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Flying into Oatman AZ!

Oatman Hotel - Oatman AZ
This place only looks expensive!

Best time of the year to go? It's always best to do Arizona in the winter
Flight time in a Super Viking from KCNO? 1.5 to Bullhead City for a rental car then a 90 minute drive to Oatman
Food on the airport? No - Cross the river for food
Fuel on airport? Yes
Landing or Handling fees? No
Comments about arriving and departing.  Set up a rental car ahead of time with the FBO.
Things to do at or near the airport. Laughlin is across the river.
Rate this stop with 10 being best, 5 average. A 7.0 only because a rental car is needed. This was a real fun trip.

Route 66 to Oatman AZ


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History of Oatman AZ from Squidoo.com

Oatman began in the early 1900's as a tent city for miners, it soon became a gold mining town. Between 1900 and 1940 the towns of Oatman and neighboring Gold Road were the largest gold producers in Arizona. During the "gold rush" the miners used domesticated burros (mules) for assistance in the daily activities. The burros were the only way to work the rugged terrain hauling material.

In 1902 a man by the name of Ben Taddock discovered gold while riding along a trail, he immediately filed a claim. Unfortunately, in 1903 he didn't have enough funds to open a mine so he sold his claim shortly after. The claim changed hands several times and in 1904 the Vivian Mine Company purchased it and opened a mine. Oatman also saw its first Post Office built.

Just before 1910 another vein of gold was discovered by three men and another boom began. As the Vivian Mine Company closed the Tom Reed Mine opened giving the town another breath of fresh air.

In 1915 two men struck a $14 million gold find. This is exactly what Oatman needed, again things were booming. Many businesses opened and the town even had its own newspaper. In the early 1920's, Route 66 was built and although the mines were drying up the new roadway through the town kept it alive with travelers.

By 1930, it is said that over 35 million dollars worth of gold had been mined in Oatman. The town had two banks, over five hotels and almost twenty saloons. The population had soared to around 20,000.

In 1942, the mines were all closed due to the government declaring that gold mining was no longer essential to the war effort. The miners went off to work elsewhere, the burros were set free and the town eventually dwindled.

In 1952, they changed Route 66 to make it easier to pass over the mountains. Oatman was soon thereafter, a living "ghost town", with the population down to just under 75 people.

In the early 1970's, the nearby town of Laughlin, Nevada was developed, Route 66 became a popular tourist route and Oatman popped to life once again.

The Towns Namesake
Olive Oatman (1837-1903) was a woman from Illinois who wasOlive Oatman famously abducted by a Native American tribe (likely the Yavapai people), then sold to another (the Mohave people). She ultimately regained her freedom five years later. The story resonated in the media, partly owing to the prominent blue tattooing of Oatman's face by her captors. In subsequent years, the tale of Olive Oatman came to be retold with dramatic license in novels, plays, and poetry.

In 1981, a writer named Richard Dillon reported in a famous western magazine that there was evidence that Olive had told a friend that she was married to the son of the Mojave chief and that she gave birth to two boys when married to him. This account was never verified.

Olive Oatman Fairchild died of a heart attack on March 21, 1903, at the age of 65. The town of Oatman, Arizona, is named in her honor

The Oatman Hotel
This hotel was originally name the Drulin Hotel back in 1902 when it was firn st built. In 1921 there was a fire that destroyed much of the towof Oatman, the hotel did survive. It's name has changed many times over the years and in the 60's it became the Oatman Hotel. It is listed on the National Historical Building Registry and is the only two story adobe building in Mohave County.

It has hosted many miners and travelers over the years. One rumor worth mentioning is that after being married in Kingman, Arizona on March 29, 1939, Carole Lombard and Clark Gable spent their wedding night at the Oatman Hotel. It is also rumored that they frequently came back to escape the hustle and bustle and that Clark Gable often played cards with the miners in the saloon.

Presently the Oatman Hotel is a restaurant and a museum. The museum is filled with interesting stories of the guest rooms of the hotel. The restaurant is quite unique. The food is great and the atmosphere is even better. The walls of the whole place are filled with dollar bills autographed by visitors from all over the world. A real site to see.

Welcome to Oatman Airzona !
Historic Route 66 - Oatman AZ

Historic Route 66 is the main drag though Oatmam AZ.

Oatman Hotel Clark Gable and Carol Lombard honeymooned at the Oatman Hotel March 18, 1939.
Historic Oatman Hotel and Restaurant We had an early lunch in the Oatman Hotel. There must be $10,000 hanging on the walls.
Oatman wallpaper Oatman Wallpaper - The waitress said the wild burros come to town at 11:30.
Wild burros in Oatman AZ She was wrong, they came at 11:32.
Girl feeding wild burros in Oatman AZ You can buy alfalfa pellets from vendors but I suggest you bring carrots.
Olive Oatman Store, Oatman AZ Oatman is named after Olive Oatman who was captured and held by the indians
Do not feed baby burros in Oatman AZ Do not feed the baby burros.
Oatman AZ and Route 66  
Oatman AZ home on hill above town. AOatmann AZ home where a very brave sole lives on a hill above town.
Oatman Airzona Mine Shaft  

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Last Updated
July 16, 2012

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Frank Holbert
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