Washita Motel Neon - Route 66 - Canute, Oklahoma, USA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member veritas vita
N 35° 25.315 W 099° 17.077
14S E 474161 N 3919871
Quick Description: The weather-beaten remnant of the 'Washita Motel Neon Sign' sadly no longer glowing is standing guard over the apparently derelict Washita Motel. Located alongside the Mother Road in the virtual ghost Town of Canute, Oklahoma.
Location: Oklahoma, United States
Date Posted: 5/10/2016 12:53:32 PM
Waymark Code: WMR43N
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Checkmark
Views: 11

Long Description:
Washita Motel & Neon, another casualty, due to the interstate by-passing this small town.
An interesting blog I found whilst researching the apparently derelict Motel. So there may be hope for the sign yet.

"I own an endangered rt66 motel.. Washita Motel Canute ok.. I inherited from my dad when he passed away in jan. He bought it from the original owner Jewel Alexander in 1979. It has been closed since 1992 and I have had a hard time trying to clean it up and update it on my own. I am not rich and it is expensive. My first thought was to have it bull dozed down and only keep the part that was built in the 1960's. The 7 units were moved from their original spot at Foss at that time. They had been there a long time. I just hated to do it because ,It is a landmark and people do still stop to take pics.. I need to have the sign repainted badly, but since I am not making any income off of it I can not afford to hire a professional. And I am not as sprie as I was when i painted it at the age of 19.. I have put > $15,000 in it so far. Mostly on the roof.
anyone want to volunteer to help paint? or supply a lift to get me up there to paint? " Text Source: (visit link)

"Canute was established in the early 1900s and located on the now-defunct Rock Island Railroad. Following the advent of the automobile, Canute became a popular stop along U.S. Route 66 and a large number of tourist businesses including gasoline service stations, motels and restaurants. However, when Interstate 40 bypassed the small village to the north in May, 1970 and received only one exit from the freeway, the local economy went into a decline due to the bypass and the concurrent closure of nearby Clinton-Sherman Air Force base at Burns Flat, leading most of those businesses to shut down." Text source: (visit link)

"Near the edge of the drowsy Route 66 town of Canute, Oklahoma stands this weatherbeaten old neon motel sign. Once the standard-bearer of Canute's Washita Motel, the sign I've photographed for this 5x7 documentary photo is in a rather sad state now that the old Mother Road motel has been turned into apartments (though I believe the Washita is for sale).

What was once bright red, white, black, and sky-blue paint has faded and worn away, leaving the old steel sign mottled with grey and steely blue from top to bottom. White neon tubing, the pride of many a Route 66 roadside motel, is gone from the "T" and most of the "M"; the neon highlighting the big red arrow on the sign has fallen, crashing into that of the "M". Several lengths of neon glass hang crookedly, some dangling off the Washita's sign rather dangerously; I'd not walk barefoot or in flimsy shoes in the grass below. Indeed, when taking this photograph, I was careful not to accidentally step upon any errant shards!

Interestingly, despite the lack of professional care given to the Washita Motel's neon sign, it hasn't rusted too much; the "(No) Vacancy" flag below the big block "MOTEL" letters is the only part of the sign exhibiting obvious oxidation, the ochre on its roadside edge coordinating nicely with the red arrow. Someone may have hit the broad "MOTEL" banner with a paintgun, for an odd, dribbly splat of peachy-orange is cozied beside the "T". The arrow and smidge of rust help make this Route 66 photo pop--other than the green tree peeping into the frame behind the sign, everything else is some shade of blue, steel grey, or a soft white.

Thus, even though the fading light made the old Washita Motel sign a little difficult to capture, I think the slightly soft look of my Mother Road photo seems fitting for the old place. The once-flashy neon sign is weathered, softened and worn in almost like a favourite pair of jeans. Still-taut electrical lines leading to the sign and zipping through the blue sky behind it are the crisp-button down to the sign's weathered, mottled surface. Altogether, it's a thoughtful glimpse of yet another Route 66 town bypassed by the interstate." Text Source: (visit link)
Americana: Motel/Hotel

Significant Interest: Road Sign

Milestone or Marker: Other Icon

Web Site Address: [Web Link]

Address of Icon:
Washita Motel
Canute, OK USA


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The Snowdog visited Washita Motel Neon - Route 66 - Canute, Oklahoma, USA 10/1/2022 The Snowdog visited it
veritas vita visited Washita Motel Neon - Route 66 - Canute, Oklahoma, USA 7/28/2016 veritas vita visited it

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