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Last Updated: . By Austin Whittall

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Gateway to Lavaland

Grants is a town in western New Mexico located on Route 66. It was the "Uranium Capital of the World" and now is the "Gateway to Lavaland".
Grants has dozens of classic Route 66 icons to stop at on your road trip, including motels, gas stations, diners (including a Valentine Diner) and many vintage neon signs, we list them all below:

Grants also has amazing outdoors: lava flows and sandstone cliffs at the El Malpais National Monument.
There is plenty to do and enjoy in Grants during your Route 66 road trip.

Enjoy this leg of your Route 66 road trip through Grants New Mexico.

Route 66, the "Old" The Santa Fe Loop
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Route 66 in Grants NM

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About Grants, New Mexico

Facts, Trivia and useful information

Elevation: 6,460 ft (1.969 m). Population: 9,141 (2020).
Time zone: Mountain (MST): UTC minus 7 hours. Summer (DST) MDT (UTC-6).

Grants is the county seat of Cibola County in western - central New Mexico, its motto is "City of Spirit", and it was also known as the "Uranium Capital of the World" and "Gateway to Lavaland".

Old abandoned Charley's Garage on Route 66, Grants New Mexico

Old abandoned Garage on, Route 66, New Mexico
Old Charley's Automotive Service in Grants, Route 66, New Mexico, . Click image for street view

Human beings have been living in this area for over 10,000 years. Over the millennia their Native American descent became farmers and used the water of the rivers that flowed from the Rocky Mountains to irrigate their crops.

The first Europeans to reach the area, were those of the expedition of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, who visited the nearby Zuni and Acoma pueblos in 1540; the Spanish returned and occupied the area to the east (Laguna) in the early 1600s. A revolt in 1680 expelled the conquerors, but they returned in 1693, to defeat the natives.

sepia portrait of man in a suit c.1900

Angus A. Grant c.1900. Source

This area on the western side of the San Jose river basin was not settled during the Colonial period due to the constant raids of the Navajo Indians. New Mexico became a part of Mexico upon its independence from Spain in 1821, and then part of the U.S. after Mexico ceded it following defeat in the Mexican-American War of 1846-48. The Navajo raids were finally crushed with the presence of the U.S. Army at nearby Fort Wingate (1862-1864), opening the area to settlement.

The first settler here was Antonio Chávez, who lived on the south side of the San Jose River in the 1860s. He planted cottonwoods by the river. In 1872, Jesús Blea settled there too and named the place "Los Alamitos" (Spanish for "The Little Willows", in alluson to the cottonwood trees) he was followed in 1873 by Ramón Baca and his family.

The name, Grants

The Atlantic & Pacific Railroad extended its tracks into the area in the early 1880s, the contractors who were in charge of builiding the line were three Canadian brothers, Lewis, Angus and John Grant.

They set up their base at Los Alamitos which then became known as "Grants Camp". A depot and coaling station were built there because it was halfway between Gallup and Albuquerque. The stop was named "Grants Station". A post office opened in 1882 and was named "Grant" (without the final "s"). Finally in 1935 it changed its name again, to Grants (with the final "s").

The postcard shown below incorrectly stated on its back that: "was named for President Ulysses S. Grant when he was General of the U. S. Army. Today, Grants (the S being adopted)..."

Boomtown: Logging, Farming carrots, Uranium and Lavaland

Vintage Postcard of Grants with images drawn inside the letters spelling GRANTS

Vintage 1942 postcard of Grants. Source. Click to enlarge

The Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway acquired the A&P Railroad and built a roundhouse to the west of Grants at a site known as Breecetown after the local logging magnate Breece.

Logging in the Zuni Mountains to the south was the main business in Grants but after the Bluewater Dam was built in 1927, irrigation allowed farming and Grants was named the "Carrot Capital" of the U.S.

At that time (1926), Route 66 was created and aligned through Grants along the National Old Trails Road between New Mexico and California.

Uranium ore, with a characteristic yellow color was discovered by a local Navajo shepherd, Paddy Martinez at the foot of Haystack Butte 1950. This led to a mining boom, the creation of the neighboring town of Milan and an excessive use of water for ore processing -which wiped out farming. Population tripled and a radio station, a General Hospital and Job Corps training facility opened in the late 1950s. The mining cycle ended with a bust in the 1980s.

Now "Lavaland" is another nickname, due to its proximity to the scenic lava flows of El Malpais (bad lands).

In 1981, a group of local citizens lobbied with the Legislature of New Mexico and Cibola County, the third youngest in the United States was created. They western tip of Valencia County was assigned to it, and Grants was designated county seat.

Grants' Native Names

The native Navajos remember that a group of their tribe was massacred at Grants during a Comanche raid. They called the place N'ahto-Si-Ka'I "white smoke" or "friendly smoke" probably after a fumarole or because a peace treaty had been signed there between Chief Manuelito and Kit Carson.

Christopher Houston "Kit" Carson (1809 - 1868) was a legendary American frontiersman, guide, Army officer. Chief Manuelito (1818 - 1893) was an important Navajo leader who resisted the onslaught of the U.S. Army and fought for his people's freedom. Learn more about him at our page on Manuelito, NM. advertisement

Where to Stay: Find your Hotel in Grants

There are several lodging options on Route 66 in Grants itself, you won't have difficulty to book your room:

> > Book your Hotel in town: Hotels in Grants

More Lodging Near Grants along Route 66

Below you will find a list some of the towns along Route 66 east and west of Grants; click on any of the links to find your hotel in these towns.

Heading West in NM and AZ

Heading East

The Santa Fe Route 66 segment

Book your hotel in Grants

>> There are RV campgrounds in Grants.

The weather in Grants

Route 66 in Grants NM; location map

Location of Grants on Route 66

Grants is located in a sunny, dry, relatively high and arid region nestled between mountain ranges close to the continental divide. Winters are cold and summers hot. There is a large day-night temperature swing.

The average high in summer (July) is around 91°C (33°C), and the average low is 57°C (14°C). The average high in winter (Jan) is 49°C (9°C), while the avg. low is only 15°C, well below freezing point (-9°C). Only 10.5 inches of rain fall each year (266 mm) and July, August, September and October have most rain (5.6 in - 143 mm).

Snowstorms may strike during winter and on average 11 in. of snow fall each winter (28 cm).

Tornado risk

There is virtually no tornado risk in Grants: Cibola County has no Tornado watches. The area west of this point has no tornado events at all.

Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.

Map U.S. 66 in Grants New Mexico

Maps of Route 66

Driving west from McCartys, the original roadway reappears as NM-117 at Exit 89, on the North side of the Freeway.

McBride Rd.

Route 66's alignment from 1936 to the 1950s ran along NM-117 with a SE to NW to Horace where an overpass was built to carry it across the railroad. Here it turns west and runs parallel to the railroad one-quarter mile north of it, until it reaches the outskirts of Grants.

This is the map from Exit 89 into Grants

Another Early alignment

detail from USGS Map of Horace - Grants NM

Grants - Horace map USGS 1957. Click map to enlarge

Just north of Exit 89, there is a trail heading straight north (white line in our custom map), and Jim Ross places some culverts and a bridge here (see it in our custom map); he describes the bridge as follows: "Timber bridge on the 1926 unpaved alignment over the Rio San Jose east of Grants. Date Built: Unknown. Type: One-lane, 3-spanTimber Stringer with concrete piers and abutments. Status: Abandoned; restricted access; on Acoma Tribal land."

The 1957 USGS map of Grants quadrant marks this trail as part of an "Old Railroad Grade." This seems to have been abandoned in the 1900s and may have been used to carry State Hwy 6 and the first US66 into Grants without the need to build an embankment or bridges. Click on the thumnail image map to enlarge it.

The custom map's white line west of the bridge is hypothetical and only follows the old railroad grade.

The original Route 66 in Grants from 1926 to the 1930s (1) left the town along the south of the railroad along San Jose Drive, a winding road on the south side of the San Jose river that crossed the early Hispanic settlment of Alamitos. It left Grants along Third St., with a grade crossing. The western tip of this segment is gone. See the pink line in our custom map.

Route 66 Alignment near Grants

With maps and full information of the old roadway.

The Santa Fe Loop (1926 - 1937)

Our Santa Fe Loop page describes the complete 1926 to 1937 alignment of Route 66 from Santa Rosa to Albuquerque through Pecos, Santa Fe and Bernalillo.

Grants: its Attractions

Landmarks, Route 66 sights

Gateway to Lavaland

Historic Context

Jack Rittenhouse in his classic "Guidebook to U.S. Highway 66" published in 1946 gave an interesting description of the lava flows of the El Malpais National Monument (the Spanish words "Mal País" mean: badlands.) and El Malpais National Monument. He mentioned Grants as follows: California and Yucca; courts: Lakeside, The Encanto, Kimo, Grants and Zia; garage: Conley; stores; cafes; all facilities... Mike Croteau's Trading Post is an interesting place... Rittenhouse (1946)

Your Route 66 Road Trip leg across Grants

Horace - Stuckey's

We will begin this segment of your road trip, by driving westwards from the lava fields at McCartys, at what is now I-40s Exit 89 in a spot known as Horace, by Horace Springs at the foot of Horace mesa. Here Frank and Hope McClure opened their Stuckey's franchise "Pecan Shoppe" in 1967; it was their second location because they owned anoter at Rio Puerco but it was torn down when I-40 was built. The original building with its characteristic roof is still standing. Their postcard reads: "4 miles east of Grants... Located in the heart of the lava beds... The lava flow Stuceky's is built on occurred about 1,000 years ago."

color postcard, Stuckey’s shoppe with pale blue steep gable roof, Texaco sign, black lava flow in the foreground

Stuckey's at Horace NM vintage postcard. Source. Click to enlarge

Phillips 66 gas station, flat canopy, steep gable roof office

Former Stuckey's at Horace NM. Click for St. view

Sahara Drive In neon sign

Drive west along the old Route 66 and on its eastern outskirts at 1570 Mc Bride Rd (old US 66) are the remains of the local drive-in theater's sign, the "Sahara". It was owned by J.C. West, who also owned the Lux theater in downtown and the Trail Drive-In in neighboring Milan. It opened in 1958 and could accommodate 400 cars. It closed in 1964.

black and white 1950s neon sign with movie name and SAHARA written on it

Sahara c.1960 neon sign Source

color view red faded former neon sign board covers former acrylic

Sahara's neon sign nowadays. Click for Street view

Canton Cafe

The town's first buildings in the 1940s and 50s appeared after Halsey St., but in the early 1960s, motels sprung up further east. And and also a Chinese restaurant, Canton Cafe, whose 1970s postcard shows it has changed little, and its neon sign has remaind intact. To your right at 1210 E Santa Fe (Street view).

color postcard block shaped restaurant CANTON CAFE written in red letters on parapet. Sign to the right, 1960s car behind it

Canton Cafe c.1960s. Source. Click to enlarge

Chinese restaurant neon sigh with oriental shape, CANTON CAFE written in red letters on it

Canton Cafe sign nowadays. Source. Click to enlarge


Next door, yo your right, at 1208 E Santa Fe is the former Travelodge that offered "Electric Heat - Room phones - TV - Pool - Ref. Air" and 33 rooms in "Grants Newest Motor Hotel." Still standing but closed, its sign reads "Leisure Lodge Motel". Below is a "Then and Now" set of pictures.

two story L shaped motel with neon sign and swimming pool seen from Route 66, car parked on highway c.1960s
Travelodge Motel mid-1960s. Grants NM Source
two story L shaped motel with neon sign and swimming pool seen from Route 66
Former Travelodge nowadays Leisure Lodge Motel. Grants, NM. Click for street view

Western Host Motel

To your left, on the next block, at 1150 E Santa Fe was the Western Host, with 50 rooms and a heated swimming pool. More recently it was the now closed Historic Route 66 motel with its pool filled in.

color postcard L shaped layout 2 story gable roof motel in the 1960s, with cars and neon sign. Route 66 to the right

Western Host Motel c.1960s. Source. Click to enlarge

vacant L shaped layout 2 story gable roof motel and neon sign seen from Route 66

Western Host Motel nowadays. Click for St. view

Desert Sun Motel

motel color postcard, pool and sunshades in central courtyard, gable roof building behind, neon sign

The Desert Sun 1960s postcard. Source. Click to enlarge

An arsonist set it on fire in Jan. 2022. To your left at 1121 E Santa Fe.
The swimming pool has gone, and the neon sign modified; it had a U-shaped layout, gable roof around a central courtyard.
Below it is pictured before the fire.

Yellow acrylic neon sign, red letters DESERT SUN and black letters: MOTEL, gable roof single floor building behind, steel fence to the left
Desert Sands Motel. Grants, NM. Click for street view

Franciscan Cafe

Ahead, at 1109 E Santa Fe, to your left where Pizza 9 is now located -before that it was the Outlaws Saloon and Dance- once stood the Franciscan cafe, part of the adjacent motel complex. You can see it in the 1958 advertisement below. The same neon sign has survived over sixty years (red arrow).

advertisement photo, 1958 showing cars parked by a single story building with a classic neon sign. Word CAFE on it

1958, Cafe on US66, Grants. Source. Click to enlarge

classic 1950s neon sign with triangular shape behind to horizontal rectangles

Old cafe neon sign in 2021. Click for St. view

Franciscan Lodge ❌

Ahead to your left at 1101 E Santa Fe was the Franciscan Lodge motel. It was torn down in May 2023, another lost classic on Route 66. It had a T-shaped layout with its office and cafe in the central spar of the T. Its postcard below reads "This beautiful new Motel (Completed September 1950) offers unsurpassed accomodation in large, comfortable rooms... "The Best Costs No More".

color 1950s postcard showing details of rooms, facade of a motel, single story, flat roof and its neon sign
1950s postcard Franciscan Lodge. Grants, NM. Source

The image below shows the motel before it was razed:

top: former motel, single story, gable roof. Bottom: long narrow neon sign FRANCISCAN LODGE sign
2021 view of the Franciscan Lodge. Grants, NM. St. view 1, St. view 2

The Franciscan had been built and designed by Auro Cattaneo, a contractor from Gallup NM. He had also designed the Bluewater Motel (Bluewater NM) and in 1959, the Desert Skies Motel in Gallup. A newspaper article tells us that in 1952 it was owned by Mr. Nestor E. King and his wife, from Dallas Texas. He operated the furniture stores in Texas and his wife ran the motel in Grants. Their daughter Rhetta Mike King mentioned that the long horizontal neon sign originally stood on top of the building until her parents installed the pitched roof and placed it in the eastern courtyard on top of three poles. She added that "I sold all signs to an out of town museum that was in construction before Covid, maybe I will get to see them again, restored" (1).

This museum is the Glorieta Sation Neon Park in Albuquerqe. There are photographs showing the Franciscan's office sign there, awaiting restoration:

old 1950S Neon signs piled up in a yard, one reads FRANCISCAN LODGE, VACANCY. OFFICE

Franciscan neon sign at Neon Park. Source. Click to enlarge

advertisement of three US66 motels, text, black and white 1950s

1950s advert of the Kings motels on US66, Grants, Milan and Bluewater. Source. Click to enlarge

The Kings also owned the second Franciscan in neighboring Milan, and Bluewater Motel n further west along Route 66. Peggy and Cal "Toad" Cowell ran the Bluewater Inn for the Kings in the 1960s.

Torn down and gone!

The landmark is no longer there, it was torn down in May 2023. The tall sign has also gone and only the three poles and the sandstone doorframe of the office remain standing.

three poles stand in an empty yard, lower right, behind them is a former doorframe of sandstone

Franciscan lodge site after demolition, 2023. Source. Click to enlarge

former Texaco, flat canopy, vacant pump islands, office right, 2 service bays left, seen from US66

Sebedra's Texaco, US66 Grants. Click for St. view

Into Grants downtown

Sebedra's Pueblo Texaco

Opposite the Franciscan, to your right, at 1100 E Santa Fe was the East Pueblo Texaco Servkce. It appeared in the 1956 phone book. An advert from 1973 says it was managed by "Sonny" Sebedra. Pictured above.
Next to it (right) was the now gone Paulson's Sinclair station at 1104 E Santa Fe.

The Lariat Lodge - now South West Motel

To your right, after the Texaco at 1000 E Santa Fe, is a U-shaped, gable roof single story motel formerly The Lariat Lodge, now the Southwest. It had "24 comfortable and attractive units with the finest furnishings". Further down is a "Then and Now" view of the motel.

>> You can book a room here, in the Southwest Motel

motel color postcard, lariat drawn around its name and view of the single story gable roof building

The Lariat Lodge 1950s postcard. Source. Click to enlarge

motel, yellow and red neon sign, U-shaped layout, gable roof. US66 runs in front of it

Southwest Motel US66 Grants. Click for St. view

Grants Motel ❌

1950s color postcard, cars by Spanish style single floor white building red tile awnings, trees. Neon sign reads GRANTS MOTEL

Grants Motel, 1950s. Now gone Source. Click to enlarge

Opposite the South West Motel, to your left, at 1009 E Santa Fe was the Grants Motel with a great neon sign. It was owned and hosted by Dale and Shirley Edmundson. It had "16 - Clean Comfortable Units." Torn down years ago, now it is a Self Storage business. Neon sign lost.

Just aheaed, on the corner with McArthur St. there are three classic Route 66 sights: a motel and its neon sign, and an old garage & gas station.

Sands Motel and Neon Sign

Sands Motel Neon Sign

The motel was half a block north of the highway, on McArthur St. so a flashy eye-catching sign was needed, and the result was this awesome classic neon sign, to your left, pointing the direction with a red arrow:

Sign of the Sands Motel on Route 66, Grants New Mexico

Classic 1950s neon sign: yellow chevron with word MOTEL in white letters, above: blue letters spell SANDS, each in a white box, topped by 3 red flags, bottom: red circle with words 1⁄2 block and a red arrow pointing right
Classic 1950s neon sign of the Sands Motel in Grants. Click for street view

The Sands Motel

motel office with a yellow neon sign topped with 3 flags

Sands Motel nowadays. Click for St. view

Still open. You can visit their website to book your room.

As the arrow said, it was 1⁄2 block off Route 66, to your right, along McArthur St. It was owned by Jim and Billie Shue and Leon and Cecile Koch, who also managed it. Their postcard promised "Modern, New Carpeted Rooms, Restaurant, Cocktail Lounge & Service Station. Free TV's & Telephones in all rooms... Quiet - Relaxing - Off the Highway." The motel has another great original neon sign and you can see it in the "Then and Now" images.

color late 1960s postcard showing a motel office, cars units behind, and a neon sign reading SANDS MOTEL
1960s postcard Sands Motel, Grants, NM. Source advertisement

Back to Route 66

Crosby's Chevron

Head back to the main highway, to your right, on the NW corner of McArthur and E Santa Fe (938). This was Chuck Crosby's Chevron service station, open 5 AM to 11 PM. Below is a "Then and Now" sequence of the old gas station. The two service bays remain. The office has been walled in, the canopy gone.

composite image. Top: black and white Chevron gas station, 2 bays left, office right, flat canopy, 2 story cafe beyond. Bottom: same view 2023, red corner single story bldg. 2 service bays. Beyond 2 story bldg.
Crosby's Chevron 1950s and nowadays. Grants NM. Source, St. view

Grants Cafe

1950s black and white magazine advertisement showing a building: cafe and cocktail lounge

Grants Cafe advertisement. 1950s. Source. Click to enlarge

Next door, to your right at 932 E Santa Fe (You can see it in the image above: the two story building to the left), was Grants Cafe and Cocktail Lounge.
The cafe opened in 1937 and the sign went up in 1958. It is pictuered below, in 2018:

Grants Café neon sign in 2018.

color: neon sign from 1958. Says GRANTS in upper black box, white letters, CAFE in white letters, vertically on blue box. Red arrow curves around downwards
The Grants Cafe neon sign in 2018. Grants NM. Click for street view

The sign was restored under the neon preservation project sponsored by the NM Route 66 Association, the National Park Service and New Mexico Historic Preservation Divison only to be removed in 2019, purchased by a collector. The old cafe and bar are still standing.

Grants Café and its now gone neon sign are on the left.

color 1950s. Looking east along US66: left: Grants Cafe and red-blue neon sign, Chevron Station. Motel. Left: motel. Cars on divided avenue
Looking east along US66, 1950s. Grants NM. Source

Wayside Motel ❌

acrylic sign, white with blue letters: WAYSIDE MOTEL

Wayside motel sign (gone). Click for St. view

The Wayside Motel stood on the south side of the highway, razed in 2018 (Current view of the premises).
The motel dated back to the 1930s when it was known as the Grants Motor Lodge.
It was located at 923 E Santa Fe, to your left. Nothing remains of it.
It is pictured below while it was still standing.

Wayside Motel on Route 66, Grants New Mexico in 2016

two story gable roof building, decrepit neon sign, old car parked to the right
Wayside Motel in Grants in 2016, Route 66, New Mexico. A. Whittall. Click for street view

The two story office was added at some later period. The 1940s postcard shows its U-shaped layout with a single story central office. It had 16 rooms with "Wall to Wall Carpeting - Ranch Style Furniture - Inner Spring Mattresses," and a "Next door a new and modern Shell Super Service Station."

Later it became the "It'll Do Inn", and the second image below shows that it had the second story at that time. The neat shutters on both sides of the window of the left unit can be seen in both images.

1940s color postcard: U-shaped motel, Pueblo style single story units and a central office

Grants Motor Lodge 1940s postcard. Source. Click to enlarge

1970s color postcard: U-shaped motel, Pueblo style single story units and a central 2 story office

It'll Do Inn, Grants 1970s. Source. Click to enlarge

On the now vacant NE corner of Nimitz at 900 E Santa Fe was Gilbert's Texaco Service, Gilbert Savedra was the brother of "Sonny" Sebedra -owner of the Texaco further east. Notice how their surname's spelling was distorted: Savedra in Spanish sounds the same as Sebedrea in English!

Starlite Cafeteria

To your right, at 820 E Santa Fe where the El Cafecito Mexican restaurant is now located, was the site of Dougherty Cafeteri in the early 1960s that in the mid 1960s became the Starlite Cafeteria. Mr. and Mrs. Pablo Pena owned it and they opened from 6 AM to 9 PM daily. The entrance from Santa Fe was direct entry to the bar, the side entrance led to the dining area. It hada a dancing area that opened on Friday and Saturda. A fire struck it in 1982. Its great neon sign is gone. Below is a "Then and Now" view of the spot.

composite image. Top: 1960s Cafe, neon sign topped by star, building behind with pink and blue vertical panels on wall facing a parking lot (right). Entrance on Route 66 on the left. Bottom: same view now, block shaped building, parking lot right. Route 66 left.
Starlite Cafeteria, 1960s and nowadays. Grants NM. Source, St. view

Laguna Shell Service Station

red and white flat canopy, glazed corner office, 4 service bay 1960s former gas station

Delta Tire in 2016. Click for St. view

Opposite the cafeteria, to your left at 833 E Santa Fe is Delta Tire, that prior to its recent refurbishing that modernized it and did away with the canopy, it looked like a typical 1960s gas station with a plate glass corner office and four service bays. There was a flat canopy over vacant pump islands too. It was a Shell.

Brummett's ⁄ Fank's Mobil

On the next block there were two more service stations, both are still standing.
On the NE corner with Bradley (right), at 800 E Santa Fe is the first, a former Mobil filling station that changed its name over the years: Brummett's and then Frank's. Pictured below with its 1966 advertisement.

black and white phone book advertisement of a gas station from 1966

1966 advert, Frank's Mobil. Source

red and white, flat and long canopy, boarded up 1960s former gas station

Brummett's Mobil nowadays. Click for St. view

Polich's Shamrock

The second gas station is across Bradely, on the NW corner, at 720 E Santa Fe: Polich's Shamrock Service Station. Pictured below (2).

boarded flat roof, flat canopy gas station. Pumps on island corner office
Polich's Shamrock, Grants, NM. Click for St. view

Whiting Bros Gas Station ❌

Across the street, on the south side of Route 66 at 719 E Santa Fe was a Whiting Bros. Station, torn down; now it is a parking lot (2).

B&B Gulf ❌

On the corner of Patton and E Santa Fe (which one?) It offered Complete Auto Service and was owned by Epimenio "Pino" Brito. See its 1966 advertisement below.

black and white phone book advertisement of a Gulf gas station from 1966

1966 advert, B & B Gulf. Source

Former Conoco gas station, flat canopy, 2 service bays

Conoco station, Grants NM. Click for street view

Duck's Humble

On the next block is a surviving gas station, at 600 E Santa Fe (left), neatly painted, with a flat canopy over an empty pump island with its two service bays to the right and plate windows on the corner office. Pictured above, it was Duck's Humble service station in the 1966 phone directory.

To your left, at 515 E Santa Fe was Reynolds Chevron Service Station, later Kramer Chevron ❌ (2).

Lavaland Motel

black and white motel with L-shaped layout, 1940s car at Mobil gas station to the right. Hill in the background, US66 runs in the foreground

Luna Court and Mobil station, c.1940 Grants. Source

After crossing Charles St., to your right, at 416 E Santa Fe is what remains of the Lavaland Motel.
It had an L-shaped layout on the corner; the verandah has been boarded in but its sign facing the highway has survived. In the 1940s it was Luna Court and had a Mobil station on the corner as you can see in the vintage photograph -click on it to enlarge.

former L-shaped layout motel, single story, verandah boarded in. Neon sign right
Lavaland Motel. Grants, NM. Click for St. view>


The next block to the east with the 200s and 300s of East Santa Fe had two relevant Route 66 buildings, both of them long gone:

Mike Croteau Trading Post ❌

Rittenhouse mentioned it in his 1946 guide as "an interesting place, and Mike himsefl is full of unusual anecdotes for those who come to know him."

black and white aerial view of streets and buildings of Grants NM in 1958

Aerial photo 1958, Grants NM Source

black and white aerial photo of streets and buildings of Grants NM in 1958

Aerial photo 1958 part 2, Grants NM Source

The images above were taken by Lee Marmon in 1958. We have marked the Trading post, Phillips 66 station, Railroad Depot and the California Hotel.

Hillcrest Center

shopping mall, signs, parking lot in front, mall beyond

Hillcrest Center nowadays. Click for St. view

In the late 1950s, the Hillcrest Center shopping mall was being built. It was the first mall in Grants, it is still standing.

late 1950s color postcard, neon sign reads HILLCREST CENTER, 1950s cars in parking lot, mall beyond
1950s Hillcrest Center Grants, NM. Source

California Hotel ❌

black and white, 2 story building woodframe words WOODARD HOTEL on parapet. People lower left c.1920

Woodard Hotel c.1920s. Source

At 18 W Santa Fe, there is a Pizza Hut standing on the spot where the California Hotel and Cafe once stood. On the NW corner of First St. and Santa Fe. It opened in 1938 and its postcard proclaimed: "Your best Stop between Albuquerque and Gallup - Modern Rooms - Tasty Food."
It was preceded on this same site by the Woodard Hotel that opened in 1916 and burned down in the 1930s; see picture. Rittenhouse mentioned it in his 1946 Guidebook to US Highway 66. A 1958 advertisement mentions it was operated by Mr. and Mrs. E.C. Bell. It was torn down around 1971.

black and white, people by a Cafe and Hotel with vigas protruding out of facade. Adobe Pueblo style building. Neon signs
1940s California Hotel and Cafe Center Grants, NM. Source

West Theater

To your right at the end of the block (118 W Santa Fe) is this theater that opened in April 1959. It was named after its owner J.C. West who also owned the Sahara Drive In that opened in 1958, the Lux theater that he had acquired in 1950. The Trails Drive-In in neighboring Milan was also his. It has a great neon sign!

color photo, facade of a two story theater with a pale green neon sign yellow letters spell WEST, vertically. White star tops it. Marquee faces US 66
West Theater on US66 Grants, NM. Click for St. view

On the 200s block there were three Route 66 classics:

The Conoco at 200 W Santa Fe, offered the services of an "Expert Auto Technician," now the local newspaper stands on the spot. Opposite, on the south side of the highway at 201 W Santa Fe (to your left) was the Royal Café:

Royal Cafe ❌

It was owned by George and Doris Hantges who ran it from the early 1960s till the mid 1970s. Its neon sign was the work of Zeon Sign Co., made in 1959.

Below is a picture from that time and the current view of the same spot. The cafe (gone) stood to the left of the current buildings, it was torn down; below is a then and now set of buildings. The buildings to the right of the cafe, still standing, were built in the 1960s replacing the units of Encanto Court that stood on the property.

combination of two photos: TOP, color 1960s photo of cafe on the left and stores right, vintage car. BOTTOM: same view 2021, stores right, cafe gone, vacant lot replaced it
Royal Cafe 1960s and now, US66 Grants, NM. Austin Whittall. Source, St. view

The Encanto Court

units of a motel facing a parking area. Route 66 to the left, stores further along the highway to the left

Former Encanto Court, Grants, nowadays. Click for St. view

At 219 W Santa Fe was the Motel and Cafe, owned by Mr. Angelo and Mrs. Sakelarias in 1956 as you can see in the image below. The Royal Cafe can be seen on the left side of the image and the units facing Route 66 with a parking area between them and the highway can also be seen. Stores replaced these units (1960s?) and the motel's office remained on the western side of the property with units on its western (right) flank. "Encanto" in Spanish means "charm" both as a magic spell and also as charming due to its beauty.

black and white 1956 motel, units facing Route 66 to the left. Office to the right, neon sign and text
The Encanto Court 1956. US66 Grants, NM. Source

Across from the Encanto at 208 W Santa Fe the 1966 phone book mentions the Grants Super Service station ❌.

Eddie's Roarin' 20's ❌

combination of a 1952 black and white view (TOP) and a current one (BOTTOM) of a corner on Route 66 in Grants NM, some buildings survived, others gone

Third and W. Santa Fe "Then and Now", Grants NM. A. Whittall. Source, St. view
Click on image to enlarge

Red Ball Garage ❌

On the corner at 218 W Santa Fe was the Red Ball Garage as you can see in the image taken in in 1951 or 52; it also shows, to the left, across Third St. the building on the NW corner: the Grants Beacon still there, now the Serenade Music Video Co., and further left, Pat's Lounge and Bar that in those days had a single story.
Thomas Garcia owned the Red Ball, Tom had taken his courses in auto mechanics at the College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in Las Cruces, what is now the New Mexico State University.

red neon, yellow letters, classic curved shape from the 1950s. Words THE ROARIN’ 20’ written on it
The Roarin' 20's neon sign nowadays. Click for St. view

Sunshine Cafe ❌

The classic neon sign came from Vena's Roarin' 20's that was next to Eddie McBride's Albuquerque nightclub "Inferno" at 5920 Central E. Ave (Route 66). The topless club closed when the IRS sold the liquor license and equipment of its owner, Luna Pizzeria Inc. in Jan 1964 to cover a tax lien of $38,899.06. So Eddie moved the sign to his father's Cafe, Bar and Dance Hall in Grants, the Sunshine. (4).

color picture corner restaurant, single floor, gable roof, vacant, neon sign red and yellow by main street (US66)

The Roarin' 20's while it was still standing (2009). Click for St. view

The Sunshine dated back to the 1920s and was operated by Louis B. McBride, Sr. and his wife Clara owned the Sunshine, Eddie modernized it and rebranded it "Eddie's Roarin' 20's". It was torn down in 2014.

Its postcard pictured below advertised it as "Family Steak House... The friendly fun place dedicated to serving traveling families, Serving delicious charbroiled steaksfrom $2.00, sea food, Mexican dinners, chicken, oups, salads and cocktails, Piano bar & meldrams evenings, the most pleasant suprise is the price. Tourist information for side trips to Indian country and mountains. See a $40,000 coin and hand made Indian silver jewelry."

color postcard 1960s, upper left: outside view with neon sign and restaurant building. Rest: inner view: tables, chairs, bar in the back left side
Roarin' 20's 1960s postcard Grants, NM. Source

Pat's Lounge & Bar

The 300s block begins with the Grants Beacon now Serenade Music building, followed by another bar Pat's Lounge at 304 W Santa Fe. It dates back to 1929 or 1933 and began as a hotel and bar. Later, in the 1950s it was owned by Mike Dominguez, and it had only one story (pictured below in a 1958 advertisement):

black and white advertisement from 1958, top: picture of the building, single floor, flat roof, neon sign over sidewalk, bottom: text about the bar and lounge
Mike's Bar & Lounge 1958 advertisement. Source

Pat took over in 1972 and his son Eddie continued his work in 1999. The place closed for good in 2016.

color view, 2 story bar, with green neon sign with yellow letters over sidewalk, Route 66 runs in front of it
Pat's Bar and Lounge, US 66 Grants, NM. Click for street view


Opposite, on the south side of the street, at 301 W Santa Fe, was a Texaco station. Over the years it was known as La Linda Service Station, Leroy's Texco, Dale's Texaco, and Cash Texaco.

box shaped gas station, flat roof, no canopy 2 service bays no pumps, seen from Route 66

La Linda Texaco, Grants Route 66. Click for St. view

former motel building, cars and old neon sign hidden in tree branches

Pueblo Court, Grants Route 66. Click for St. view

Pueblo Court

Ahead, to your left, at 325 W Santa Fe is the former Pueblo Courts; you can see its decaying neon in the bushes (red arrow in the picture above). It advertised its "Modern Units -Clean - Comfortable 'Located Center of Town'." In the 1930s it was known as "Allen's Camp." Below is a view of it c.1930s looking east along Route -covered with snow. 66 Zia Court and Allen's Camp are on the left side of the image and La Linda Texaco's sign can be seen in the distance:

snow covered street, buildings to the left and Zia Court and Allens Camp signs on the right, car on highway
1930s view along Route 66, snowed. Zia Court and Allen's Camp, Grants, NM. Source

Zia Motel

Ahead, adjacent to the Pueblo, at 411 W Santa Fe is the old Grants Zia Motel. Its advertising stated it had "T.V. - Carpeting - Reasonable commercial rates Catherine Hill - Owner & Manager." Tha advert, click to enlarge, mentions Ralph Hill as co-owner.

Zia is the name of a Native American group of Anasazi origin, that lived in the Chacco Canyon region. They were forced to migrate during a long drought in the early 1200s AD, settling where Zia Pueblo is now located around 1250 AD. They created the Zia sun symbol that appears on the New Mexico state flag.

Notice how the neon sign changed over the years (semi-circle in the 1930s, Zia symbol in the 1960s, later an arrow was added to its upper side).

black and white advert 1960s with image of a motel with its image and text

1960s advertisement Zia Motel. Click to enlarge

beighe adobe-Pueblo style motel with neon sign, steel fence closes courtyard

Zia Motel nowadays, Click for St. view

The classic neon sign of the Grants Zia Motel

color view neon sign with Zia sumbol, acrylic parts missing, arrow on top, MOTEL-VACANCY written in two boxes below Zia. Cable TV 10 Channels on side yellow square
Zia Neon sign, US 66 Grants, NM. Source

Uranium Cafe

Cross the bridge, to your left is the Uranium Cafe at 519 W Santa Fe. Eugene Woo opened it in 1956 offering Chinese American food. Later he opened the Canton Cafe on the eastern side of town. The 1969 Yearbook of the Grants' Pirates Ahoy, has an advertisement: "Eugene Woo... Yee Kwong - Welcome to the Very Best in the Finest of American, Chinese and Mexican Dishes - Courteous, Prompt Service Come as you Are Open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m." One of its dishes was the "Tasty Uranium Burger" for 45¢

black and white 1956. Four men, some in hard hats, miners, walking on sidewalk beneath URANIUM CAFE neon sign, US 66 to the left, buildings in the background

Miners walking outside Uranium Cafe, 1956. Grants. Source

color picture of a 1950s neon sign in blue with white letters spelling URANIUM CAFE

Uranium Cafe neon sign in 1987. Source. Click to Enlarge

color picture box shaped single floor cafe, green neon sign to the right, Route 66 in front

Uranium Cafe nowadays. Click to Enlarge

New Mexico Mining Museum

Across the street from Uranium Cafe is the museum at 100 N. Iron Avenue, Grants NM.

The museum recreates the life of the uranium miners and their legacy in Grants. It is the "Only (simulated) Uranium Mining Museum in the World!" More Information (505) 287-4802 and at their Facebook page.

Grants West Conoco

To your left, west of the Kia Motel, at the western end of the block, is the former post office building at 523 W Santa Fe. Later it moved to Gold Ave. There is a hardware store on the left side where Grants Mainstreet Project Inc is located nowadays. Across the street, on the SW corner you can see a two story box-shaped Conoco in the 1940s, and Speedway Service Mobil in 1966. Currently Aaron's. Below is a "Then and Now" set of images.

black and white 1930s. Man by a corner building by a cart. Window reads POST OFFICE. Across the street box shaped 2 story CONOCO gas station and car

1930s Grants Post Office and Conoco station. Source. Click to Enlarge

corner single story building, and across the street a gas station, seen from Route 66

Site of Grants 1930s Post Office and Conoco station. Click for St. view

Route 66 Neon Drive-Thru Sign

Must Stop for Route 66 Roadtrippers

color view of the upper part of a drive thru arch shaped like a US highway shield with opening to allow cars through with words: GRANTS NEW MEXICO - HISTORIC ROUTE 66 on it
Route 66 Neon Drive-Thru Sign. Grants, NM. Source

On the next block, to your right, on the NW corner of W Santa Fe and 9-11 Ave. is a modern classic stop, at 600 W Santa Fe.

This is an 18-foot-tall gateway shaped like a U.S. Highway shield, with the words "Grants, New Mexico - Historic Route 66" written on its upper part and flames flanking the drive-thru arch. It lights up at night.

A Must-See Stop in Grants

color view drive thru arch shaped like a US highway shield with opening to allow cars through, short paved drive goes through it. Set on a park, tree and lawn to the right hill beyond
Route 66 Neon Drive-Thru Sign in Grants, NM. Click for street view

The Montecarlo Cafe

Ahead, on the next block, to your left, at 721 W Santa Fe, was the classic Montecarlo Cafe and Restaurant.

The Montecarlo was established by Escolástico "Esqui" Mazon (1919-2002) in the 1940s. He worked on his father's sheep ranch till he was 18 and then decided to try something else, he moved to Gallup. He worked as a contractor in the construction of the El Rancho Hotel there. He was drafted in 1941, came back home to marry his sweetheart Seferina Dominguez and after a stint at Gunderson's store and Thigpen's store he opened his restaurant in the early 1950s. His timing was great because clients boomed when Uranium was discovered in the area, miners, mining service staff and locals were patrons at the restaurant (3). Below is a "Then and Now" set of pictures:

black and white 1958 advertisement of a Cafe and Restaurant, text and image of a 2 story brick building facing highway, 1950s car drives past. Neon sign reads: MONTE CARLO CAFE, on the facade
Monte Carlo Cafe 1958, Route 66. Grants, NM. Source
color view of a Cafe and Restaurant: a 2 story brick building facing highway, tree; sign reads: MONTE CARLO, another sign on roof
Monte Carlo Cafe nowadays. Grants, NM. Click for St. view

Opposite, to your right, at 800 W Santa Fe was the El Pueblo Service Station that in the 1966 phone book appeared as Manning's Texaco ❌.

On the next block, at 900 W Santa Fe was Campbell's Chevron Service ❌ (see picture below); you can also see it in the "Then and Now" image (Click on it to enlarge); the Chevron sign appears in the 1950s view, the spot in the current view is marked with a (1).

black and white 1968 and yellow advertisement, text and Chevron gas station with a car

Advertisement Campbell's Chevron advertisement.
Click to Enlarge

image combines, TOP: 1950s color view street, cars buildings with neon signs. BOTTOM: same spot, less buildings, no cars no neon signs

Downtown Grants, late 1950s and nowadays. A. Whittall. Source, St. View.
Click to Enlarge

Magnolia Super Service

The Magnolia Super Service of 1956 became a Mobile when the picture above was taken. You can see the sign above, in the late 1950s photograph and its current view as (2). Below is how it looks today, Tim's Muffler Service, with its two service bays and icebox design, no canopy and no pumps or pumps islands.

color photo. Former icebox shaped Magnolia and Mobil gas station on a corner, painted white with blue details. Two service bays, no canopy and no pumps
Former Magnolia and Mobil station nowadays. Grants, NM. Click for St. view

On the next block there were several cafes -all gone; the movie theater a bank and a drugstore:

Lux Theater

1018 W Santa Fe Avenue, to your right, is the Lux Theater that opened in 1937 and was owned by a Mr. C.E. Means. It had seating capacity for 518 viewers. J.C. West, who owned the Sahara Drive In and Lux theater bought it in 1950 and it continued operating until the 1980s.

color picture, left to right: parked cars on vacant lot, former Grants Bank, Lux Theater, Route 66 runs in front of them
Left to right: Site of Carradines, Grants State Bank and Lux Theater, Route 66. Grants, NM. Click for St. view

To the left -west side of the theater- is the old Grants State Bank building. It was chartered on June 16, 1947 so this must have been its first location. Now it is located at 847 W Santa Fe. The marble facade has the original name inscribed in it.

Next door, now a parking space, was where Carradine's Drug Co. ❌ once stood. The pharmacy and drug store was ran by Duke and Nellie Carradine. It was standing into the 2010s. Below is a street view from 2009 showing both the bank (right) and the now gone drugstore (left):

color picture, left to right: former Carradine’s drugstore, narrow building, store windows on each side of entrance door. Grants State Bank, blue awning, name engraved in the stone parapet. Movie theater to the right
Left to right: Carradines, Grants State Bank and Lux Theater in 2009, Route 66. Grants, NM. Click for St. view

Yucca Hotel ❌

On the next block 1120 W Santa Fe, was the site of a classic hote, the Yucca. Rittenhouse mentioned it in his 1946 Guidebook to US Highway 66.

Before the hotel, Latham's Stockman's store stood on the property (it opened a new store on the other side of Central Ave. that is still standing). George Ades built the Yucca Hotel, it had two stories and a Pueblo air to it.

The hotel included in its eastern wing Graham's Jewelers store and on its western side a Greyhound Bus Stop, the Yucca Cafe, and a Cocktail Lounge.

1950s view of Route 66 with cars in the foreground and buildings along it: Yucca Hotel, stores, neon signs and people. Black and White
Yucca Hotel in the 1950s, Route 66. Grants, NM. Source. Click image to enlarge

The image above from the 1950s looks east along Route 66. It shows the Yucca Hotel to the left and beyond it, Carradine's drugstore, Grant's State Bank, the Lux theater, and cafes.

Hollywood Diner

Valentine Diner on Route 66

Opposite the cinema, at 1023 W Santa Fe, to your left. This diner is actually a modified Valentine diner, one of at least 2,000 built by the Valentine Manufacturing Company of Wichita, Kansas.
Arthur Valentine (1891 - 1954) invented them and began producing them in 1947. They were movable diners that came in different sizes and models. This model is a "Double Deluxe" one with 10 stools and seven booths for 36 customers. The company gradually lost business in the 1960s and folded in 1975, the fast food chains and suburbia had displaced the small diners. There are several of them along Route 66.
George Karvounaris born in Greece in 1891, migrated to the US in 1907 and changed his name to Coleman. Eventually he moved west and in 1955 opened this Diner in Grants.

black and white 1958 advertisement, text and diner image

Advertisement Hollywood Diner from 1958. Source.

color. single story building, crest by door, faded vertical neon sign

Hollywood Diner nowadays.
Click for St. view

The advertisement (above) stated "Tourists Welcome - Breakfast-Luncheon-Dinner. Steaks-Chops-Sea Food. Sandwiches. (Food to Go). Free Parking... Opposite Lux Theater." Notice how the neon sign changed over the years in the "Then and Now" pictures.

Andy's Phillips 66

At 1103 West Santa Fe, is a classic "Rock Frame" design that displaced the icebox-shaped buildings in the early 1950s. This design had large plate-glass windows that were canted (or slanted) and used a curtain wall system combining glass and concrete blocks that were faced with rocks (hence its name "rock frame"). The canted windows reduced the glare of car headlamps and increased the visibility and indoor light. This one appears in the 1956 telephone directory as Jolly 66 Oil Co. Service Station.
A few years later it was photographed by Ed Ruscha and had been renamed Andy's 66 Service.

American pop artist Edward Ruscha lived in Los Angeles and drove frequently along Route 66 (he was captivated by it). His 1963 book Twentysix Gasoline Stations depicts black and white pictures of 26 gasoline stations along Route 66 with the location and gas brand sold. One of them is this Phillips 66 station in Grants photographed in October 1962.

Edward Ruscha's Grants Phillips 66, 1963©

black and white view of a Phillips 66 gas station: pumps, sign, logo, office, cars from 1962
Ed Ruscha's Grants Phillips 66, 1963. Edward Ruscha ©

Below is the current appearance of the old gas station

color: Phillips 66 gas station, no pumps or canopy, 2 bays, plate glass corner office seen from Route 66, tree to the right
Jolly Oil Phillips 66 nowadays. Grants NM. Click for street view

White Arrow Garage ❌

This garage stood at 1114 W Santa Fe, to your right, now a vacant lot (Street View). Its first owner in the 1920s was M.R. "Bill" Prestridge who also owned the Prestridge and Seligman Logging Co. The image below shows it around 1939. The "G" (for Grants) on the cliff by the top of the mesa can be seen in the image below -and also in the street view. Prestridge sold it to the Navajo Chevrolet Co. of Gallup, owned by J. M. Williams a Navajo businessman in 1940. Hardy Conley owned it in the 1950s as Conley Motor Co. and Rittenhouse mentions Conley garage in his 1946 guidebook.

black and white gas station with Spanish Mission style, 1930s car, four gas pumps and red crown gas sign. Hill beyond

White Arrow Garage c.1930, Grants. Source. Click to Enlarge

black and white; left: gas station with Spanish Mission style, Yucca Hotel beyond, Route 66 in the middel and Sturges supermarket on the right

Ford dealership, Yucca Hotel and Sturges Supermarket c.1950s, Grants. Source. Click to Enlarge

The picture above from the late 1950s or early 1960s -click on it to enlarge it- looks east along Route 66 and it shows the Ford Dealership, formerly White Arrow Garage to the left, the Yucca Hotel and Lux theater beyond. To the right is the now gone Sturges Supermarket.

1958 advertisement in black and green. Image shows a car dealership with Spanish Mission style building, cars and below text abut the business
Conley Ford advertisement, 1958. Grants NM. Source

By the 1970s it had become a Chrysler dealership, Cibola Motors Inc. Torn down.

Sturges Supermarket ❌

The building stood at 1115 West Santa Fe, just west of Jolly's Phillips 66. It began as Simon Bibo Mercantile Co. The Bibo brothers migrated from Westphalia Germany to the U.S. in 1868 and settled in New Mexico estabilishing trading posts. Simon opened his store in Grants in 1881. In 1921 they sold their interest in the business to Seligman who operated the Bernalillo Mercantile Co. Carl Seligman sold it in 1945 to Bond-Gunderson who in turn leased it to Gladin in 1953 for their grocery store. Sturges Supermarket acquired the business in 1957. You can see it in the image below, to the right as Gladin's (beside McQueary's Chevron); also see this image from the 1940s of the same spot, at that time it was Bernalillo Mercanitle. (5)

1950s black and white: highway, to the right a Chevron station, gable roof building, a trading post. To the left, garage, gas station and beyond the Yucca Hotel, cars and truck on US66
Western side of Grants NM 1950s Source. Click to enlarge

McQueary Chevron Station

black and white Chevron gas station in the 1950s with 4 lane Avenue in front. Car and truck driving by

McQueary Chevron in the 1950s, Grants. Source. Click to Enlarge

black and yellow advertisement of a Chevron gas station in the 1968 with image of it, and text

McQueary Chevron 1968 advertisement, Grants. Source. Click to Enlarge

At 1201 W Santa Fe was the McQueary Chevron station. There still is a gas station on the property, no longer a Chevron, now it is a Phillips 66. The original building has been torn down. See the current street view.

Across the street, to your right at 1300 was a Shell service station. In the phone book it appears as Kelley's Shell Service Station ❌ nothing remains of it. In 1969 Judge Creggar bought it. By 1975 it was Gil’s Shell Service Station.

Charley's Automotive Service

building with two service bays, words INDUSTRIAL RADIATOR SERVICE written on parapet. Two men crouching: Charley Diaz and his son Joseph, pick up truck to the right

Charley and Joseph Diaz in 1949. Grants. Source
Click to enlarge

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places and the New Mexico State Register of Historic Places

Founded in 1941 by Charles "Charley" Diaz (1914-1995) and located to your right at 1308-1310 W Santa Fe. You will spot the remaining buildings of Charley's Garage and gas station.
It has five buildings including the Diaz family home: on the east was the Star Cafe (pictured below in a "Then and Now" sequence) ran by Charley's great uncle Salome Saiz; that was built in 1949 and served its last meal in 1985. Left is the main garage building which originally had Mobil gas pumps and offered full service. Later Charley focused on radiator repairs and kept on running it until his death (6).

square building words STAR CAFE on parapet windows on each side of entrance door. Pueblo style, 1940s car parked front

Star Cafe 1950s, Grants. Source

square brown building with boarded windows on each side of a boarded door. Pueblo style, sign in front. Hill beyond

Star Cafe nowadays, Grants. Click for street view

Below are two "Then and Now" pictures, in 1949 and nowadays with the current appearance of the property:

Notice the Mobil sign and pumps.

1949 black and white: garage, 2 gas pumps in front, CHARLEYS AUTO SERVICE written on parapet. Another gas station in the distance
Charley's Auto Service, Grants NM 1949. Source. Click to enlarge

Notice it is spelled "Charlie's" instead of "Charleys"

color view garage, two service bays, box shaped words CHARLIE’S RADIATOR SERVICE written on parapet
Charley's Radiator Service, Grants NM nowadays. Click for street view

Los Alamitos Motel ❌

Adjacent to Charley's at 1400 W Santa Fe (you can see Charley's garage on the right side in the image below, that looks eastwards along Route 66). Named for the Hispanic community on the south side of the railroad (Alamitos means "small willows" in Spanish). It stood on the north (right) side of the highway but was torn down years ago. It had an L-shaped layout and its fading and flaking neon sign stood by the highway until recently, now gone. Pictured below in 2018.

Los Alamitos motel sign in 2018 while it was still standing

color view neon sign of a motel, 1950s, triangular blue and yellow, faded; set in an overgrown lot. Route 66 to the right
Los Alamitos Motel sign in 2018, Grants NM nowadays. Click for street view

Ahead, at 1424 W Santa Fe was Ramsey's Texaco Station ❌ now all that remains are its foundations (Street view).

Continue west and at 1871 W Santa Fe, 0.3 miles after passing the access to the freeway's exit 81A, to your left is a 1950s curio shop the Indian Trails Trading Post.

Continue your Road Trip

This old trading post marks the endpoint of your journey through Grants.
Continue your Route 66 road trip by heading west into the next town, neighboring Milan NM. advertisement

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Banner image: Hackberry General Store, Hackberry, Arizona by Perla Eichenblat
Jack DeVere Rittenhouse, (1946). A Guide Book to Highway 66.

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