As Route 66 left Joplin, Missouri, it was only a short distance westbound to the Kansas border. The route through Kansas was the shortest of all the states, only about 13 miles.
Galena, Kansas was settled in 1877 and is the oldest mining town in Southeast Kansas. It was the first major city on Route 66 that travelers passed through westbound from Joplin to Tulsa.
The “Mother Road” continues to bring visitors to the community today. Travelers have a variety of shops and restaurants to choose from and a number of attractions to enjoy.
Today, Galena is a popular destination for Route 66 road trippers!
Gearhead Curios is located at 520 South Main Street (Route 66 and Jefferson Highway) in Galena in a restored Texaco filling station. The building was constructed out of native stone in 1939, and served Route 66 travelers for decades under the ownership of Logan Thompson.
The station closed shortly after 2000, but renovations were begun by Aaron Perry in 2018. In April of 2021 a neon lighting celebration was held. The official ribbon cutting was held on June 17, 2023, culminating five-year's worth of renovation and restoration.
Today, it offers Route 66 curios, artwork for the Gearhead and a place to gather to share stories. Plus clean, unique restrooms! The 1951 blue Hudson Hornet "Doc" parked there is a popular photo-op for Route 66 travelers!
Phone 785.554.7694 and visit Gearhead Curios on Facebook
The well known mural in Miners Park
Greetings from Galena, Kansas, on Historic Route 66
Cars on the Route
Cars on the Route is located in a restored circa 1934 Kan-O-Tex service station at 119 North Main Street in Galena.
It features the rusted 1951 International Harvester tow truck "Tow Tater" and other restored vehicles on display.
The tow truck was the inspiration for the character "Tow Mater" in the Pixar classic movie "Cars".
The Sheriff in Galena!
Here's the Buick of the Radiator Springs Sheriff !
On the driver-side front door is the signature of Michael Wallis, the Route 66 author, historian, and the "voice of the sheriff" in the animated Disney-Pixar "Cars" movie. The car is located at 205 E. Front Street near Luigi's. A plaque at the base reads "this sheriff's car is dedicated to Michael Wallis for his hard work and dedication to all the small towns on Route 66".
Galena Mining & Historical Museum
Located at 319 W 7th in Galena is the old M-K-T Katy Railroad Depot housing the Galena Mining & Historical Museum.
Phone 620.783.2192 for current opening days and hours.
Route 66 East Galena Historic District
The Kansas Route 66 Historic District, East of Galena, includes a 1.2-mile stretch of US Highway 66 (Route 66). More at the website of the Kansas Route 66 East Galena Historic District.
More Information & Resources about Galena
MORE KANSAS ROUTE 66