Amidst the vast and arid desert landscape of San Bernardino County lies an intriguing historical gem – Amboy, California. Although some might describe it as a “ghost town,” this small community is very much alive, with plenty to explore and appreciate. This once flourishing stop along Route 66 now stands as a testament to a bygone era of neon lights, quirky roadside attractions, and vintage hospitality. If you’re interested in a unique adventure through America’s history, look no further than this stunning little town that refuses to fade away.
Amboy’s story began in the late 19th century when Lewis Kingman, working for Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, arrived to establish a railroad station at the site. The town grew as a service center for vehicle-dependent travelers during the heyday of Route 66 in the mid-20th century. However, when the Interstate Highway System was established, bypassing Route 66, travel businesses suffered significant losses, with many closing their doors permanently. Despite facing bleak prospects at times since then, Amboy has remained firmly grounded in its history as an ideal stopover for those uncovering America’s storied past.
One of Amboy’s most iconic landmarks is Roy’s Motel and Café. Established in the late 1930s by Roy Crowl and his family, it offered travelers much-needed lodging and food along their journey through Route 66. Roy’s artistic sign was added in 1959 in Googie architecture style with dazzling neon lights that could be seen for miles around. Nowadays, though the motel part is off-limits to overnight guests due to non-compliance with modern building codes or standard amenities. However, the cafe portion of Roy’s has been successfully reopened by Route 66 enthusiast and businessman Albert Okura as a souvenir shop – offering visitors mementos of their time spent in this charming sliver of Americana.
Another feature that gives character to Amboy is its distinctive volcanic cinder cone called Amboy Crater. This picturesque geological marvel rises over 200 feet aboveground and offers travelers on Route 66 an opportunity to experience firsthand this unique piece of natural history. With ancient lava flows stretching out beneath it, Amboy Crater also entices hikers looking for an invigorating climb paired with stunning desert vistas.
While visiting Amboy may feel like stepping back into a simpler time when drive-in diners were numerous sights along an open road, there are unavoidable signs that modernity has nonetheless arrived here too. In recent years, solar power companies have looked to the sunlight-drenched landscape surrounding Amboy as an ideal location for solar energy production – reshaping large swaths of previously undisturbed terrain.
Despite these inevitable changes, there remains something truly magical about a town that refuses to die against all odds. Amboy proudly continues its role as a beacon for those exploring Route 66 and looking to uncover a piece of America’s history that seems preserved within its deserted streets and resolute buildings.
As a final plea to anyone considering visiting Amboy – do not treat it merely as an Instagram photo opportunity or just another roadside amusement. Rather embrace its status as living testimony to the endurance of American spirit and ingenuity in spite of compounding difficulties. As we keep discovering stays we thought long forgotten; any place is only observed “dead” when people no longer believe in their possibilities or potential – both past & present.
In conclusion, why not embark on your own pilgrimage along the fragments of Route 66? Experience this peculiar epitome near extinction defiance and be inspired by the unyielding spirit that echoes through Amboy’s seemingly empty streets! You might likely learn more concerning life itself from places like these than living their existence solely through screens or pages – Welcome aboard; see you there!