Route 66 Ghost Town – Amboy

Amboy is this little one horse town along old route 66. For years, it thrived as a pit stop along the route to Los Angeles until Interstate 40 was built just to the north in the 1970’s. It had been around since the 1800’s, but the motel, gas station and diner were built in the late 1950’s. The design and even some of the furnishings show the influence of the mid-century era.

Roy’s Motel consists of a larger building out back – now fenced off – and a row of white bungalows along the street. From the outside, the bungalows all look ready for check in. In reality, they’re abandoned with everything stripped right down to the tile on the floors. Curiously, a chair remains in each room.

When we think of ghost town architecture, we think of old west saloons fronted by wooden walkways and Victorian details. The design style of this modern ghost town is a lot more George Jetson than old west.

Across the street from the motel lies the Post Office and old church. The Post Office still looks like it’s in use. Ironically, a small section of the dirt parking lot was paved to create a handicap spot. This poor little town needs a lot of things, I can’t imagine that a concrete parking spot is one of them.

In the window of this remembrance of better days is a faded article about how the town was put to auction on eBay about five or six years ago. The buyer picked it up for about $550,000. Not sure if that was a good deal or not.

With a population of 5, it’s no wonder that the school boarded its windows and closed down too.

Today, if you drive through Amboy, the gas station is still open. The gas ain’t cheap, but ten bucks for the t-shirt ain’t too bad!


About johnmireles

Photographer, writer, thinker, climber, outrigger canoeist, bad guitar player and even worse singer.
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