The City of Catoosa, Oklahoma, wants to make a series of improvements to the grounds of the iconic Blue Whale site.
According to News on 6 in nearby Tulsa, the city’s plans include “building trails behind the whale, restrooms, a new gift shop and possibly creating a small R-V park.”
The city also wants to add a water circulation system to keep algae growth down in the pond.
I emailed Catoosa city manager John Blish to clarify the report about the restrooms and gift shop, both of which date to the early days of the Blue Whale.
Blish replied that “we will not be tearing down the gift shop or bathroom as we want to preserve both.”
The city plans to apply for grants through the state’s Route 66 commission to pay for the improvements.,
Hugh Davis hand-made the Blue Whale out of concrete and shaped rebar in 1972 as an anniversary gift to his wife. The Blue Whale and its spring-fed pond became a popular swimming hole for locals and travelers along Route 66 alike.
It closed in 1988 and fell into disrepair until it was restored in the early 2000s. Davis’ son, Blaine, was the caretaker at the property for years.
The city purchased the Blue Whale site and its land in 2020 from the Davis family for $1.5 million.
(Image of the Blue Whale of Catoosa, Oklahoma, by Ayleen Dority via Flickr)