August 31: Kingman, Arizona

Like the last Overdrive 40th Anniversary Tour stop, the history of Kingman, Ariz., is steeped in mission tradition. In 1776, as the 13 original colonies were getting into trouble with King George, Fray Francisco Garces, a Franciscan Missionary came to the Kingman area on his journey to bring Christianity to the Indians of Arizona. But it was more than century later that Kingman was officially established.

Located along the 35th parallel, the area rich in rivers and springs drew early explorers as well as Native Americans. By 1848, the area is officially part of U.S. territory under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Much of the rest of present day Arizona was acquired later.

In the late 1850s, Fort Mojave was established near Kingman as prospectors began settling in the area. The fort was abandoned at the onset of the Civil War only to be regarrisoned in 1863. That’s when gold is discovered in the area. By 1876 more than 2,000 mines are in operation and nearby Mineral Park has a mill, private school house, post office, stores, saloons and private dwellings. Six years later, the town of Kingman (formerly known as Middleton) was established as a siding on the new Atlantic and Pacific Railroad.

The city also became a stop on historic Route 66. Today, the area is home to 125,000 people.

Next stop: Gallup, New Mexico

September 1
TravelCenters of America
Gallup, N.M.
I-40, Exit 16,Hwy 66