A history buff is using stones from a demolished Route 66 motel in Kingman, Arizona, to re-create a mining monument that stood more than 100 years ago in the city.
C. Russell collected stones from the recently razed Bells Motel, aka Desert Lodge Apartments and Bel Air Motel, to help build a Miners Mineral Monument near the railroad depot in Kingman.
According to the Kingman Daily Miner:
He got the idea from his wife, Nannette, who as a member of the city’s Historic Preservation Commission, who came across some old photographs of the original monument built in 1904, which was located on what is now Fourth Street. The monument was torn down in the 1940s. […]
Along with stones from the motel, Russell and his pals from Arizona Explorers, a group of quasi-geologists and off-roading enthusiasts, have been collecting rocks for the monument. The stones – which include tuff, flagstone, agate and copper ore – come mostly from Mohave County. Russell said the monument will be 10 feet tall and eight feet square at the bottom.
The monument will contain a time capsule to “honor the community’s history in the mining industry,” Historic Preservation Commission liaison Bill Shilling said.
Russell said he hopes to have the Miners Mineral Monument finished by the end of the year. Anyone who wants to give time or materials for the project can call him at (928) 846-0927.
As for what’s going in the time capsule, that’s being determined. The newspaper reported ideas include a newspaper, a phonebook and a cellphone.
According to online records, an “ore monument” once stood next to the Santa Fe Eating House, also known as one of the dozens of Harvey Houses in the West, on Fourth Street and what now is Andy Devine Avenue (aka Route 66) in Kingman.
That led me to a photograph from the Library of Congress of that Santa Fe Eating House, shot between 1890 and 1910.
The “ore monument” can be seen in this blown-up excerpt of the photograph.
As for Bells Motel, it came down a few weeks ago. Here’s vintage postcard of it:
According to another article in the Daily Miner, the motel was built in the 1940s using local stones. A local said the motel started to go downhill in the 1980s after her parents sold it.
(Postcard image of Bells Motel courtesy of 66Postcards.com; image of Santa Fe Eating House via Library of Congress)