US 66: In the Beginning - the early years of Rt 66.

"You see, it's all clear, you were meant to be here, from the beginning" - Emerson, Lake and Palmer, From the Beginning

"... Outside their lives go on much faster. Oh, we won't give in, we'll keep living in the past." - Jethro Tull, Living in the Past

This site is meant to provide information on America's favorite Historical highway, Route 66. The maps are scanned from a Rand McNally Auto Road Atlas for 1928. The original routing of route sixty-six is from "American Highways" of April, 1927. Vol. VI, No. 2.
If you want to contact the webmaster of this site for any reason,
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Also listed below are the histories of the branch routes of US 66: US 166, US 266, US 366 [I], US 366 [II], US 466, US 566, and the oft maligned US 666.

From 1925:
The original US 60, route 66's planning number, in text form

Why the number changed from '60' to '66' -Article Reprinted with Permission

From 1927:
The original route of US 66, in text form

Scanned maps from 1928:
City of Chicago, Illinois
From Chicago, IL to Chenoa, IL
From Chenoa, IL to Springfield, IL
From Springfield, IL to St. Louis, MO
City of St. Louis, Missouri
From St. Louis, MO to St. James, MO
From St. James, MO to Baxter Springs, KS
From Baxter Springs, KS to Tulsa, OK
From Tulsa, OK to Oklahoma City, OK
From Oklahoma City, OK to Hydro, OK
From Hydro, OK to Texola, OK
From Texola, OK to Glenrio, NM
From Glenrio, NM to Santa Fe, NM
From Santa Fe, NM to Lupton, AZ
From Lupton, AZ to Williams, AZ
From Williams, AZ to Topock, AZ
From Topock, AZ to Barstow, CA
From Barstow, CA to Los Angeles, CA
City of Los Angeles, California

1938: US 66 was re-aligned in New Mexico, taking a more direct route between Santa Rosa, NM and Laguna, NM. Also, by 1938 US 66 had been extended west to Santa Monica from its prior terminus at US 101.
1973: Truncated to Pasadena, CA
1974: Truncated to Topock, AZ
1976: Truncated Gardner, IL
1978: Truncated to Normal, IL
1979: Truncated to Scotland, MO
June 27, 1985: Decomissioned

The branch routes of US 66:
US 166: Originally left US 66 at Baxter Springs, KS and connected to US 81 at South Haven, KS. The 1925 plan for US 160 left US 166 at Coffeyville and connected to US 75 at Independence. US 166 was extended east to Springfield, MO in 1945. It was truncated near Joplin, MO in 1966, the rest of the route is now I-44.
US 266: Originally left US 64 at Warner, OK and joined US 66 at Oklahoma City, OK, the same as the 1925 plan fro US 260. The half of this route west from Henryetta, OK was retired in favor of US 62 in 1931.
US 366 [I]: Originally left US 66 at Amarillo, TX and passed through New Mexico on its way to a southwesterly terminus at US 80 in El Paso, TX, the same as the 1925 plan for US 360. This US 366 designation was retired in 1931 in favor of the US 60 extension from Amarillo, TX to Clovis, NM and the US 70 rerouting from Clovis to El Paso, TX (currently US 54 from Alamogordo, NM to El Paso).
US 366 [II]: A new US 366 was assigned in 1931, taking over the route formerly known as US 470. US 366 left US 380 at Williard, NM to join US 66 at Albuquerque, NM. The portion of the route from Moriarty, NM was incorporated into US 66 in 1938, the remainder was decomissioned in 1939, now numbered NM 41.
US 466: The 1925 US 460 connected Los Lunas, NM to a point on US 70 near LaJoya, NM. US 466 was a 'reserved' number in 1926, the planned route was assigned US 85. A US 466 was finally assigned in 1934. US 466 left US 66 at Kingman, AZ and headed west, ending in Morro Bay, CA. This route was truncated at the California border in 1964, and fully decomissioned in 1971. Its route is now US 93 from Kingman to Las Vegas, NV; I-15 from Las Vegas to Barstow, CA; CA-58 from Barstow to Bakersfield, CA; CA-99 from Bakersfield to Famoso, CA; CA-46 from Famoso to Shandon, CA and CA-41 from Atascadero,CA to Morro Bay. From 1934-1959, US 466 passed through Creston, from 1960 to 1964 US 466 passed through Paso Robles, CA.
US 566: This route was added to the 1926 numbering, it was not in the 1925 plan. Originally left US 366 at Hondo, NM and connected with US 85 in San Antonio, NM. The US 566 designation was retired in favor of US 380 in 1931.
US 666: This route was US 560 in the original 1925 numbering scheme, US 560 was never used anywhere else. Originally left US 66 at Gallup, NM and terminated at US 450 (now US 160) in Cortez, CO. US 66 was extended south to Douglas, AZ in 1938. US 666 was extended north to Monticello, UT in 1970. US 666 was truncated back to Gallup, NM in 1993, I-40 is on its former route from Gallup to Sanders and US 191 was assigned to the rest of US 666.

More information on US 66 and other US Highways can be found at my main site:
U.S. Highways : From US 1 to (US 830)

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This page last updated on Sunday, April 30, 2000 11:53:19 PM Eastern Daylight Time

This web page originally posted by Robert V. Droz on January 1, 2000.