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Palmer Hotel

Route 66 at Locust St. Afton, OK

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Another piece of Route 66 history bites the dust! The historic Palmer Hotel was destroyed by fire on the last day of June 2020.

The 1910 hotel rose from the ashes of the W. M. Palmer's furniture store on the same site, the store burned down in May of 1909. The new hotel soon became a prominent business in town. In 1911 it offered "Hot and cold running water in each room. Electric Lights throughout". for only $2.00 per day on the "American Plan". Of course they also offered "Ding Room Service of the Best". They also promoted the hotel as being only two blocks from the depot.

Building the hotel must have been substantially completed in 1909 because it was initially scheduled to open in January of 1910. A March 17, 1910 newspaper article said the opening had been delayed but would take place within 10 days of that story. In January 1911 the hotel was under the management of "Riddler & Tucker, Props".

Between railroad workers and Route 66 the hotel flourished for years, even adding a cafe in 1940. But after most of the railroad workers left town and the interstate highway opened the hotel suffered like so many others along the Mother Road.. The last owner/operators were Alvin and Lulu Maloney who ran the hotel from 1952 until 1991 when they closed it. New owners apparently acquired the building in the 90s and still owned it when it burned down in the summer of 2020.

The canopy over the sidewalk isn't original to the building. The hotel entrance and lobby occupied the the far right bay on the first floor, (under the sign). The Palmer and Shelton Furniture store was housed next to the hotel lobby bay. The whole building appears abandoned in this 2012 photo.

x The Palmer Hotel neon sign is in pretty tough shape. Some of the neon tubing is still hanging on in this 2012 photo, but not by much.

xThe little white one story building next to the hotel was cafe from at least 1936 until the early 1960s. In early 1958 it was Neva's Cafe and in late 58 it became Carrie's Cafe. It was for sale in 1959 and the sale ad mentioned that the cafe had 19 seats and 20 parking spaces. This little building was destroyed when the hotel burned.

Photo(s): 2012



x About Us We started traveling Historic U.S. Route 66 as a destination in 2009. It's like a 2,400 mile long drive back in time from Chicago to Santa Monica! more
xDid You Know: Many parts of the old 4 lane Route 66 were reverted to a 2 lane road after 66 was realigned to the interstate. In many places the abandoned lanes are still there.