About Clinton, Oklahoma
Facts, Trivia and useful information
Elevation: 1,565 ft (477 m) . Population: 9,033 (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).
Clinton is located in south central area of Custer County in western Oklahoma. It also spreads into Washita Co., to the south. Its motto is "Hub City of Western Oklahoma".
Route 66 Museum Clinton, Oklahoma
Although Oklahoma has been occupied for more than 10,000 years, the Indian tribes that lived here just before the land was settled by European Americans was the outcome of the U.S. government's policy regarding Native Americans.
Starting in the 1820s, the government gave Indians new lands in exchange for their former territories in the East. The policy was to remove them west, so it created the Indian Territory west of Kansas and established reservations there.
But the demand for land led to a change in policy. The Dawes Act of 1887 laid down that the natives had to be assimilated. So in 1891 the reservations were dissolved: and the individual tribe members were given a 160-acre plot each. The surplus tribal land was then purchased by the U.S. government for future settlement.
Cheyennes & Arapahos
The Cheyenne had originally lived near the Great Lakes in Minnesota and moved towards the Great Plains in the 1700s. The Arapaho lived in Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota and Canada. Both nations met in the plains and formed an alliance whose territory ranged from Texas to Montana. Despite signing a treaty with the U.S. government (1868) which guaranteed the integrity of their traditional lands, European settlers intruded on their territory. This caused conflict. A second treaty was signed (1867) promising the Arapaho a Reservation in Kansas, but they opted to move with the Cheyenne to a reservation in Oklahoma.
Cheyenne Arapaho Opening
3.5 million acres of land were opened for settlement by the U.S. government on April 19, 1892. The settlers rushed to the Oklahoma Territory for their homestead in the former Arapaho-Cheyenne Reservation.
By the end of the "opening", almost 80% of the land remained unclaimed, and by 1892 only 7,600 people had settled there.
The town is located on the Washita River, It began as a railway junction named "Washita Junction", four miles south of the County seat, Arapaho, where the north to south "Frisco" railroad crossed the east to west running Rock Island Railway.
Elvis Presley Trivia
Elvis Presley once stayed at the Trade Winds Courtyard Inn.
The townsite was platted in 1899. Sale began in June 1903 by Washita Townsite Co. on land owned by Native Cheyenne. They were authorized by the U.S. Congress to sell part of their land to the townsite company.
Although the area had been opened in the 1892 Cheyenne-Arapaho Land Run, the land had remained in the hands of the natives after it was sold to the individual tribe members prior to the Run.
Arapaho residents feared competition from a strategically located town so they took the issue to court and lost. The Judge Clinton Irwin ruled in favor of the townsite company.
The name: Clinton
Clinton was the name of the judge (Clinton Irving) that defeated the lawsuit filed by the town of Arapaho against the new town wich would become Clinton. That is how Washita Junction became Clinton.
A post office opened in 1903 and the town grew based on farming (cotton and corn). It still is a farming and ranching town. Route 66 passed through it when it was created in 1926, and only in 1971 was it bypassed by I-40.
Clinton is known for its high school football team, the "Red Tornadoes", who have won 16 state championships.
Where to Stay
Book your hotel in Clinton
> > Book your Hotels in Clinton.
Lodging Near Clinton along Route 66
>> There are RV campgrounds in Clinton.
Winter average low is (Jan) 25°F (-4°C) and the average high is 50°F (10°C).
The summer (Jul) average low is 69°F (21°C) and the average high is 95°F (35°C).
Rainfall is 26.5 in. (673 mm) per year and the rainiest month are May (5.1 inches - 130 mm) and June (3.5 mm - 89 mm).
There are some 52 Rainy days every year and the relative humidity is around 61%.
Some 10 inches (25.4 cm) of snow fall every year from October to March, most of it during Jan. and Feb. (over 2 in. - 5 cm each).
Clinton is located in Oklahoma's "Tornado Alley and experiences about 12 Tornado watches every year.
Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
Getting to Clinton
Map of Route 66 through Clinton Oklahoma
Display Clinton Route 66 Map
Click Map will appear below
Route 66's alignment in Oklahoma: the Historic Route 66 through Clinton
Route 66 in Oklahoma
Click to read the Full description of Route 66 across Oklahoma.
Read below for more information on Route 66's alignment in Clinton.
Route 66 landmarks & attractions
Sights in Clinton
Main Street was Route 66
Route 66 passed through Clinton and it still has several Vintage gas stations. Its Route 66 Museum is the most complete museum along Route 66 full of iconic stuff so you can relive Route 66's heyday.
Start your tour on the eastern side of town:
Old Rio Siesta Motel
The 1955 Rio Siesta Motel in Clinton, Oklahoma, with its cozy gabled roof units is still standing at the eastern tip of Clinton:
Rio Siesta Motel 1990s video Clinton, Oklahoma
Still the same, but lacking its lovely neon sign, which is being safely stored with many other dozens of neon signs and billboards in a warehouse for the future Billboard Museum.
Rio Siesta today Clinton, Oklahoma
Head west to the Glancy Motel:
217 W Gary Blvd, Clinton
Back in the 1940s owned by Mr. and Mrs. Chester Glancy, their postcard read "We want you to spend a night in these beautiful modern air conditioned courts... on 66 short cut" (short cut was the US 66 alignment that circled round the town instead of going through it).
The motel was revamped with a 1960s space age look later as you can see in the postcard below and its current appearance has not changed since then:
Glancy Motel Clinton, Oklahoma
A vintage postcard of them motel:
Glancy Motel postcard Clinton, Oklahoma
Head south along 4th Street.
Old Service Station
Opal Ave. and S 4th St.
Old gas station, Clinton, click image for Street view
Located on the south side of town, where two main highways met, US 66 on Opal Ave. and US 183 along South 4th Ave.
Head west along Opal Ave, pass by an abandoned motel (behind Wongs Chinese restaurant), this is its Street View.
Then, as Opal Ave. curves to meet S 10th St., look ahead at the Historic Park:
Historic McLain Rogers Park
The park sits on Route 66 at the intersection of S. 10th St. and Bess Rogers Dr.
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
The Federal goverment's Works Progress Administration (WPA) employed the jobless workers of Clinton in several emergency projects. One of them was the McLain Rogers Park, named after Clinton's mayor, built between 1934 and 1937.
Historic McLain Rogers Park Clinton, Oklahoma
It was a 12 acre park with an Art Deco acces gate on Bess Rogers Drive. It had tennis courts, baseball field, picnic facilities and a bathouse. A highway patrol building was added in 1941 to police the traffic along Route 66.
723 S. 13th St. and Opal Ave. Next to the Park
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
Another WPA project built between 1935 and 1937. This single story brick building with concrete details was constructed in typical WPA Deco style.
See its Street View
Continue westbound along 10th St. and to your right, just ahead is a classic US 66 Motel:
Former Home on the Range
1116 S 10th St, Clinton, OK
On the south (western) side of town, it is stil operating as a motel, though now it is the "Relax Inn", it was located on what was Route 66 from 1926 to 1958
Home on the Range Motel postcard Clinton, Oklahoma
This is the motel in a vintage postcard:
Relax Inn, former Home on the Range Motel Clinton, Oklahoma
Continue with a wester course, passing under I-40 at Exit 65 A. Here is the 1926 US 66 alignment, as Neptune Dr. just ahead the road splits, with US 66 taking the right side fork. Here is the Historic Y Service Station, at the fork:
Y Service Station
1733 Neptune Drive, Clinton, OK. (NW corner of W Wade and Choctaw Ave.)
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
Vintage 1930's Route 66 Service Station and Cafe at a key location in Clinton. I was built in 1937 on a strategically located corner south of town; a "Y" shaped intersection that gave it its name.
At the junction Route 66 met with U.S. Highway 183. The station had pumps serving both routes.
Later it included the "Y Modern Cabins", now demolished. The Federal WPA projects during the Great Depression upgraded the neighborhood with Neptune Park.
It was built in Southwestern Mission Revival style with stucco finish and simulated red roof tiles. It also incorporated some Art Moderne streamlining.
As traffic grew, so did congestion and Route 66 was realigned in 1956 bypassing Y Service Station. It has evovled and now is an automobile dealership.
Y Service Station Clinton, Oklahoma
Retrace your steps to I-40 and 2.5 mi. from the Y service station is the Route 66 Museum (Map with Directions).
Oklahoma Route 66 Museum in Clinton
2229 Gary Boulevard, Clinton OK.
It is the first official state-operated Route 66 museum in the country. A complete exhibiton on Route 66, a trip through time with iconic images, vintage artifacts and bygone days.
Full details: (580) 323-7866 and their website: www.route66.org. It is Pictured above, at the top of the page.
Tours & Itineraries
Nearby Route 66 Towns
The Old alignment of Route 66 near Clinton
The road had been paved from Weatherford to Washita County line in 1931 using Portland concrete. The original 1926 to 1959 alignment reached Clinton following what is now the north service road of I-40. At the "S" curve of I-40 and N2340 Rd., the 1926 to 1930 alignment kept west along what is now E1030 Rd. and then took a left along N 2300 Rd. to what is now the N. Service Rd. of I-40 and head west along it into straight into town along Gary Blvd.
In 1931 it was paved along what is now the South Service Rd. of I-40 between N2340 and N2300 Rds.
See this Street view of the old US 66's dead end (south side Frontage Rd.) just east of Clinton.
In 1959 it used the modern Exit 69 to head NW towards Bus. 40 as a four-lane road and then turn into Gary Blvd. The section of I-40 between Exit 65 and 69 was opened to traffic in 1970, bypassing the town.
Route 66 took many different courses through the town:
- 1926: Gary Blvd. (In those days it was Choctaw) - 4th St. - Frisco - 10th. St
- 1930s?: Gary Blvd. - 4th St. - Opal - 10th St
- 1935: Gary Blvd. - 10th St
- 1941 (westbound): Gary Blvd. - 10th St. (eastbound): 10th St. - Opal - 4th St. - Gary
- 1959: Gary right around town
West of Clinton the road became a 4-lane highway between 1956 and 1958. But the older alignment took a different course:
West along 1926 - 56 Route 66
The road continued along Neptune south of modern I-40 and then headed west after a curve along W. Commerce Rd. This segment was paved in concrete in 1931. It met modern I-40's alignment at Exit 62, and headed west as current South Frontage road of I-40 until Exit 57 next to Foss.
Read more about US 66 in Weatherford, east of Clinton.