ALONG ROUTE 66
Historic Route 66, the nation’s original “Mother Road”, opened in 1926, linking Chicago, Illinois and Santa Monica, California with a 2,448-mile two-lane black top. Although replaced entirely by the Interstate Highway System by 1985, portions of the classic route have been preserved with a National Scenic Byway designation and many of its surviving highlights have benefitted from restoration and preservation funds courtesy of the National Park Service. The community of Vega, located along the original route through Texas, was awarded an NPS cost-share fund to restore its 1920s Magnolia Gas Station. As a result, the station, once in considerable decline, received extensive interior and exterior repair, including restoration of the doors, windows, roof shingle, plaster, and flooring. Its gasoline pump canopy was also reconstructed and its pump reproduced. The gas station operated until 1953 and continued in use as a barbershop until 1965. Now restored, the historic structure serves as an interpretive stop along the iconic National Scenic Byway.