Angel Delgadillo in his Seligman barber shop. He was born in the town in 1927, a year after Route 66 was designated as a federal highway. Angel lived in Seligman his whole life except when he attended the American Pacific Barber College in Pasadena, Calif. He has been a leading ambassador for Historic Arizona Route 66 for more than 30 years.
Go west to Peach Springs:
Go east to AshFork:
Seligman has been a focal point for waves of nostalgic travelers who returned to what's left of Route 66 and its roadside attractions. It helps that Seligman is on one of the longest remaining stretches of the highway.
The unincorporated town is 85 miles from Kingman. Add 17 miles to the trip by driving on an old alignment of Route 66, known as Crookton Road (Exit 139) that you pick up just west of Ash Fork.
Seligman is named for Jesse Seligman of the J.& W. Seligman Co., which financed the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad across Northern Arizona and the Prescott & Arizona Central feeder railroad to Prescott. Seligman was originally known as Prescott Junction but when the Prescott line was moved to a terminus at Ash Fork the town's name was changed to Seligman.
Jesse Seligman visited the town named for him in April 1894 in a private railroad car on his way to Coronado, Calif., where he died later that year.
Today, Seligman stands out because of the Delgadillo family. Angel Delgadillo, a local barber since 1947, founded the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona and pushed for state and federal recognition of the highway in the late 1980s. As a child, he recalled seeing flickering headlights of cars on Route 66 shining into his family's home and how he would make shadow figures on the wall.
In 1953, Angel's brother Juan Delgadillo built the Snow Cap Drive-in with salvaged lumber. It has become an essential stop for Route 66 visitors. Juan was a jokester with a schtick for customers using doctored squeeze bottles of ketchup and mustard, frayed napkins and straws, and a Milkshake candy bar in a cup. He died in 2004. His children and grandchildren still operate the drive-in.
Seligman was a railroad and highway town the became a near ghost town after Route 66 was bypassed by Interstate 40 in 1978. Passenger rail service ceased in 1984 and the Santa Fe Railroad ended its operations in the town a year later.
But interest in Historic Arizona Route 66 from all over the world has revived Seligman. All kinds of roadies on motorcycles, in vintage cars and on tour buses get their pics on Route 66 in Seligman. And Angel Delgadillo is often there to greet visitors in many different languages as they exit tour buses.