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America on the Move
Collection Exhibition Themes
Transportation in America before 1876 Community Dreams: Santa Cruz, California, 1876 Delivering the Goods: Watsonville, California, 1895 A Streetcar City: Washington, D.C., 1900 People on the Move The Connected City: New York, New York, 1920s Crossing the Country: Somewhere in Wyoming, 1903 Americans Adopt the Auto Lives on the Railroad: Salisbury, North Carolina, 1927 Roadside Communities: Ring's Rest, Muirkirk, Maryland, 1930s Family Camping: York Beach, Maine, 1930s On the School Bus: Martinsburg, Indiana, 1939 Suburban Strip: Sandy Boulevard, Portland, Oregon, 1949 City and Suburb: Chicago and Park Forest, Illinois, 1950s On the Interstate: I-10, 1956-1990 Transforming the Waterfront: San Francisco and Oakland, California, 1960-1970 Going Global: Los Angeles Introduction The People's Highway Cyrus Avery: 'The most direct road to the Pacific coast' Lucille Hamons: 'I was alone here to run this place.' The Haggard family: 'Headed west toward California' Caroline Millbank, Janet McDonnel, Ethel May Krockenberger, and Mary Jane Pecora: 'Our rest stops were lots of fun' Bobby and Cynthia Troup: 'Get your kicks on Route 66' The Delgadillo family: 'Playing with bands up and down Route 66' Pete Koltnow: 'Bumpy seats and the open road' Indian Trading Posts
10: The People's Highway: Route 66, 1930s–1940s

Lucille Hamons: “I was alone here to run this place.”

In 1941 Carl and Lucille Hamons purchased a gasoline station and tourist court on a rural stretch of Route 66 in Provine, Oklahoma. Lucille ran the business and lived there almost 60 years. Her self-reliance and generous assistance to motorists earned her the nickname “Mother of the Mother Road.”

Hamons Court sign
Hamons Court sign
Sign from Hamons Court on Route 66,
Provine, Oklahoma, 1941

“After Carl got a truck to earn more money, I was alone here to run this place. During this time, people from Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and eastern Oklahoma were traveling the road to the West Coast to find jobs.... Many times I would have people stop that were completely broke, and I would feed them and give them gas in exchange for some appliance or other articles of value they might have. Sometimes I would just buy their old broke-down cars, and then they would catch the bus and head on west looking for work.”

—Lucille Hamons

Lucille Hamons's gas station and tourist cabins, Route 66, Provine, Oklahoma
Carl and Lucille Hamons at Lucille’s gasoline station on Route 66, 1941. The tourist cabins are in the background. Her family lived upstairs and behind the customer area of the station.
Lucille Hamons's gas station and tourist cabins, Route 66, Provine, Oklahoma
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