, it educated around 750 students. Non-Indian children used another building, the Red Schoolhouse from 1924 to 1969.

The many names of Valentine

The canyon and the station (1898) and later (1901) the Post Office at the School, were known as Truxton, in turn named after the springs that fed the stream flowing through it.

The spring in turn had been named by surveyor Edward Fitzgerald Beale in 1857 after his son Truxtun Beale (1856 – 1936); named after his grandfather, Commodore Thomas Truxtun. Later Truxtun became Truxton.

The Route 66 town of Truxton did not exist in those days as it was founded in 1951.

In 1910, the township near the School and the shool site was renamed Valentine, after Robert G. Valentine, who had been the Commissioner of Indian Affairs from 1909 to 1912.

Township of Valentine

Since the school was located in the Truxton Canyon Indian subagency and federal regulations prohibited commercial enterprises close to Indian schools, these established themselves beyond the "reservation", in the township mentioned by Rittenhouse, 2 miles north of the school, and also, to the south of it. The current village next to the tracks developed later.

The first building at "Valentine" was a stop named "Oasis Store" as it was located beside a spring on the 1940 - 1979 alignment of Route 66.

The buildings there, like the Oasis and a Texaco Service Station have long been razed. Now there is an animal sanctuary at this location:

Keepers of the Wild

This is a sanctuary home for almost 150 wild animals, both indigenous or exotic. It provides a safe home for animals that are rescued, given up by their owners or handed over by animal welfare organizations. You will find tigers, lions and monkeys here. It isopen to the public 6 days a week.

Read more at the Keepers of the wild website By clicking you will leave our Website. Come back soon!

Then and Now at the old Valentine township

A Photo looking north along Route 66 towards Valentine, Arizona

old photo of the Route 66 looking north towards Valentine Arizona
The view north along Route 66, with the Texaco service station on the left, Valentine Arizona, by

There were more trees in the past, and the Keepers of the Wild now occupy the place where the Texaco once stood.

The same spot, looking north along Route 66, the Texaco has gone

Valentine Township of the 1940s on Route 66 today
The same place (Valentine township of the 1940s) on Route 66 today
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

Tours and Nearby places to visit

Crozier Canyon

Head north from the Schoolhouse. The old canyon remains are 3.2 mi. away (Map with directions).

Ghost Town and Former Resort

Elevation 3,971 ft. (1.211 m). Pop. zero.

Crozier Canyon (Map with location) was not actually a town or even a village, it was a resort and

This was the trail followed by Beale during his 1857 expedition to California. The first settlement here was the Crozier Canyon Ranch, established on the Beale Wagon Trail in 1872. It was later owned by Sam Crozier. The ranch itself was built in 1887.

The Name: Crozier

The place was named after the territorial legislator Sam Crozier (1840-1901), who purchased the land in 1880. He had found the Hackberry Mine to the west of Crozier.

This canyon is carved in granite and topped with layers of lava, fillin valleys and ridges. It was a rather recent (in geological terms) event. Truxton wash cut through it deeply forming Crozier Canyon.

The canyon had a convenient grade for the railroad so the tracks followed it. Hoewever, the stream that carved the canyon, which was mostly dry, flooded in 1904 and led to the relocation of the tracks in higher ground.

The 7-V Ranch Resort

The National Old Trails (N.O.T.) highway was also built along the Canyon, following the railroad in 1913. It was then that the new owners of the property, the Grounds, built a tourist resort for the wary travelers.

The green spot, with trees next to the dry wash had a swimming pool and a rest area for picnics.

Route 66 was aligned on the N.O.T. in 1926 and as traffic increased, the complex expanded to cope with it. Edward Carrow built eight cabins with two units each, on the western side of the resort. The complex was named "7-V Ranch Resort" or "7-V Bar". There was a even bus stop there.

But in 1937 Crozier Creek flooded again and badly damaged Route 66 and devastated most of the complex.

Route 66 was realigned to the west, along its current roadbed, on higher ground, bypassing the site, which rebuilt in part later housed railroad workers before being shuttered.

The Cabins and the bridge at Crozier

The cabins can still be seen and are now used as storage sheds. The other buildings lie on private property, as does the old Route 66 bridge north of the cabins.

The last segment of Route 66 to be paved in Arizona was the one by the mouth of the canyon, in 1937.

A 1930s postcard showing the resort on Route 66 in Crozier Canyon

Crozier Canyon in a 1930s postcard Crozier Route 66,  Arizona
Crozier Canyon in a 1930s postcard, Seligman, Arizona, by

The postcard above shows the dry stream and the bridge (front left), the bus stop next to it and, on the right side, the red-roofed cabins, which are still there. Modern Route 66 passes by the point where the photo was taken from.

You can see a Street view of the site today (notice the cabins).

The 1930s concrete bridge on the abandoned aligment of Route 66 in Crozier Canyon, AZ
View of the concrete bridge on Old Route 66
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

Old 1930s bridge

You can see the old concrete bridge on the pre-1937 alignment, as viewed from the modern roadbed located further west of it.

South of Valentine's School

Head back southwards, pass the school, and 2 miles after passing the school, where the road begins a wide curve towards the west, you will reach another group of homes and some abandoned service stations. This was the sight of the now closed "Valentine Post Office".

On the south side of the road to the left is an old empty service station, pictured at the top of this page.

Across the road, to your left, are the remains of the Chief's Motel a motel from the 1930s-50s period, but now completely abandoned as you can see in the image.

The remains of the Chief's Motel in Valentine, AZ
View of the remains of Chief's Motel
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

Valentine and its post office

Head west for 0.2 miles and to the left, on the south side of Route 66 is an abandoned Union 76 Service Station, the post office once stood next to it. This is the story:

Valentine's first post office opened in 1901 at the site of the School, within the Indian Agency land. It was named "Truxton" after the station.

In 1910 it was renamed Valentine after the town.

When the school closed in 1937 the post office moved to the township located to the south, along Route 66.

The post office used a postmark with Cupid's arrow, despite the fact that it was not named after Saint Valentine but a Named after the Commissioner of Indian Affairs.

Valentine's post office used to recieve mail which was postmarked and remailed as a "A Valentine from Valentine, Arizona", but tragedy struck and ended this tradition.

On August 15, 1990 Mrs. Jacqueline Ann Grigg, the postmistress was murdered by a teenager who robbed the post ($40 in cash and $800 in postal money orders) office and stole her car. He was later sentenced to life.

After the crime, the post office, which was next to the Union 76 service station operated by Mr. and Mrs. Grigg, was closed. Shortly after, the widower tore down the post office's building.

But the Kingman Post Office has the old Valentine AZ, postmark and uses it to stamp mail upon request. (its address is: 1901 Johnson Ave., Kingman).

Valentine Arizona postmark

Cupid postmark from Valentine Arizona. Credits

Valentine Day letters

February 14th celebrates Saint Valentine's Day which honors the Christian imprisoned by the Romans for marrying soldiers. Prior to his execution, he cured the daughter of his jailer, a girl named Asterious and wrote a note to her, signining it "Your Valentine".

In the United States, almost 200 million cards are posted each year on Valentine's Day to loved ones.

The post office at Valentine was part of this ritual for decades.

Site of the old post office, beside this Union 76 service station in Valentine AZ.

The Union 76 service station in Valentine AZ
Closed Union 76 Service Station at Valentine AZ.
Static Image by Google Street View
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

The Alignment of Old Route 66 in Valentine

route 66 shield Arizona
Peach Springs to Truxton

It is 8.5 miles from Peach Springs to Truxton all of it along the 1940 - 1979 alignment of Route 66.

Two miles (2 mi.) west of Peach Springs the pre-1950s US 66 roadbed can be seen as it splits towards the north side of the current alignment and then curves, crossing it, and passing towards the south of it, running more or less parallel to it.

This old alignment cannot be driven nowadays but you could walk it (be careful of trespassing private property). It passes behind the Indian High School and meets the current alignment (1950s- 1979) close to the western boundary of the Indian Reservation. You can see it in the map above, in Blue and in this street view.

The road then enters Truxton and continues with only one alignment up to Crozier Canyon.

The map below from 1951 does not show Truxton, which was established that same year. But it does show both Crozier and Valentine.

Route 66 from Seligman to Kingman in a 1951 map Arizona
Route 66 in a 1951 (Shell) map from Seligman to Kingman www.davidrumsey.com
Crozier Canyon Section

At Crozier Canyon the 1926-1937 roadbed had a different alginment to the current one. It was located further east, and can be seen in the map above, in Blue. The Old concrete bridge can still be seen on the old roadbed.

But after the former recreation area was damaged by the floods in 1937, the road was moved to higher ground, to the west of the railroad.

The old alignment, to the east of the tracks, ran all the way into Valentine station, as shown in this Map, its length is 3 miles.

Both alignments meet again in front of the Historic School and continue together until the junction of Route 66 and Hackberry Rd., south of Valentine, where the route takes a western course before heading towards the N.W. through Hackberry.

 

> > See the previous segment Peach Springs to Truxton

> > 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 Valentine, from neighboring Peach Springs you can visit the Grand Canyon and go rafting along the Colorado River at Diamond Creek or enjoy the Grand Canyon Caverns along Route 66.

You can also drive up to the Grand Canyon, from Williams.

Sources

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.

Image by Vítězslav Válka adapted under its CC BY-SA 3.0 CZ License

Map Icons by Nicolas Mollet under its CC BY SA 3.0 License