Newberry Springs Community Alliance
Networking On Route 66
October 9, 2013
Alliance meets with the
California Historic Route 66 Association's
Board Of Directors
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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.
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.
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
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
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 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.
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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