Retro Roadtrip: The Blue Swallow, Tucumcari, NM

We have had the Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, NM in our Motel Directory for a long time.It’s as much of an icon along Route 66 as the WigWam Motels.

blueswallow3Owner Lillian Redman, a legend along Route 66 ran the motel from 1958 to 1997.  By a stroke of luck, owners over the years after she sold the motel managed to restore instead of modifying (and thus destroying the charm) the old motel.  The rooms have been “modernized” but only to accommodate the comfort of guests and going to great pains to keep the original charm of the motel.

The current owners, Kevin and Nancy Mueller of Brighton, Mich. were soul searching after Kevin, who had been employed for 20 years at Valvoline lost his job. Nancy lost her job in the real estate field not long after that.  Kevin’s interests included history, old cars, Lionel trains, and motorcycles and Nancy has a background in business and music.

“How do I make a living with something I enjoy?” Kevin recalled thinking and the couple purchased the motel in April, 2011

blueswallow1The Mueller’s obviously enjoy owning the historic motel and it shows in the community they’ve gathered around the location. No one feels like a stranger. Their dog runs out to greet you, their Facebook page boasts pictures of travelers in a variety of cars, outfits and from all over the world. The gift shop is fabulous (and I just realized some of the merchandise is available online!)

blueswallow4We stayed in the family suite and my kids (who are 12 and 13) claim it’s their favorite motel anywhere! The family suite has two rooms adjoined by a little hallway with a bathroom in it. The kids adored having their own room and really loved the kitchsy decor. My son liked all the murals in the garages – especially the ones that depict the movie “Cars”.

This motel reminds us of why we were enthusiastic about these fabulous retro motels to begin with! The fabulous neon, the original sign and the wonderful retro kitsch furnishings just start to paint a picture of why this motel is not only a stop on Route 66, but a must stop.

While it’s a bit more expensive than some other locations along this stretch of the mother road, it’s a must stop for any motel enthusiasts and just for the atmosphere alone.blueswallow2

Greetings Traveler:

In ancient times, there was a prayer for “The Stranger Within our Gates.” Because this motel is a human institution to serve people, and not solely a money-making organization, we hope that God will grant you peace and rest while you are under our roof.

May this room and motel be your “second” home. May those you love be near you in thoughts and dreams. Even though we may not get to know you, we hope that you will be as comfortable and happy as if you were in your own house.

May the business that brought you this way prosper. May every call you make and every message you receive add to your joy. When you leave, may your journey be safe.

We are all travelers. From “birth till death” we travel between the eternities. May these days be pleasant for you, profitable for society, helpful for those you meet, and a joy to those you know and love best.

Sincerely yours, Lillian Redman

Blue Swallow Motel
815 E. Route 66 Blvd
Tucumcari   NM   88401

Email: BlueSwallowMotel@gmail.com
Phone:575-461-9849

share this:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

More articles:

100 Things to Do On Route 66 Before You Die

Recently a publisher, on recommendation of Jim Ross, approached me with an intriguing proposal – write a book about Route 66 that is in essence a bucket list. The challenge fascinated me. How do you whittle down America’s longest attraction, a 2,000 mile corridor of fascinating museums, quirky folk art parks, historic sites, renovated motels, ghost towns, dynamic cities, time capsule restaurants and diners, and breathtaking natural attractions into a list of one hundred must

Read More

Want to spend hours looking at 50's interiors photos?

Sure you do! I haven’t plugged my fantastic Flickr group here for a while, so I thought I’d take this change to direct you all to the group I started on Flickr FOREVER ago – now with 1700 members (can you believe?) and almost 5000 images – there’s a ton of great stuff to look at! Here’s a sample: Please join us at “The 1950’s Interior Design and Residential Architecture Flickr Group!”

Read More

Updating and renovating? Purist?

I was thinking about renovating this morning – mainly because we’re at a lull on projects until we have some money drop in our lap! 🙂 But I was looking at some real estate ads in Palm Springs (pretty much the mid-century capital) and one mentioned that the kitchen had been “ruined” in an update. There weren’t any pictures, but it got me to thinking about a house we have down the street who ripped

Read More

Las Vegas and Mid-Century Icon The Sahara closes today

The Sahara Hotel closes tomorrow, Monday, May 16th at 2:00 pm.  Having gone from big plans of restoration to succumbing to the bad economy, they just couldn’t keep it afloat any longer and it’s closing it’s doors. The Sahara has a colorful history and it was here the Beatles stayed when they played the Convention Center back in 1964.  From its inception the list of major acts that performed on property is truly staggering and

Read More