Exploring the ruins of Ella’s Frontier

Ella's Frontier postcard

Crowd-funded filmmaker Dan Bell recently explored the ruins of Ella’s Frontier off old Route 66 near Joseph City, Arizona.

He interspersed the film with footage from the 1980s shortly after the business closed with the owner’s death in 1984.

According to the GhostTownAZ website:

The business was owned and operated by Ella Blackwell, who purchased the property (previously called the Last Frontier Trading Post) in 1955 after divorcing her second husband. A former student at the Julliard School, Ella kept a piano in the store, which she claimed was established in 1873, making it the oldest such establishment on Route 66. Ella however was considered quite eccentric among locals, many of whom doubted her claim.


Atlas Obscura says the business itself dates to 1927, shortly after U.S. 66 came into existence, and was constructed from discarded telephone poles. One of its former owners was Don Lorenzo Hubbell, better known for the now-historic Hubbell Trading Post in Ganado, Arizona.

Ella’s Frontier also sit next to the ruins of the Big Arrow Campground.

(Vintage postcard image of Ella’s Frontier courtesy of 66Postcards.com)

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