Mohave County
May 2024
Volume 24 Issue 3

Aug 2023 | Business | 0 comments

‘Guardian Angel of Route 66’ Delgadillo celebrated in Kingman exhibit

Business | 0 comments

August 2023

KINGMAN – A new exhibit honoring the legacy of Angel Delgadillo, a pivotal figure in the history of Route 66, has opened in Kingman, Arizona. The exhibit aims to provide visitors with an immersive experience akin to visiting Angel’s Barbershop and Gift Shop in Seligman and meeting the man himself, who has been dubbed the “guardian angel” of U.S. Route 66.W
Born on April 19, 1927, along U.S. Route 66 in Seligman, Arizona, Delgadillo has witnessed the evolution of the iconic highway over the decades. From the exodus of Okies due to the Dust Bowl in the 1930s, the movement of men and materials during World War II, to the rise and fall of the road, Delgadillo’s life has been intertwined with Route 66.
In 1950, Delgadillo opened his barbershop in the same building his father had opened his barbershop and pool hall on Route 66 in 1922, before the road even had its now famous name. However, his connection to Route 66 extends beyond his personal and professional life. Delgadillo is the main founder of the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona, established in 1987 to campaign for “Historic Route 66” signage on the former US highway. Similar initiatives have since been established in every U.S. Route 66 state.
The decline and eventual delisting of Route 66 from the United States Highway System in 1985 led Delgadillo to found the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona. His efforts, along with those of other community members, resulted in the State of Arizona christening U.S. 66 from Seligman to Kingman as “Historic Route 66” in 1987. This designation preserved 159 miles of the road, the longest remaining stretch of uninterrupted Route 66 in the country.
Delgadillo’s efforts have not only preserved a piece of American history but also revitalized the economy of towns along Route 66. Today, Seligman, the “Birthplace of Historic Route 66,” is a destination for travelers from around the world who come to experience a piece of old-fashioned America.
The new exhibit in Kingman pays tribute to Delgadillo’s significant contributions to preserving Route 66 and revitalizing the economies of towns along the historic highway. Visitors to the exhibit can learn about Delgadillo’s life, his efforts to preserve Route 66, and the impact of his work on communities along the highway.
–Jeremy Webb

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