Afton - Fading
Vintage photograph of Afton, Oklahoma, courtesy
Ottowa County, Oklahoma
Oklahoma, established in 1886. was named by a Scottish railroad
surveyor for his daughter, who was named after the River Afton in
Scotland, made famous by Robert Burn’s poem.
Beginning as a
farming community, the agriculture thrived in the rich, black
soil along Horse Creek. Further prosperity came to the town when
barreled through the community. Soon service stations and motor
courts popped up to serve the many travelers along the Mother Road.
However, when the I-44 replaced Route 66
it took a drastic toll upon the community and today, visiting Afton
feels as you've taken a step back in time.
provided one of the most popular tourist stops along the Mother Road
– that of the
Buffalo Ranch, which included not only buffalo, but llamas, yaks, a
petting zoo and barbeque. Torn down in 1997, this once popular Route
destination now is home to the Buffalo Ranch Travel Center convenience
store. Nothing of the original complex remains, but the new owners
occasionally keep a buffalo or two on the premises as an homage to its
provides a number of photographic opportunities in its historic
architecture, vintage gas stations and fading auto courts. As
you first enter town you will see the remains of the old Rest Haven
Motel where many a weary
traveler once laid their heads.
Restored DX Station now serves as a Route 66
Visitors Center, Kathy Weiser, May, 2004.
Across the street
is an old DX Service station which has been preserved by Laurel Kane, a
long time Route 66 enthusiast, and now serves as a visitor center to
today's Mother Road travelers.
As you continue through
this small town, other old buildings housing closed businesses, speak
loudly of more prosperous days. Many of these old structures predate
Route 66. At the western edge of town sits another faded and lonely
Just eight miles southwest of Afton along
Highway 59, a wonderful side trip presents itself at Grand Lake O’ The
lake’s 46,500 surface acres of water are ideal for boating, skiing,
fishing, swimming and sailing. Across the lake in Grove,
is the site of Har-Ber Village, one of the largest antique
museums in the United States. This reconstructed turn-of-the
century village contains over one hundred buildings and a collection of
thousands of items representing America’s past.
Continue your travel along the
Mother Road to
Oklahoma, the crossroads of America.
of America, updated March, 2017 with additional edits by Ron Warnick, Route 66 News.
Remains of old Auto Court on Afton's west
Kathy Weiser, May, 2004.
The Buffalo Ranch in Afton,
Oklahoma was once a popular tourist destination. Sadly, it has
now been replaced by a convenience store. Vintage
Old Rest Haven Motel sign, David Alexander,
Legends' General Store
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