Oatman, Arizona

   Oatman Rocks!   

Oatman had its origins in 1902 when prospector Ben Taddock was riding along a trail and spotted something sparkling in the sunlight. That sparkle turned out to be gold and the boom was on. Originally called Vivian, the name was changed to Oatman in 1909. Some speculate that the name came from Olive Oatman, a young girl who was captured by Indians in 1851. According to legend, she was found and released in 1857 near the present-day site of Oatman. The mines closed down in the late 1930's and if it wasn't for Route 66 Oatman might have withered and blown away in the hot Mojave winds. When Oatman was bypassed by the new alignment of Route 66 in 1952 it almost did go the way of most ghost towns, but it managed to hold on and today is a popular tourist spot. Be sure to bring carrots for the celebrated residents of Oatman, the wild burros, you may not be able to get through town if you don't.