Meteor City closed in 2012 and soon became ransacked. It looked so bad in the last few years, even the most optimistic Route 66 enthusiasts doubted it could be resurrected.
In step Micheal and Joann Brown, who have lived in Jeffersonville, Indiana, for decades but grew up in California and often made trips west to visit friends and relatives. The couple also loved the Route 66 lore of the Southwest, especially nearby Two Guns, Arizona, and wanted to get away from their corporate jobs. They began looking for property in Arizona.
“We wanted to be back in the West,” Joann summarized during a telephone interview Wednesday.
The Browns kept talking with Meteor City’s owners. Joann said every time they began to have doubts about the wisdom of pursuing the property, strange little coincidences quickly occurred in Indiana — such as seeing a vehicle right in front of them with Arizona plates — that convinced them they were on the right track.
Now that they have the property, Joann says the first priority is to board up the doors and re-erect a fence around the property to secure it from scavengers and vandals. After the property’s structures shored up, then the restoration will begin.
Don’t count on the resurrected Meteor City Trading Post to be another outpost for Native American crafts at it was previously. Joann wants to take it another direction.
“We want to go back in time. We are opening it back to the way it was,” she said, adding she wants to return the distinctive geodesic dome to its original white color with a lighting-bolt flourish. “We want it to be a time capsule of Two Guns, of the other trading posts that once were there. We want Route 66 to be a fabled attraction.”
She added a section of the store might be devoted to the 1984 Jeff Bridges film “Starman,” where a scene was shot there.
Joann says another priority is to bring back the Justice of the Peace building on the premises, which is behind one of the wall.
As for artist Bob Waldmire’s World’s Longest Map of Route 66 on a fence, Joann said she’d love to restore it, too, but she’s having trouble tracking down complete photos of it to do so.
Joann said she initially hoped to reopen Meteor City Trading Post by summer but realizes that is highly ambitious. She said she still needs to set up a business plan, but she says can generate income through her current job by working remotely online.
Meteor City’s dome has been there since 1979, but its days as a roadside business go back further than that. A gas station operated on that site on U.S. 66 starting in 1938. The business itself has gone through several expansions and reconstructions after fires.
In the meantime, Meteor City Trading Post can be followed on Facebook.
(Image of Meteor City Trading Post in 2006 by Joe Wolf via Flickr)