This story Monday by the Press-Enterprise explains as well as any the importance behind an ongoing comprehensive study of Route 66 in California. An excerpt:
The report can then be used to help property owners apply for state and federal historic grants or listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Rather than each site applying and summarizing the historic importance of Route 66, the study can be used as a boilerplate synopsis of the road, and landowners can then focus solely on their site’s relevance.
Anyone can participate in the program, or not cooperate, officials said. And contrary to what some believe, listing on the national historic register doesn’t force the owner to do anything. To receive federal grants or loans, however, the owner has to agree to preserve the property, Murphey said.
And though I’ve been to Amboy numerous times, I didn’t even know about this:
Out in the desert, finding the real Route 66 can be a challenge. Because the road was formed by linking local roads from county to county and state to state, the alignments in the desert changed over time, said Hatheway, the county cultural resource specialist. Where the motel and gas station in Amboy sit is the second incarnation. To find the original, travelers must mosey about 200 yards south, to a gravel road behind a church that passes an old graveyard.
“Can you imagine driving more than 2,000 miles on that?” Hatheway asked. “Bouncing up and down in an old car in 1937. That’s how so many people got here.”