Lupton once had a bar, motel and tire shop, ‘History Day’ reveals
The Lupton History Day at Lupton Chapter House filled the room with stories of the Lupton community that have been forgotten — stories of days when the community was a thriving place along Route 66.
Master of Ceremonies Kern Collymore encouraged the audience to share their stories of their history of the Lupton area.
“Share your history. This is a good time for us to come together and share the history of this community so it’s not forgotten,” said Collymore.
Originally from Jamaica, Collymore married into Lupton and is the head coordinator at the Little Colorado River Watershed Chapters Association.
The stories shared revealed a surprisingly lively past to the now sleepy hamlet. Lupton once had a motel, a “modernized” trading post, a night club — and even a visit from the King himself, Elvis Presley.
“He once stopped here to get his tires fixed. There was a tire shop near the 66,” said one local.
Lupton Chapter President Alvin Blackgoat was present and said a lot has changed since the booming 60s and 70s.
“All these people here were teenagers then,” said Blackgoat of the residents in attendance.
The biggest surprise to learn about was the night club Lupton had, Stateline, where Gallupites would come on Sundays.
“It was open on Sundays,” said a local. “People would come from all over and chit chat on Sunday because Gallup was closed dry.”
Lupton was a booming community back in the early 60s and 70s. The local power plants and substations provided jobs, and Route 66 brought the tourists.
One resident told the story of a man who ran an Uber-like business, connecting his flat bed trailer to end of his chiddii to give passengers a lift around town. It was said he would put bales of hay on his trailer for passengers to sit on and relax.
“We’re not sure if he charged people, but he did have a lot of people,” said Blackgoat.
Collymore provided a slideshow with old photographs of the Lupton community, most in black and white, along with some brief information on the changes the community has gone through over the years.
Another fact the Lupton locals are proud of is the movies filmed in the area, most notably “The Hallelujah Trail” filmed south of the chapter, in the canyons and rocks that can still be seen from Interstate 40.
One resident, who didn’t want to be named, was proud to be an extra in the film.
“I’m a movie star!” he said to audience as they applauded.