Retiring a Route 66 Relic

by Josh Froman
Adventure Signs

Route 66 was a bustling artery of new visitors and out of town patrons coming into town looking for roadside attractions like the Blue Whale up the road in Catoosa, lodging and great and unique places to eat. Towns scattered up and down the mother road are all vying for attention and prospective tourism dollars. Some things change, some things stay the same.

The old Claremore EAT sign has been a reference landmark for commuters since the early 70’s, originally located across the road at what is now the Elm’s Motel; owners of Dailey’s Restaurant had it moved to the current location in 1972 where it has remained to direct hungry passer-byers to a well placed meal.

Over the years, sun, rain, wind, snow, and ice have taken their toll on the unique sign reminiscent of an era gone by. As of the last decade, maintenance had become spotty at best, as the structure started to deteriorate beyond repairable feasibility. Pigeons have made it their local perch and home for some years as well contributing to further maintenance issues.

A few weeks ago the decision was painfully concluded that due to safety concerns, it needed to be disassembled. As sentiments often do, it was a reminder to the land owner of another time, making it difficult to finally give the okay to remove it.

Claremore “EAT” Sign
Constructed Early 1970’s
10′ Tall x 25′ Long
Each Letter is 5′ x 8′ Tall
Weighing at 2215 lbs
Fluorescent + Neon Lighting
Built from Galvanized/Raw Steel
Stood 45′ Over Claremore

Yesterday morning, a crew from our shop arrived on site shortly after daylight to take on the project. Many unknowns exist on a sign manufactured so many years ago. Due to the fragility of the top sign structure we opted to remove it intact, then deconstruct the rest of the structure from there. The owner is still considering the potential future for the unique sign. Due to its especially large size and extremely fragile state, historical preservation options do not look promising.

 It’s a unique opportunity that we get to affect a city skyline in a significant way, and we’re honored to be asked to treat a Claremore icon with respect and regard in our own hometown.

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