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Route 66 enthusiasts want a billboard and sign museum in Oklahoma

Route 66 enthusiasts are organizing to start a new museum in Bethany, Oklahoma, that will focus on billboards and signs from the historic highway.
by Robert Medley Published: February 18, 2013

‘Now is the time'

Her group has worked on painting murals on buildings across Bethany and has promoted tourism among other projects.

“When Kathy sent me the idea for this billboard museum, it was electric,” Harris said.

“We started sharing it with people, and it just grabbed hold.

“There are no other Route 66 billboard museums out there, and these signs need to be saved. Now is the time to do it.”

Mike Loyd, a Bethany attorney, has collected vintage neon car signs for years.

He has a garage at his office with a large collection of signs and is interested in contributing to the museum.

John Martin, Bethany Improvement Foundation president, said people nationwide have said there is a need for such a museum.

“We need to get it launched,” Martin said,

“Even if it begins modestly. If we don't capitalize on this, a billboard museum will be in St. Louis or Arizona.”

Bob Palmer, a muralist who lives in Bethany, has painted murals on the sides of buildings along SH 66 from Bethany to Davenport.

He painted a wall mural near the Boomerang Restaurant in downtown Bethany.

Palmer said interest in Route 66 continues from tourists who come from all over the world to see the American highway.

“I do know how popular Route 66 is with people,” Palmer said.

“It is a well-traveled route. Anything that would stimulate business and draw tourism to the area is a good thing.”

by Robert Medley
Breaking News Reporter
Robert Medley has been a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1989, covering various news beats in the Oklahoma City metro area and in the Norman news bureau. He has been part of the breaking news team since 2008. A 1987 University of Oklahoma...
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