Newberry Springs Community Alliance
Networking On Route 66

Alliance meets with the
California Historic Route 66 Association's
Board Of Directors

October 9, 2013

      Bono's Restraurant and Deli, located on Foothill Boulevard in Fontana (old Route 66), is a facility that has been serving Route 66 travelers since 1936.  Fontana used to have large tracts of orange orchards.  Before the proliferation of bottled sodas, orange juice was sold from a series of structures that looked like oranges that were strung along Foothill Boulevard in the Inland Empire.  The pictured orange structure shown is the last of the original structures.  A museum in Riverside has a reproduction.
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      A representative of the Newberry Springs Community Alliance spoke at the monthly general board meeting of the California Historic Route 66 Association held at Bono's Restaurant in Fontana, California, on Saturday, October 5, 2013.

      The Community Alliance is networking and aligning with organizations promoting the decommissioned Route 66 that runs from Chicago to Santa Monica.  Route 66 travels through eight states, including Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

      A number of Route 66 organizations have been working for years with local, state and federal authorities for greater recognition of the route and restoration of historic sites along the roadway.

      This wave of interest in Route 66 was originally started by Angel Delgadillo, now 86 of Seligman, Arizona, who in 1987 founded the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona to acquire "Historic Route 66" signage for the decommissioned road.  Angel Delgadillo, a semi-retired barber by trade, is a witty and super friendly person.

      Seligman today is experiencing a fair amount of tourist trade thanks to Angel Delgadillo's earlier work.

      Following Seligman's success, other groups soon formed in other states for special route recognition.  Most of the groups involve communities that were economically devasted when a new highway bypassed their Route 66 community.  Their focus has been to stimulate their local economy by raising awareness of the historic significance of the 'Mother Road.'

      Support groups for Route 66 are not restricted to communities along the route's corridor; but also includes a number of international Route 66 clubs that extend around the globe.

      The California Historic Route 66 Association is working on multiple promotional projects.  One that is currently on the drawing board is a proposed Route 66 International Festival for the Los Angeles area; perhaps as early as 2015.  This would be the first of its kind.  Another project directly impacts Newberry Springs.

      The California Historic Route 66 Association, in its effort to preserve Route 66 roadside resources, has acquired a grant and is planning to prepare a Corridor Management Plan (CMP) for Route 66 between Barstow and Needles for the purpose of eventually acquiring a National Scenic Byway designation.  The association has recently hired a Washington, D.C. consulting firm for the preparation of the CMP.

      To date, there are 150 National Scenic Byways or All-American Roads designated upon their archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and scenic qualities in 46 states.  The acquisition of the designation for the Route 66 segment between Barstow and Needles would help recognize, preserve and enhance the roadway through a number of benefits, including access to certain federal matching grants.

Newberry Springs Community Alliance

      While the Community Alliance applauds the marvelous success of these groups, Newberry Springs is faced with terrible Route 66 pavement problems to the east of the community extending to Amboy.

      Attractive signs and designations are not going to cure the pavement problem; however, with a heightened awareness of how the Mother Road is deteriorating in some areas, funding can perhaps be acquired to restore those asphalt areas of America's iconic highway.

      Doing such in other states has demonstrated that more traffic is attracted off of the adjacent Interstates that then enhances the local economies and stimulates an increase number of nostalgic foreign and domestic tourists being drawn to the region.

      Unfortunately, Route 66's pavement immediately to the east of Newberry Springs has been allowed to degrade to such a bad condition that the county will soon be posting beneficial warning signs to travelers of rough roadway ahead.

      Route 66 going through Newberry Springs had two principle alignments over time.  The original unpaved route followed much of the then existing road from Needles that avoided the soft sand of the Troy lakebed and the springs/marsh area.  Later, with better road making technology and paving, Route 66 was straightened out.

      There are a number of inexpensive opportunities that Newberry Springs could avail itself of to promote the community as a tourist stop.  The community needs true leadership to cease being isolated and become productive.

      It is like stumbling upon a gold vein protruding from the ground; recognizing it as gold, and then abandoning it because one doesn't know what to do with it still in the ground!  A little foresight and effort is necessary to dig it up.

      Until Newberry Springs wakes-up and improves its image and provide reasons for tourists to stop, the necessary increase in traffic flow into the community, to make it commercially viable, is not going to happen.


      Some of the California Historic Route 66 Association's board members are shown meeting at Bono's Restaurant and Deli.  The association has an impressive Parliamentarian officer that acts as a consultant in guiding the board during its meetings.  The efficiency in the manner that the board conducted its meeting was highly impressive.

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