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Oklahoma's Woodland Queen

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Bristow is located on US 66 in Central Oklahoma. It has various Historic Route 66 sites:

But there are also other classic Mother Road sights and plenty to see and do in Bristow.

Get your Route 66 "Kicks" in Bristow OK during your road trip.

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Historic Route 66 in Bristow

Index to this page

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About Bristow, Oklahoma

Facts, Trivia and useful information

Elevation: 810 ft. (247 m). Population: 4,222 (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).

Bristow is in Creek County, and its nickname is "Woodland Queen", due to the surrounding area.

Bristow's History

For an early history of the region see Tulsa's History.

It began as a small trading post in the Creek Indian area of the Indian Territory in 1897. The following year the St. Louis and Oklahoma City Railroad (later the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway or Frisco) extended its line from Sapulpa to Oklahoma City and built a stop at the fledgling community.

Downtown Bristow:buildings, cars in a black and white photo c.1935
1930s Main St. and W 6th St. Bristow, Route 66. Credits

Same corner on Route 66 (Main) and W 6th nowadays.

Downtown Bristow: buildings, cars in a current color photo
Main St. and W 6th St. nowadays, Bristow, Route 66. Click for Street view

The first post office opened in 1898 and a school was built shortly after. By 1900 there were 626 residents . The following year, the town was officially founded and named Bristow.

When Oklahoma became a state in 1907 it competed with Sapulpa to be designated as County seat, but lost.

Its economy initially focused on the cotton industry (there were several cotton gins in the area, and also farm products. Oil was discovered in 1915 and boosted the economy until the mid 1920s. The town had three oil refineries at that time.

The Name: Bristow

Joseph Little Bristow (1861 - 1944) was the Fourth Assistant Postmaster General at that time, but later he served in the U.S. Senate, as Senator for Kansas from 1909 to 1915.

The surname is a deformation of the name of the English city of Bristol (switched "l" for "w"). In Old English means "brycg" = "bridge" and "stow" = "assembly place".

Route 66 was aligned through Bristow in 1926 by incorporating segments of the pre-existing Ozark Trail, which can still be driven along close to Bristow.

The Mother road brought business to town, the travelers along Route 66 needed to be catered to: garages, auto dealers and service stations were built, and many buildings survive until this day.

As Route 66 became overcrowded in the mid 1950s, the Turnpike was built, from Oklahoma City to Tulsa, and it replaced the old road, bypassing Bristow. Business declined. advertisement

Bristow Trivia

Gene Autry

Orvon Grover "Gene" Autry known as the Singing Cowboy (1907-1998), worked as a telegrapher for Frisco Railway at Bristow and also at Sapulpa, and Chelsea. It was at Chelsea where he was discovered by Will Rogers and became famous on the radio, TV and movies as a singing cowboy. His career which began in the 1930s and spanned 30 years.

Autrey was the top country-western star of his time, and he played his guitar live on the local radio station.

Oklahoma's First Radio Station

The very first radio station in the state of Oklahoma operated in Bristow in January 1925 at the Roland Hotel; it was KRFU known as "The Voice of Oklahoma". It moved to Tulsa in 1927.

Brick Roads

The town has more brick-paved streets than any other town in Oklahoma

Where to Stay: Find your hotel in Bristow

There are several hotels in town and also in nearby towns along Route 66

> > Book your Hotel in Tulsa or in Stroud

Lodging Near Bristow

Heading East

Heading West

>> There is an RV campground in Bristow, and nearby in Sapulpa

Weather in Bristow

Route 66: Bristow, Oklahoma location map

Location of Bristow on Route 66

Bristow has a temperate climate with occasional thunderstorms, hail and tornados, mostly during summer.

Average temperature in January is 49.5°F (high) and 24°F (low), that is 9.7 & -4.5°C. The average high and low for July are 95 and 69°F (35 & 21°C).

Rainfall is around 37.2 inches (945 mm) annually with most rain falling during summer and spring (May, June and September.

Snowfall: snow may fall at any time between November and March, and about 9.5 in. (24.1 cm) fall every year.


Tornado Risk in Bristow. The town is set insided the "Tornado Alley" in Oklahoma and faces about 10 Tornado watches every year.

Read more about: Tornado Risk along Route66.

Map of Route 66 through Bristow Oklahoma

All the alignments of Route 66 through Bristow.

concrete culvert among bushes on old closed roadway of US66

One of the old bridges on the 1926-28 US66, credits

  • 1926-28 Roadbed. Followed Main, crossed the railroad and ran along its south side, then crossed the Deep Fork River and the Little Deep Fork (the original 1913 bridge is still there, read more below), as shown in this map, now there is a "missing section" in private property, with two now abandoned concrete bridges (see the maps of bridge 1 and bridge 2), the alignment is marked with a black line in this map.
  • After 1928. It turned west along 4th St and south on Roland keeping on the north side of the railroad (see map).
    The bridge over Catfish Creek was replaced in 1940 and when it was replaced for a second time in 1995, it was moved south a few feet (pink line in the map).

Route 66 Alignment near Bristow

Visit our pages with old maps and plenty of information of the old US 66 roadway.

Route 66 landmarks & attractions

Sights in Bristow

  • In Bristow: Route 66 City tour, read below
  • State Parks

Bristow Attractions

Jack DeVere Rittenhouse described the whole of US 66 in his 1946 work "Guide Book to Highway 66". He also included Bristow.

BRISTOW... garages: 66 Motor Co. and Bristow Motor Co.; courts: Mac's, Brayton's, Thurman's, Rest-Well, and Bristow Court & Trailer Park; Roland Hotel Jack DeVere Rittenhouse, 1946

As usual, we will begin our tour on the eastern side of the city, and head west.

Davis Texaco

To your right, just after passing the interstate. It dates back to the 1960s, with two service bays with multi-window doors and a flat canopy held up by two slender steel poles. The canopy and oblong-box building have three green lines as the Texaco decoration. The walls are white enamel panels. Now it is the "Garden Shop".

gas station, 2 service bays, canopy and office an 1960s Texaco
1960s Davis Texaco Bristow, Route 66. Click for St. view

Mainer Ford neon sign

retro looking neon sign atop auto dealership at night lit up

Retro looking neon sign atop Mainer Ford. Click for St. view

Drive west into the city, ahead the boulevard with its grass median becomes a wide avenue. Here to your right is the site of "Thurman's court" mentioned by Rittenhouse, now occupied by the two story Spirit Bank building.

Ahead, to your right is a modern Ford dealership built in 2010 by Bolin Ford Co. dealership, to replace their original 1970s premises. It was acquired in 2019 by Mainer Ford. It has a classic design, with red brick walls and yellow brick inlays, crested parapet, curved showroom and a great neon sign topping the building.

It blends in with the adjacent 1927 W.E. Krumrei building and the historic 1928 Bristow Motor Co. on the following corner.

The Bristow Motor Company Building

On the NE corner of W 10th Ave at500 N Main, Bristow, OK.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

The first auto dealership in Creek County, that opened in 1923.
It is a one-story 1920s Commercial style building constructed in brick and limestone located on a key corner in downtown Bristow. It featured large windows to display the cars it sold (replaced later with modern aluminum windows).

A local 1954 advertisement says "List Motors Your Friendly Ford Dealer, at that time it sold Conoco gasoline as you can see in the "Then and Now" image sequence below.

brick building one floor on corner in black and white 1954 advertisement
1954 advertisement "List Motors" in Bristow, Route 66. Credits
red brick one story building on a corner, old Ford dealership
Historic Bristow Motors building nowadays, Route 66. Click for St. view

On 10th and Main was the now defunct Vic Hodge's D-X service station (1954), later Vic's Phillips 66 (in 1963) and in 1967 it became Wyatt's D-X. Now gone.

On the following street, on the SW corner of 9th and Main is a former gas station and historic site.

Bristow Firestone Service Station

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

To your left at 321 North Main. It is an Art Deco style brick building built in 1930, that served as a filling station during the heyday of Route 66. It is a one-story L-shaped (85 by 75 feet) structure with a modern geometric design and four service bays.

It was built by was constructed by the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company. It had different owners over the years. In 1954 it had become Jones "66" Service Store, selling GE Appliances, Lee Tires, Phillips gasoline, and Fulmer seat cover. It was managed by Pat Jones (pictured below).

brick gas station on corner in black and white 1954 advertisement
1954 advertisement "Jones Station" in Bristow, Route 66. Credits
brick, one story building on a corner, old gas station
Historic Firestone Service Station nowadays, Route 66. Click for St. view

Across the street from Jones, on the NW corner was Pete Dodson's Fina Station (320 Main) and Hi-Way Cafe was next to it (316 Main).

Beard Motor Company

Take a short side trip by turning left and driving 700 ft eastwards along 9th St. to visit another historic site. To your right, just after the tracks, at 210 East 9th St.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Beard Motor Co. was built in a Streamline Moderne, in brick, with curved corner.
It housed a car dealership, a filling station, and a repair shop, it opened in 1947.
It had linear motifs in tiles and large display windows for the cars it sold. As it was not located on the busy Route 66, it had to draw customers by resorting to a 75 foot-tall tower resembling an oil rig with the words "Chrysler and Plymouth" on it. It attracted those driving along Route 66 (pictured below).

It was owned by World War II pilot Hubert "Red" Beard and Watt Henry.

sign atop a tower on an old auto dealership

Beard Motor Co. neon sign. Click for St. view, credits

access to museum and Railway depot from Main St. glazed steep roof, station at the back

Bristow's refurbished old station. Click for St. view, credits

Head west along Main and on the 100s block of Main St., to your left is the "Bristow Historical Train Depot & Museum and Town Square" (pictured above)

Bristow Historical Train Depot & Museum, and Town Square

At One Railroad Placem, the museum is right beside Route 66, housed in the restored railroad depot built in 1923. (Gene Autrey worked here.)

Roland Hotel

Turn right along W 6th Ave. and on the second block, to yor right, at 119 W 6th, is the former Roland Hotel mentioned by Rittenhouse. It was built in 1923 by Rollestsone and Freeland, two oilmen. It hosted KFRU, the "first radio in the state of Oklahoma". Gene Autry broadcast some of his live shows from the hotel.

color postcard, cars and hotel c.1950s
Late 1950s postcard Roland Hotel Bristow, Route 66. Credits
long three story brick building
Former Roland Hotel, Bristow Route 66. Click for St. view

Retrace your steps back to Main and head west.

Bristow Conoco

On the NW corner of Main and W 5th Ave. This station is mentioned as a "Champlin" but in my opinion it is a Conoco.

It has a detached folded plate canopy (later addition), and a series of features that are typical of Conoco stations from the 1950s to 1970: wall extends off outwards from the edge of building, adjacent to service bay (left side), wide eaves extend flat roof outwards around office and garge, glazed panels on top of the narrow fixed transoms that are above the large display windows and main entrance. Narrow slit-like opening on wall next to door (night window?), compare picture below with this Conoco postcard.

1950s gas station, former Conoco
Former Conoco filling Station, Bristow Route 66. Click for St. view


On the corner (NE) of Main and W 4th, where Route 66 takes a sharp turn to the right. This is a classic "Rock Frame" style station, that had three service bays whose doors are now windows. The corner office has large slanted plate glass windows and a stone (rock) wall, the feature that gave this type of design its name: Rock Frame stations. They were adopted by Phillips 66 in the early 1950s and replaced the older designs. Now a Subway with a shingle mansard roof. Pictured below.

now a Subway, formerly a gas station

Old Phillips 66, Bristow US66. Click for St. view

old 1920s a gas station

Vintage 1920s station, Bristow US66. Click for St. view

Vintage 1920s station

On the south side of Route 66, facing the Phillips66, it is a small building with a hipped roof. The detached canopy over the single pump island is new, but the brick building is a "house" style, and may date back to the 1920s. Pictured above.

From here you can take a short 0.8 mi round trip (map) to visit a "Gull Wing" Phillips 66 station.

Bristow Phillips 66 Gull Wing station

301 E 1st Ave, Bristow

The old station is now Okie Auto Sales, and still has the slanted, wing-like canopy with its supporting apex column, that gives these stations their name. The office has been modified and has lost the plate glass windows. The garage, with two bays has also been modified, losing its original doors.

Bristow Oklahoma. Phillips 66 Gull Wing

Gull wing gas station, with canopy, pumps, garage and office
The Bristow Gull Wing station. Click image for Street View

Head back to your starting point and follow Route 66 westwards, to visit a historic gas station.

Bristow Tire Shop

To your right, at 115 West 4th St., Bristow, OK.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Built in Italian Renaissance Revival style, it is a brick building with arched windows, built in 1923. It has a hipped roof with two massive brick columns supporting the canopy over the pumps. It is L-shaped with service bays to the left. The tin roofing imitates clay tiles.

This former station was built around 1923 and sold locally produced gas for the Wilcox Oil Co. It is now occupied by Bristow Tire & Auto Service. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Place

It originally sold Wilcox products refined locally in Bristow. Don't miss the pressed-tin ceiling beneath the canopy.

1920s gas station gable roof and canopy
Historic Bristow Tire Shop gas station, Bristow Route 66. Click for St. view

Texaco Service Station

On the next block (NW corner), also to your right, at 201 West 4th.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

This builidng dates back to 1923 and has been altered after being listed (as you can see by comparing the Then and Now images), but still maintains some of its original features. It was an L-shaped one-story building of the Moderne "house with bays" style service station. A canopy supported by steel columns faced W 4th St., covering the service bays.

The Art Moderne style with its streamlined shapes portrayed Texaco brand image as being high-tech. The advertisement below, published in 1954 is captioned "Dude Adcock Texaco Service Station".

black and white advert from 1954 of the historic Texaco
Historic Bristow Texaco gas station, Bristow Route 66. Credits

This is a then and now view of the Texaco. The room on the left (red arrow) was added after 1954, and is still there.

black and white photo c.1970s Texaco Service Station

Historic Texaco Service Station c.1970, credits

former 1920s Texaco Service Station

Historic Texaco Service Station now, click for St. view

Two vintage motels

Across the street, to your left, on the south side of Route 66, you will see two former motels, maybe those mentioned by Rittenhouse, that have been repurposed.

The first one is a U-Haul, the building is located at the back of the property, it was U-shaped but both side wings have been torn down (red arrows in first image). You can also see this layout in the second image (blue arrow marks the extant building), the picture was taken in 1985, and it also shows Adcock's Texaco on the upper right corner (red arrow). This aerial photo taken in 1980 shows it (U in the middle of the picture).

long gable roof building behind a central parking area

Old Tourist Court, Bristow US66. Click for St. view

black and white picture of city landscape taken from a high point

1985 photo showing motel and Texaco. Bristow US66. Credits

Next to it is the second motel. With a linear layout, north-to-south (red arrow image below). Now it serves as an apartment complex. Pictured below.

long gable roof building

Another Tourist Court, Bristow US66. Click for St. view

gable roof building a cafe and restaurant on Route 66

Anchor Drive Inn, Bristow US66. Click for St. view

Anchor Drive Inn

Written with a final double N, it was a drive Inn. Their advertisements (like this one published in 1954), stated "Come in for a light snack. George and Margaret are here to serve you.".

Your Route 66 City Tour through Bristow ends here.

You can head west along Route 66 towards Depew and drive the Bristow US 66 alignments.

Natural Attractions & State Parks

Heyburn Lake Park

It is a reservoir on Polecat Creek just northeast of Bristow. Ideal for fishing, trekking, swimming, boating. Camping is allowed and there is an RV park. More details: Heyburn Lake website

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> > Book your Hotel in Stroud

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Banner image: Hackberry General Store, Hackberry, Arizona by Perla Eichenblat
Jack DeVere Rittenhouse, (1946). A Guide Book to Highway 66
Jim Ross Historic US 66 Bridge Database 1926-85
Linda D. Wilson Bristow, Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture
Tire Shop Historic place registration form. NPS
Texaco station Historic place registration form. NPS

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