Barstow Main Street
1601 East Main Street,
1530 East Main Street,
(Dark Blue / Trunk)
1305 East Main Street,
315 East Main Street,
68 North 1st Avenue,
(in corner park area)
Route 66 Motel
195 Main Street, Barstow, California 92311
931 Main Street,
(Back of blue truck)
2100 Main Street,
Main Street, Barstow, California
Route 66 goes straight through Barstow, running all along the town's Main Street, from roughly where Interstate 15 meets Highway 40, near where Barstow Station sits, all the way to where Main Street runs into Highway 58. From Highway 58, Route 66 turns southward heading towards Oro Grande and Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch. Heading East from Barstow, Route 66 parallels 40 often, heading towards places like Daggett, the Bagdad Cafe, Ludlow, Amboy, and eventually Needles, before entering Arizona.
Barstow has embraced their Route 66 heritage and installed eight separate pedestals, each one topped by a classic car from the 50s, along Main Street, one for each of the eight states that Route 66 goes through, Illinois to California. They began appearing in November 2016 and stand about seven feet tall. Red metal curved poles are added near the pedestals, each with the Route 66 emblem, along with the name and outline of the state the pedestal represents. Each pedestal has the Route 66 sign on it, has "BARSTOW" written on the top, and has a sign of a classic car perched on top. When a license plate is visible on the cars, it says "Route 66". Barstow spent a fair amount of money on the pedestals, roughly $111,000.
In addition to the eight pedestals commemorating Route 66, Barstow also features several interesting murals discussing history of the area. Main Street through town also features several businesses pushing the Route 66 brand, as well as some old hotels and signage that still exists from the heyday of Route 66.
Like the road, the pedestals are arranged east to west with Illinois being the eastern most pedestal and California being the western most one. The Illinois pedestal is situated just to the left of Barstow Station at 1601 East Main Street, on the north side of the street in front of the Popeyes. It is topped by a blue 55 Ford Thunderbird.
Continuing west down Main Street, the Missouri pedestal is next and it will appear on the south side of the road at 1530 East Main Street in front of a few fast food places (Carl's Jr and Burger King). It is the back end of a dark blue car.
The third pedestal, representing Kansas, can be found at 1305 East Main Street, on the north side, near the Wienerschnitzel.
Before reaching the Oklahoma pedestal there are a few other things of interest along Main Street. You'll pass the Stardust Inn on your right at 901 East Main Street, the sign having "Stardust" in bright red, and the "Inn" in bright yellow. Soon after you'll pass several of what's known as the Main Street Murals. Consisting of at least 26 different murals many of them pay tribute to the history of Barstow and the area. At 613 East Main Street is one known as "Barstow 66 - Celebrities". Designed in 2015 and 2016 by David Brockhurst, the main mural shows several different places in Barstow including the Beacon Tavern, the El Rancho, and the Skyline Drive-In. In front of the mural, available for a photo shoot, is a free standing cut out showing several celebrities that have visited Barstow and you can pose with Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Winston Churchill, and others.
Next up at 513 East Main Street, is the Old National Trails Highway mural. Parts of Route 66 use to be called the Old National Trails Highway. This mural was painted in 1998 by Jim Savoy and it was the very first mural in the Main Street Murals series. It shows how people came to southern California back in the early 1920s by way of the Old National Trails Highway.
Further down, again on the north side, at 413 East Main is a newer addition to Route 66, here in Barstow. Named after the famous Roy's in Amboy, in 2017 Roy's Cafe opened up on Main Street. It has a sign that is similar and inspired by the famous sign in Amboy. The restaurant is owned by the same owner of all of Amboy, Albert Okura, who is also the owner of the Juan Pollo restaurant chain. Roy's Cafe offers up a Heart Attack Burger supposedly consisting of four stacked hamburger patties and lots of cheese. If you order it, the restaurant will offer to time you, and if you eat all of it in just five minutes, along with the fries and drink that comes with it, then it's free!
Representing Oklahoma, the fourth pedestal can be found at 315 East Main in Barstow's downtown area. It looks like a dark corvette is sitting on top of the pedestal. There are some Route 66 emblems in the road near it.
Between the Oklahoma and Texas pedestals there are a few more murals of note. At 239 East Main Street you'll find several murals depicting mining in the area. The silver mining mural showcases nearby Calico which was referred to as the Silver King Mine. Calico is still a functioning ghost town that you can visit and in 1950 it became a tourist attraction. Prominently displayed in the mural is Dorsey, the mail carrying dog. Dorsey was the postmaster, Jim Stacy's canine and he carried mail from Calico to Bismarck in bags on his back. There are other mining murals to the right of the silver one. This is part of a Mining the Mojave mural series of which there are four total murals. Gold, Turquoise and a mural called "Natural Colored Rock" completes the series telling more history about mining operations in the area.
Located at 200 North 2nd Avenue, there's a mural that discusses the history of the US Camel Corps. Edward Beale followed a route that would later be used by both railroads and Route 66, and took the camels from New Mexico all the way to California. Beale referred to the endeavor as a success, and for the most part it was, although most people did not warm up to the camels which often spit or bit their handlers. The US Camel Corps experiment pretty much ended with the coming of the Civil War, as well as the eventual laying of more tracks for the railroads. This mural was finished in 2000.
A mural called the "City of Barstow" is located at 113 East Main Street. It was painted by an art class at Barstow High School. Several elements of it represent important businesses and aspects that have influenced Barstow from Fort Irwin to NASA's Goldstone complex to Route 66 and even the railroad. Also in this area is a mural called "The Southern Route of the Mormon Trail". This is a very long mural completed back in 2005. It depicts the trail that people in the 1840s and 1850s mostly took between Los Angeles and Utah. There was even a Pony Express route along the trail. Both murals are near or in a small park area, where you can find the Texas Pedestal.
The Texas Pedestal can be found in a corner park at 68 North 1st Avenue. It depicts a soft green convertible on top of it.
Across the street from the Texas Pedestal is the El Rancho Motel, noticiable due to the large sign that looms up behind the old motel. The El Rancho Motel was originally built in the mid forties by Cliff Chase with discarded wooden railroad ties from the out of business Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad being used to help build it. It was done in a bungalow style. It has a gigantic sign behind it that was created by Electrical Products Corporation and erected in 1947. The sign was last restored way back in 1994 and no longer lights up. The place now rents the rooms out, mainly to senior citizens.
Before you get to the New Mexico Pedestal, you will pass the "Greetings from Main St Murals - Route 66" mural. It can be found at 108 A 1st Avenue. It was installed in October 2016 and focuses on the dreams of Route 66, as well as its attractions and influences on Barstow.
Next up, on the north side of the street at 195 Main Street is the Route 66 Motel! Not only does the Route 66 Motel have an iconic sign, but the look and feel of the motel embraces Route 66. Old cars and even a water tower can be found around the parking lot. Most famous though is the large mural along the wall facing Main Street which depicts the entire Route 66 showing each state that the road passes through. Next door at 201 West Main Street is a motel called The Torches. Its sign is also one to check out.
On the south side of the road at 540 West Main Street, you'll find Rosita's Restaurant which is an excellent example of a business embracing Route 66 with two very nice Route 66 murals on the outside of its building. The business is family run and has been passed down through four generations. Originally started in 1948 by Rosa Griego, Rosita's is still serving up original family recipes in this authentic Mexican restaurant.
New Mexico Pedestal
The New Mexico Pedestal is located at 931 Main Street and shows the back of an early fifties blue Ford pickup truck. It is located on the north side of Main Street.
Between the New Mexico and Arizona Pedestals you will come across Motel 66 at 1701 Main Street. Honestly, it's mostly just distinctive due to its name and large simple green "Motel 66" sign.
The Arizona Pedestal is on the southern side of Main Street at 2100 Main Street in front of a Chevron. It's a blue mid-sixties mustang convertible.
Located on the southern side of Main Street, about a block or so from where Main Street meets Highway 58, the California Pedestal sits in front of just a dirt lot. It shows a dark convertible on top of the pedestal.
There is one more pedestal, a special ninth pedestal, right before you reach Highway 58. This one has an older style bus on top of it and sits outside the transit building located there. It was definitely the last pedestal built and was not present the first time I drove down the road. Since it does not represent one of the states that Route 66 passes through there are no red state markings near it.
Barstow's Main Street showcases a rich array of attractions as it embraces its Route 66 heritage. From pedestals representing each state the route passes through to a myriad of different murals showcasing the history there, the detour is well worth it. There are several more murals and businesses featuring Route 66 trappings for you to see then what appears in this article. Additionally, Barstow has the second largest meteorite ever found in the United States as well as a giant fire helmet outside one of the fire stations. There is also a very nice Route 66 Museum and a train museum, both housed in the restored train depot.
First Created: 2021-03-07
Last Edited: 2021-07-09