The Birthplace of HISTORIC Route 66!
For Route 66 enthusiasts, Seligman is the heart and soul of the Route 66 travel experience. It is the essence of Route 66, and the Main Street of America so many other towns have lost. Founded in 1896 as a connecting point of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad, Seligman, named after the Seligman brothers who were New York bankers who helped finance the rail line, Seligman soon became a key stop along the line, boasting a beautiful Harvey House.
From its arrival in the late 1920s, the community of Seligman welcomed Route 66 wholeheartedly. Over the years, the railroad and tourist traffic became Seligman’s main source of economic security. Then in February 1978, Seligman was bypassed by Interstate 40 and the cars stopped coming. Just seven years later the Santa Fe Railroad eliminated its Seligman operation.
Seligman might have faded away like so many other bypassed communities, except it was home to the Angel of the Route 66… Angel Delgadillo. Angel, a barber who grew up on Route 66 believed that people were still in search of the real America. On February 18, 1987, he gathered together a group of 15 passionate individuals at the Copper Cart restaurant in Seligman, and at the end of the meeting they formed the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona (Association) setting the rebirth of Route 66 into motion.
Seligman may be a small community, but there is lots to see and do, so allow plenty of time. Pick up a Seligman walking tour map at Angel’s Gift Shop & Welcome Center to learn more about the history of Seligman including the Snow Cap Drive-in, built by Angel’s brother, Juan, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary! Be sure to order a small cone with your order!!