January 31, 2019
We were trying out our new (2014) RV Roadtrek Van at Earl, CA, an RV Resort, across from Parker AZ. We decided to take a trip north a little further to Oatman, AZ on old Rt. 66. Oatman was started over 100 years ago as a mining camp. In 1915 two miners struck a $10 million gold find and within a year the town swelled to 3,500. The boom was short lived and by 1921 a fire burned many smaller shacks and the mine shut down.
Oatman was named in honor of Olive Oatman, who as a young girl was kidnapped when she was 14 by an American Indian tribe that massacred her parents and five siblings. Olive and her one other sister were kidnapped. We have visited this site on our 4 wheel drive trips along the Gila River southwest of Phoenix. You will have to click on the link to read the full story if you are interested. Oatman Massacre
Oatman survived by being on Route 66. It is hard to imagine the Model T’s and other older cars climbing the hills in this area. In the 1960s Interstate 40 swung south from Kingman and by passed the area for flatter ground. Today Oatman is an authentic western town tourist attraction with wild tame burros freely roaming the streets and being fed carrots by tourists.
The Oatman Hotel was built in 1902 and is the oldest structure in Mojave County. The town was used in various movie sets.
Another claim to fame is that Clark Gable and Carol Lombard honeymooned in Room 15 at the Oatman Hotel on March 18, 1939. Gable returned often to play poker with the locals and enjoy the desert solitude.
Please click the link to see more photos.