Seligman Commercial Historic District

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Seligman Commercial Historic District
Historic Seligman Sundries, Arizona, USA.JPG
The historic Seligman Sundries building located in the district
Seligman Commercial Historic District is located in Arizona
Seligman Commercial Historic District
Seligman Commercial Historic District is located in the United States
Seligman Commercial Historic District
LocationRoughly bounded by First and Lamport Sts, and Picacho and Railroad Aves., Seligman, Arizona
Coordinates35°19′35″N 112°52′27″W / 35.32639°N 112.87417°W / 35.32639; -112.87417Coordinates: 35°19′35″N 112°52′27″W / 35.32639°N 112.87417°W / 35.32639; -112.87417
Area18 acres (7.3 ha)
Builtca. 1903
Architectural styleEarly Commercial, Prairie School, etc.
NRHP reference #04000511[1]
Added to NRHPFebruary 1, 2005

The Seligman Commercial Historic District is a historic district in central Seligman, Yavapai County, northwestern Arizona.[2]

The historic district is along historic Route 66 in town, which was designated a historic highway by the state of Arizona in 1978.[3] The Seligman Commercial Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.[1]


"Havasu Harvey House", the former Seligman Harvey House (1905−2008).
Historic Seligman Sundries Building, on old Route 66. Yellow 1972 Ford Ranchero on right.
Delgadillo's Snow Cap Drive-In, founded by Juan Delgadillo on Route 66 in 1953.

The region was in the longtime homeland of the Havasupai people, who had a settlement in the present day Seligman area.

Originally Seligman was called “Prescott Junction” because it was the railroad stop on the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad mainline junction with the Prescott and Arizona Central Railway Company feeder line running to Prescott, in the Arizona Territory.[4] The Santa Fe had reached it in 1882.[4] In 1886 it was renamed Seligman, after Jesse Seligman, one of the founders of J.W. Seligman Co. of New York, who helped finance the railroad lines in the area.[4] The original feeder line to Prescott was replaced in 1891 by the Santa Fe, Prescott and Phoenix Railway with the Santa Fe mainline junction at Ash Fork instead.

Because of its flat land Seligman became a large switching yard consisting of many tracks, and served as a large livestock shipping center for the areas ranchers.[4] It was also a terminal point for changing train crews between Winslow and Needles, California, who used overnight cottages in the town.[5]

Havasu Harvey House[edit]

The 'Havasu House' was a Fred Harvey Company Harvey House hotel and restaurant in Seligman, serving the Santa Fe Railway and local residents.[6][7] It was named “Havasu” after the native Havasupai tribe of the area.[6] Adjacent to it was the Santa Fe Depot and Reading Room.[4] The Havasu Harvey House opened in 1905, closed in 1954, and was demolished in 2008.[6][8]

Passenger trains ceased stopping in Seligman in 1984.[4] The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSR) has owned the tracks through town since 1996, which carries numerous freight trains and nonstop Amtrak trains.[4] The former Santa Fe Reading room, is now located at the Seligman High School.[9]

Route 66—Seligman Historic District[edit]

Seligman was on the original U.S. Route 66 from 1926 through 1978, when Interstate 40 bypassed it a couple miles south.[10][11] Seligman experienced its real heyday after World War II, when returning veterans and other motorists hit the road and made the Southwest a popular tourist destination.[2] The Seligman Commercial Historic District protects the historical central area's early 20th century commercial buildings along Historic Route 66, a revived popular tourist destination.[2] Historic district contributing properties include the include Pitts General Merchandise Store and the U.S. Post Office from 1903, the Pioneer Hall and Theatre and the Seligman Garage from 1905, and the Seligman Pool Hall from 1923.[2]

In 1987 Seligman gained its name “Birthplace of Historic Route 66” due to the efforts of Seligman residents, who convinced the State of Arizona to dedicate Route 66 a historic highway.[12] Seligman is the first stop heading west on the longest uninterrupted stretch of historic Route 66, running for around 160 miles (260 km) to Topock on the east side of the Colorado River.[10] (Note: this claim is about the historical Route 66 and is not to be construed as "the Birthplace of Route 66". {U.S. Route 66|Route 66} was established by the U.S. Congress on November 26, 1926, starting in Chicago, Illinois and ending in Los Angeles, California. The first sign recogizing this designation was posted in Springfield, Missouri in April 30 1926, and it took over a decade to pave the full route in its entirety.)

Seligman Depot[edit]

At the western end of the town, directly west of the Roadkill Cafe, is a western town facade labeled "Seligman Depot" It includes 5 storefronts: A Livery, a "Tonsorial Parlor" (dentist), a hotel, a gun shop, and a Wells Fargo bank. There are no actual businesses residing behind the storefronts. Between this "Depot" and the Roadkill Cafe is a log cabin with the word "JAIL" painted in white above the doorway; in front of the cabin is a painted metal sign which declares the cabin to be "1860 Arizona Territorial Jail". The sign further states: At one time, held such notorious outlaws like - Seligman Sam - Three Finger Jack - James Younger and many more in 1866 four indians escaped by tunneling from this small cell to the OK saloon. Four days later they were dead after a shootout with Marshal Carl "Curly" Bane. Behind the "jail" is a corral that holds a buffalo for tourist viewing during the summer months.

The "Seligman Depot" and the "1860 Arizona Territorial Jail" are not authentic historical buildings, but owned by the Roadkill Cafe owners and built to attract tourists to the Cafe and the attached "OK Saloon". One should note that Arizona Territory did not exist until 1863, and Seligman itself was not established until 1886 (per the city sign at the edge of town). Marshal Carl "Curly" Bane, the indian jail escape and the list of outlaws are also fictitious. There are no local or other documents claiming any authenticity to any of the property; visitors are simply left to believe what they wish of the park.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ a b c d Seligman Historic District − Route 66; accessed 31 August 2015.
  3. ^ The Seligman Historic District
  4. ^ a b c d e f g; History of Seligman, Arizona
  5. ^ Sharlot Hall Museum Library & "A day trip to Seligman on the Williamson Valley Road"
  6. ^ a b c Seligman Arizona Historical Society: Havasu Harvey House
  7. ^ Prescott Daily Courier: "Historical photos of Havasu Harvey House in Seligman" Archived 2015-05-23 at the Wayback Machine . accessed 31 August 2015.
  8. ^ Prescott Daily Courier: Railroad tearing down Seligman Harvey House" Archived 2016-01-23 at the Wayback Machine, 13 April 2008.
  9. ^ Arizona Harvey Houses
  10. ^ a b Seligman History - Route 66
  11. ^ Seligman and historic Route 66
  12. ^ Seligman Historical Society

External links[edit]