The growth rings of Kingman show the marks of American History: Everything from the Civil war era’s influence on the alignment of Beale’s Wagon Trail - which brought the Army to keep the pioneers safe from tribal attacks, ranchers to raise cattle for feeding the soldiers, and miners (many of whom were solders turned prospectors in search of gold) - to Railroad Expansion and then to Route 66, both of which followed the Beale’s Trail. And from taking flight with the TAT and Charles Lindbergh in 1929, to the training of 36,000 gunners during WWII, many of whom moved back to Kingman after the war. In a nut shell, that’s Kingman up to around 1950… after 70 years, Kingman finally incorporated in 1952.
We hear alot about his at the Kingman Visitor Center, located in a former generating station built between 1907 and 1909. Yeah, it’s a unique place to work! And we get great positive visitor feedback about how forward thinking our community was to reinvent the space or how cool the visitor center is.
People ask us what the equipment looked like, what they used to generate steam, is it haunted… yes we think so…, etc. At the front desk, we can pull up pictures and hand out the trifold history guide, but the best resource is an online archive.
Fact is, we receive many inquiries about the history of Kingman, Route 66, the people, the buildings, the list goes on. So we're sharing resource links for the best information on these topics… right here, right now!
1: For historical photographs and general research, visit Mohave County Historical Society on-line and click on the “Search Archives” link in the middle of the menu at the top of the page. That takes you to their archives at ehive.com. You can search for photos and documents by keyword. For even more information (over 10,000 photographs, thousands of books, manuscripts, maps, etc) make an appointment to visit the Museum Library.
2: For historical Mohave County Miner & Our Mineral Wealth articles between 1882 and 1922 from the National Foundation for the Humanities' Chronicling America (this resource actually covers years 1836 to 1922, but Kingman wasn’t founded until 1882).
3: At Google News Archives, you can search by newspaper (includes Prescott Courrier, Arizona Republican, etc), or directly to the local paper:
4: If you have roots to Kingman, request to join the Facebook page You know you’re from Kingman if. The group has over 4,000 members (as of this article) and has proven by far to be the best resource for tapping into the community’s historical memory bank.
With that, good luck! Oh, and post below or send me an email if I've missed anything.