Arizona March 04, 2016
Why Everyone In Arizona Should Visit This One Tiny Town
Located along the old Route 66 and a short distance from the Colorado River, Oatman is a town that combines history, intrigue and a little bit of weird within its small boundaries. That’s why we’re featuring this little town in today’s article.
In the 1860s, gold was found in the nearby mountains and a prospector opened two mines in the area: one after himself (Moss) and one after Olive Oatman, a woman who had been kidnapped and lived with two different Arizona tribes. Miners slowly extracted gold from the mountains but it wasn't until early in the 20th century that the town of Oatman was formed. The town saw its real heyday between 1900 and 1940, when the town was once home to more than 10,000 people.
However, shortly after the United States became involved in World War II, the gold mines were shut down in order to focus on mining minerals only needed for the war effort. This resulted in a decline in the town's population but it managed to just barely survive due to being located along Route 66.
One of the standout buildings in town is the Oatman Hotel, which dates to 1902. Its most famous guests were movie stars Clark Gable and Carole Lombard in 1939 during their honeymoon. Another famous guest who has refused to leave is Oatie, the friendly ghost who supposedly haunts the hotel.
But the town's most famous residents are actually wild burros who stroll into town each morning in search of their day's meal. In fact, check out this short video about the town's famous wild burros.
Today, the town survives on nostalgia and humor. When people travel along surviving portions of Route 66, Oatman promises not just a ghost town experience but one that is able to have fun with its Old West past. Local haunts include business names like Fast Fanny's, the Classy Ass, and the Ore House.
So, what are you waiting for? It's time to hit the road!
Have you visited Oatman before? What was your favorite part about the town?