Archive for the ‘Oklahoma’ category

Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees

August 25, 2007

These colorful brochures and maps were handed out to lake-goers in the late 1940s. This huge lake — 1,300 miles of shoreline — provides recreation and hydroelectric power for the region. Flirtatious bathers look out while playing in the water. The inside of the brochure are packed with ads for lake services and tourist stops. The Buffalo Ranch was once a must-see along Route 66 and the Grand Lake area. It’s simple advertisement gives a clue to what the Ranch featured.



Coast to coast host

July 14, 2007

Most everyone can remember the magnificent signs that signaled a Holiday Inn. These signs are extinct now. But postcards, brochures and matchbooks carried the symbol for decades. This postcard, from the early 1960s, is from the Holiday Inn in Clinton, Okla. The motel was located along U.S. 66 and offered all the amenities found in the rest of the chain, including free TV.


Matchless 66

May 26, 2007

Matchbooks were an easy and cheap way to advertise a business. For very little expense, a motel or cafe could  buy thousands of these little billboards, which doubled as useful souvenirs for smokers and everyone else.  Here are a couple from the Mother Road. McLean, Texas is still a great stop on U.S. 66. This matchcover from the early 1940s uses a generic illustration of a hamburger to promote a tourist camp. The Clock Inn Motel in Oklahoma City had a fantastic sign that this matchcover doesn’t show off. Today, the original sign from the Clock Inn can be found here.


Dine at this sign

April 16, 2007

Produced by the Oklahoma Restaurant Association, this brochure advertised all the tasty cafes and diners around the Sooner State. This particular example was given away by the Rainbow Cafe, located on U.S. 66, near the heart of My-am-uh, Okla. Also in or near Miami, hungry travelers could find Doc’s Bar-B-Que and the newly opened Glass House Restaurant, which spanned the Will Rogers Turnpike. This guide dates from around 1960.


A modern Oklahoma highway

March 13, 2007

The four-lane, 88-mile Turner Turnpike was built at a cost of $38 million. It opened to traffic in May 1953. This new road saved travelers almost one hour driving time between Tulsa and Oklahoma City. The turnpike diverted motorists from U.S. 66, which parallels the turnpike. As a result, many towns along this stretch of 66 began to feel the effects of reduced traffic and commerce along their lifeblood highway. The turnpike was designed to offer services along the way. Howard Johnson restaurants and Phillips 66 gas stations were easily accessed from the highway. This brochure trumpeted the rewards of driving this modern roadway. Safety was key. Guardrails, reflectors, luminous stripes and a grassy median were components of the road. In the 1990s, the 15-foot wide grassy median was replaced with a concrete barrier to prevent the inevitable crossover accidents.


For an enjoyable trip … go 60!

March 8, 2007

What a beauty of a brochure produced by the National Highway 60 Association. This transcontinental highway stretched from Virginia Beach to Los Angeles. Check out this 1954 map and guide, which not only displayed many fine establishments along U.S. 60, but also was an invitation for everyone to attend the upcoming Highway 60 convention in Poplar Bluff, Mo.


The inside of the guidebook has motels, cafes, gas stations and scenic stops along the way. This page shows the wide assortment of things to interest the motorist – from trading posts to fishing to fine hotels. A short stretch of 60 shared the road with Route 66 in northeastern Oklahoma.