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Something is always happening on

Route 66

By Ned Leuchtner
Owner, Cool Springs Mobil Station

       Bring your old ride and your old self (or your new ride and your young self) to a re-born 1926 Mobil Station on Route 66, west of Kingman, Arizona brought to you by Ned Leuchtner (one of our Stovebolters).

Something happened here once

       "...Soon Route 66 begins the climb up the Gold Hill Grade towards Oatman, Arizona. The ruins of an old gas station on the right stand as a silent guardian at the entrance to the canyon, a lonely ghost of another time when a nation on the move paused at this spot. What stories are hidden away here? The little day-to-day dramas played out so long ago by people coming and people going, but stopping for a time here to rest?
       "I stood among the ruins and looked out upon the desert. Nothing stirred. A gust of warm desert wind brushed up against my face then whispered in my ear before moving on – up and over the ruined, blackened stones.
       " In the stillness now I thought I heard the wind echo 'Something happened here once' …”

~ The Road Wanderer Log, March 2001

 

 

       Cool Springs, like the Mother Road that had given it life, refused to fade away. A new interest in Route 66 had begun. People were beginning to tire of the fast-paced generic Interstate and return to the old two-lanes to rediscover America. At first it was a grass-root movement begun by a few dedicated individuals. But soon, over time, this movement caught on and Route 66 became a worldwide phenomena. As in the old days, the fortunes of the Mother Road directly influenced the life and times of Cool Springs Camp - in this nothing had changed. In the great scheme of things, as Route 66 became the highway America couldn't forget, Cool Springs Camp would not be forgotten long. Cool Springs was poised for a rebirth.

 

Something is happening here AGAIN

       In 1997 Ned Leuchtner passed through the area. The beauty, history and majesty of the area intrigued him. When he found the ruins of Cool Springs, the spirit of the place fascinated and inspired him. For three years Ned repeatedly tried to buy the property but to no avail. Finally, in the summer of 2001, the owner called and said she wanted to sell. She was moved by Ned’s desire to rebuild Cool Springs.

 

The rebirth of Cool Springs had begun

       In the fall of 2004, Ned Leuchtner and his general contractor and builder Dennis DeChenne, completed the rebuild of the station at Cool Springs. December 7th, 2004 was a banner day for Cool Springs. The power was hooked back up. As Ned puts it, “We had the power hooked up at Cool Springs last night. It marks the first time that the lights were on there since 1966.”

 

Cool Springs is Open for Business

       After almost 40 years, Cool Springs is now open for business again. It is now presented as a welcomed stop for people to enjoy and cherish. It represents the end of the old era, and the beginning of the new appreciation for the days of the past. The New Cool Springs Sign (left) is an exact replica of the vintage sign.

       New construction will begin January 2005 on the building next to the station. This new building will resemble the old cafe, but the Leuchtner’s are going to make it a museum. They decided not to do food service or gas distribution because of the many regulations. But they will offer soft drinks and snacks.

 

 

Gotta have the right decor ... including the Stovebolts!

       Ned owns two vintage Chevy Trucks. The first one is a 1953 3600. It was a utility truck at a campground in Wisconsin near Wisconsin Rapids. It is called "Old Sally." He trailered her on a flatbed down to the station.

       The other Chevy truck is a 1951 2-ton wrecker with a Holmes lift kit. He also has this truck at the station. This truck was used as a prop for the movie "Universal Soldier" starring Jean Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lungren. The movie was filmed at his station in 1991. (Remember that feature about your truck in the movies, hmmm? ~~ Editor)

Something will always be happening here

       Ned has a great web site set up with more photos, more details about the "rebirth" of the station, a great history of Cool Springs, a great map with directions, a gift shop with items unique to the area, and some really cool links ~~ stuff to help you plan your trip on Route 66? Or are you just interested in finding more about the Mother Road? There's a wealth of information about this celebrated highway on the Internet. Explore the possibilities with these links to some of our friends. Ned's even got a temperature gauge that tells you the current temp there! Now that's coolamundo!

       And if you're planning a journey that way, the major event out in Arizona is the Route 66 Fun Run. It is held the last weekend of April. The Mobil station is a major stop off for this event.

       Camp Cool Springs is located about 20 miles west of Kingman, Arizona on the Oatman Road (Old Route 66). This stretch of Route 66 is one of the most unique to be found anywhere. Just before the road climbs into the Black Mountains up Sitgreaves Pass to Oatman, you will see Cool Springs on your right. Plan to spend some time in the area exploring. And bring plenty of film. Route 66 history is all around you. The trip from Kingman, Arizona or Needles, California along this old alignment of Route 66 would make an exciting day trip. Oatman, Arizona is considered by some to be the most colorful old Route 66 town along the entire Mother Road.

 

Enjoy your journey.

 

Ned Leuchtner
Owner, Cool Springs Mobil Station

February 2005


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