Kingman Arizona - Summary Page

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This page last updated on 01/25/2018
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Directions: Kingman is a city in and the county seat of Mohave County, Arizona. According to the 2010 census the population of the city is around 28,068. Taking US-93 South, Kingman is located 103 miles southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Area Description: Kingman, the Heart of historic Route 66 & one of the hidden treasures of Arizona, is conveniently located on Interstate 40 and is the perfect launching point for "Route 66 and Beyond". Scenic hiking, historic charm, great cafes and restaurants, and the allure of Route 66 combine to make Kingman a remarkable destination. At an elevation of around 3,300 feet Kingman offers a temperate climate year-round. Kingman was founded as a railroad settlement and a monument in the park pays tribute to those who forged the route, such as the wagon trails of the early settlers and the surveys of Lt. Edward Beale. Located directly across from the Historic Route 66 Museum, Locomotive Park is a place where visitors may get up close and examine this marvel of earlier locomotive structure and design while listening to the modern trains whizzing by on the nearby railroad tracks across the street (Fig. 02).

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Kingman History: Kingman's prehistory belongs to the Patayan Culture and their decendants; principally the Hualapai, Havasupai and Mojave tribes. Read more about the Patayan Culture here ... Patayan Culture. Spaniards explored the area in search of gold as early as the 1500's. In October 1857, Lt. Edward Fitzgerald Beale and his experimental Camel Corps trudged across the present site of Kingman, Arizona surveying a wagon road along the 35th parallel. While surveying the area, they located several springs near present day Historic Downtown Kingman. This wagon road was the first Federally funded road.

In 1880 Lewis Kingman followed much of Beale Road while surveying for the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. The town of Kingman was founded in 1881. The railway reached the site of Kingman in March of 1883 and the first train pulled up in October 1883 carrying about 100 people. Before long there was a steady stream of travelers to the area as people moved in to ranch, mine, or set up business to service these growing industries. Kingman became a hub for supplies fed by the railroad. In 1886 the local newspaper, Mohave County Miner, was established. In 1887 Kingman was chosen to be the county seat for Mohave.

Situated in the Hualapai Valley between the Cerbat and Hualapai mountain ranges, Kingman is known for its very modest beginnings as a simple railroad siding near Beale’s Springs in the Middleton Section along the newly constructed route of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. The city of Kingman was named for Lewis Kingman, who surveyed along the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad's right-of-way between Needles, Calif., and Albuquerque, N.M. Lewis Kingman supervised the building of the railroad from Winslow, Ariz. to Beale's Springs, which is near the present location of the town of Kingman.

The Kingman Airport is located nine miles northeast of Kingman on Arizona State Route 66. During World War II, Kingman was the site of a U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) airfield. During World War II, and was home to the Kingman Aerial Gunnery School,  training some 35,000 soldiers and airmen. After the war, large numbers of USAAF aircraft were stored and dismantled at Kingman. The airport was turned over to Mohave County for civilian use in 1949. Today, the airport has air ambulance and air charter services. The airport continues to be used as a location for long-term aircraft storage due to its suitable large ramp space and a long decommissioned runway. In 1955, Ford Motor Company established a proving ground (now one of the Chrysler Proving Grounds) in nearby Yucca, Arizona at the former Yucca Army Airfield. Several major new neighborhoods in Kingman were developed to house the skilled workers and professionals employed at the proving ground, as Kingman was the only sizable, developed town within a convenient distance. Likewise, the development of the Duval copper mine near adjacent Chloride, Arizona, and construction of the Mohave Generating Station in nearby Laughlin, Nevada, in 1971 contributed to Kingman's population growth. The location of a General Cable plant at what was to become the Kingman Airport Industrial Park provided a steady employment base as well. Kingman has passenger rail service at its train station. It is served by the Amtrak Southwest Chief route, with daily service between Los Angeles and Chicago. The small Amtrak station in downtown Kingman is a historically significant building, constructed in Mission Revival Style architecture; however, prior to the establishment of Amtrak in 1971, the structure had fallen into disrepair with the decline of passenger rail service in the U.S. A total renovation of the building was completed in 2010. While still serving as a railroad station, the building is also now home to a model railroad museum. Today Kingman has over 60 buildings on the National Historic Register and is frequently referred to as the "Heart of Historic Route 66".  Not only is it on a major rail line route with Amtrak service, with plenty of hotels and restaurants it is a major stopover on Interstate 40 and US 93 for anyone headed to Laughlin or Las Vegas.
Visit Notes: Even though I have visited or passed through Kingman Arizona on several occasions, in January 2018 I made another daytrip here with two of my fellow hiking partners, Robert Croke and Jim Herring. As neither had ever been here before we decided to spend the day visiting the town's several museums and historic attractions. There are more than 60 buildings in Kingman that are on the National Register of Historic Places. It is impossible to see everything in a single day. Among some of the more popular places of interest are: the Bonelli House, Mohave Museum of History and Arts, the Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum, Locomotive Park, the Amtrak Depot, the Modell Railroad Museum, the Arizona Route 66 Museum, and Mr. D'z Route 66 Diner. Though not on the register of historic places, Mr. D'z Route 66 Diner is one of my favorites. I always make this a stop whenever I visit Kingman. After touring several museums, we decided to eat a late lunch at Mr. D'z. To read more about Mr. D'z go to Mr. D'z Route 66 Diner. On one of my visits, Connie and I took a tour of the Bonelli house. To read more about this house go to The Bonelli House. Another museum is the Mohave Museum of History & Arts. This museum offers a good introduction to the history of Northwestern Arizona. Dioramas & murals show development from prehistoric times to the present. You’ll even find a special exhibit on Andy Devine, local-boy-turned-movie-star. Outdoor exhibits display ranching, mining machinery plus a 1923 railroad caboose. To read more about this museum go to Mohave Museum of History & Arts. If you are a train buff, you will love the little Locomotive park. Located at Beale Street and Andy Devine Ave. (Route 66), the park is home to Santa Fe Locomotive #3759, that ran passengers between Los Angeles and Kansas City for over 20 years and traveled more than 2.5 million miles. The engine was given to the city of Kingman in 1957. In 1987 1,200 residents used rope to pull the locomotive forward, so a Santa Fe caboose would fit behind it. To read about engine #3759 go to Locomotive Park. Located in the downtown Kingman there is another historic building, the train station of the Amtrak Southwest Chief route. This building also contains a Model Railroad Museum. To read more go to Amtrak Depot & Model Railroad Museum, Probably one of the most prominent buildings in Kingman is the Powerhouse Visitor Center. Today is home to the Kingman Visitor Center & Gift Shop, the Arizona Route 66 Museum, and the Route 66 Electric Vehicle Museum. To read more go to Powerhouse Visitor Center & Museums.

If you enjoy hiking, you can hike the 1.7 mile Monolith Garden Lasso Loop Trail, part of the 5,620 acre Cerbat Foothills Recreation Area, created by the City of Kingman, the BLM, and the Arizona State Trail System. Just two and a half miles outside of Kingman, this area is filled with a fantastic maze of towering rock formations. It has a rolling landscape of low hills, stacked rock towers and hunched ridgeline columns. Running through dramatic boulder fields and crumbling ramparts of volcanic ash, the views are amazing. It is hard to stop taking pictures of the rocks, flowers, mesas, buttes, and ever changing colors of the area. To read about this wonderful area go to Monolith Garden Lasso Loop Trail.