Tucumcari Tonite!
384 pages, 6 x 9
32 halftones, 2 maps
Release Date:01 Apr 2022

Tucumcari Tonite!

A Story of Railroads, Route 66, and the Waning of a Western Town

University of New Mexico Press

Tucumcari, New Mexico, was founded in 1901 by the Rock Island Railroad and soon had major railroad lines converging there from Chicago, Los Angeles, and Memphis as well as a northern branch line from the Dawson coalfields. The federal highway system established Route 66, the "Main Street of America," through the middle of town in 1926. Tucumcari flourished as a tourist mecca, welcoming travelers with its blazing displays of neon lights. But mergers, reorganizations, and financial problems of the railroads, as well as the creation of the interstate highway system that bypassed small places, brought a sharp decline to the once-prosperous town.

Tucumcari Tonite! blends in-depth research and personal and family experiences to re-create a "memoir" of Tucumcari. Drawing on newspapers and government documents as well as business records, personal interviews, and archival holdings, Stratton weaves a poignant tale of a western town's rise and decline--providing a prime example of the destructive forces that have been inflicted on small towns in the West and all across America.

A rewarding moveable feast. . . . Well-researched and smoothly written, Stratton's appealing account provides an invaluable story of an intriguing, small western town.'--Richard W. Etulain, author of Beyond the Missouri: The Story of the American West
Anyone wanting to get their kicks on old Route 66 will want this delightful and exceptionally well-researched book by David H. Stratton on the history of Tucumcari. Stratton will keep you turning the pages.'--Jerry D. Thompson, author of A Civil War History of the New Mexico Volunteers and Militia
David H. Stratton was born and raised two blocks south of Route 66 and within a few blocks of the local railroad yards in Tucumcari. He is a professor emeritus of history at Washington State University in Pullman and the author of Tempest Over Teapot Dome: The Story of Albert B. Fall and Tree Top: Creating a Fruit Revolution. Stratton now lives in Olympia, Washington.
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