The rich and colorful history of Kingman, Arizona has been brought to life with an innovative narrated, self guided historic district walking tour. Spearheaded by Paul Gaines and Beth Ferry of Kingman Main Street, the walking tour and Route 66 Walk of Fame was unveiled at the new Depot Plaza during the National Day Calendar celebration on National Road Trip Day in May, 2022.
Points of interest on the tour include Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner that opened in January 1940, the territorial era jail built in 1910 by the Pauly Jail Building Company of Missouri, the WWI monument, one of three dedicated to a Native American, and Sportsman’s Club, a saloon built in 1906 by Henry Lovin, a Mohave County sheriff. The tour also highlights public arts projects, the artists behind them, and sites associated with celebrities and major motion pictures.
The project titled as A Walkabout With Jim Hinckley: Kingman Tours was also designed as a virtual tour. Each point of interest has a plaque created by Legacy Signs of Kingman that links to a dedicated page on the website designed by MyMarketing Designs. The plaque has an historic photo provided by the Mohave Museum of History & Arts or postcard collectors, site descriptor, sponsor information, and a QR code that links to the website page.
The website page uses a slider to show to provide a “then and now” perspective, a current 360 degree photo, and map that shows other points of interest and nearby businesses. It also has an audio narration about the site provided by Jim HInckley, and for the hearing impaired, a transcript of the narration.
Jim Hinckley is the author of numerous books including Murder and Mayhem on The Main Street of America: Tales From Bloody 66, The Route 66 Encyclopedia, Backroads of Arizona, Backroads of Route 66, Ghost Towns of Route 66, and Ghost Towns of The Southwest. Hinckley, and his wife Judy, are creators of the Jim Hinckley’s America network. Hinckley is also a humorist, historian, tour development consultant, and speaker that has made presentations at an array of events including the European Route 66 Festival, Miles of Possibility Conference, and International Route 66 Festival.
The starting point for the tour is the historic 1907 railroad depot and Kingman Railroad Museum located at the intersection of Fourth Street and Andy Devine Avenue, Route 66. However, the tour was designed to allow people to start from any point of interest. The entire walking tour of thirty five points of interest requires approximately two hours.
The tour was highlighted in a presentation about historic district revitalization projects and the forthcoming Route 66 centennial at the 2022 Miles of Possibility Conference in Pontiac, Illinois. It was also demonstrated at a meeting with Tucumcari Main Street members in Tucumcari, New Mexico, and to tour company owners meeting with Hinckley in Kingman. A demonstration using a duplicate point of interest plaque is planned for the Route 66 Info Fair in Needles, California on Saturday, February 11, 2023.