A favorite stop along Route 66 is the Blue Whale. Folk art stops like this make Route 66 fun to travel – but you have to wonder why it’s there?
Built in 1972 as an anniversary gift, the Blue Whale quickly evolved into a local summer hot spot and family travel destination. Almost immediately the whale began attracting people who wanted to fling themselves off his tail, slide down his water-coated fins and poke their heads out the holes in the whale’s head. Travelers stopped by to picnic, swim, or fish. So began what became one of the best loved icons on Route 66.
“The Blue Whale was built by Hugh S. Davis, Boy Scout, photographer, zoologist, lecturer, father of two, grandfather of four, great-grandfather of nine and friend of many. Hugh believed that every day was a beautiful day, that people should use the talents God gave them, that one should keep busy by thinking, planning and creating, that people should love what they do and do what they love, that you should always finish what you start and that you should enjoy life and live it to its fullest.
The pond on the Davis property was always a fun place. Before the whale was built, the kids who were friends of the Davises’ son Blaine and daughter Dee Dee swam, canoed in dug-out African canoes, played King-of-the-Hill by throwing each other off the large floating rafts and fished for perch and bass. They picnicked in the summer and skated on the ice in winter. Then Hugh’s children grew up and the pond was quiet … but not for long. When Blaine had sons John and Paul, their favorite place was “across the road” building and exploring with their Papa.
In July 1972, the unpainted whale began attracting people who wanted to fling themselves off his tail, slide down his water-coated fins and poke their heads out the holes in the whale’s head. So began what became one of the best loved icons on Route 66. From 11:00 a.m. until dark every day (except Monday or when it rained) people swam, picnicked and fished.
From “History of Catoosa” – excerpt by Dee Dee (Davis) Belt
My kids enjoyed the stop – and with picnic tables and a snack stand that I’m assuming is open in the summer (it wasn’t open when we were there) it makes a great place to stop for a quick break on Route 66!
Read More about the Blue Whale, Catoosa, OK