The Legend of Two Guns Arizona

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As with many locations around the country, Two Guns Arizona, a place that once occupied a spot on the map, has seen better days, IMG_1010abandoned and forgotten, it sits in isolation, just off Interstate 40 or more accurately, the old Route 66 in Arizona.

If you go there however, be sure to bring a your own supplies and don’t expect services of any kind.  Simply put, the town is completely abandoned, its buildings lay in ruin and it’s roadways are quickly being swallowed up by the Arizona high desert floor.

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Two Guns was home to many Native American tribes over the years and was even the site of contentious battles between the Navajos and the Apaches.

But in more modern times, it served as a bustling pit stop and tourist trap for the millions of Americans who sought refuge on the mother road of America, Route 66 between the 1940’s to the 1960’s.

The name itself stems from the proprietor who set up businesses in the area when the highway was built, Henry Miller.  Originally called Canyon Lodge, Miller renamed the town after himself, “Two Guns”, which from what I read was apparently his nickname as people came to call him “Two Guns Miller”.

This is about the dumbest “legendary” account of history I have ever heard of but since multiple sources cited this account, I guess it’s all we have to go on.

In any event, the town became a hit, with restaurants, lodgings and even a Zoo, which you can see here.

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Sadly, this is mostly all that is left…

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The place is eerie to say the least and I was there at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

Once Interstate-40 came in, as with many towns, even Radiator Springs in the Pixar movie Cars, the town went under rather quickly.

Despite numerous grass-roots campaigns to revive the town and even a vivacious caretaker who legend has it in the 1980’s and 1990’s, would chase people away with a shotgun in his attempt to protect the abandoned town from vandals, Two Guns is now completely abandoned.

This stone wall is all that’s left of a restaurant that used to serve Route 66’s hungry motorists.

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The sad remains of one of the many lodgings where people could shut down for the night.

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Haven’t figured out what this was but the Route 66 signage is beautiful.

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More views of the remains of Two Guns…

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This gas station supposedly was in use as recently as 2003 but other reports bring it back to the 1990’s.  Regardless, it’s long gone now.

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The roadway itself, while intact, is beginning to be overtaken by the desert in some spots and if enough time passes and a few powerful Summer monsoon storms blow through, all of Two Guns AZ will disappear.

Here’s to another forgotten place in America.  A once thriving town teeming with life and currently a location that has permanently lost its place on the map.

IMG_1010—Josh

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