Travel mat Scenic Hi-Way 789.
10 x 14 in (25.4 x 35.56 cm)
This is a 1961 Travelmats Corporation of America pictorial 'Travel mat' illustrating the proposed Scenic Highway 789, running from Tuscon, Arizona to Greybull, Wyoming.
A Closer LookThe map covers this route - exclusively - noting the distances between important waypoints. It identifies towns, restaurants, parks, hotels, and motels, suggesting interesting stopping points. Some locations feature short descriptions and summaries of services available. Specific attractions along the way are illustrated - such as the Ute Indian Museum of Montrose, Colorado; Mesa Verde National Park in Cortez, Colorado; and the dramatic switchbacks climbing through Salt River Canyon between Globe and Show Low, New Mexico.
A Highway That Never WasThe route depicted here was never designated an official Scenic Highway. State Route 789 existed in Arizona between 1956 and 1965, running from Nogales to New Mexico following U.S. Route 66. It was intended to be the Arizona leg of U.S. 789, a proposed Canada-to-Mexico Highway running from Nogales all the way north to Sweetgrass, Montana. The proposal was denied by the Association of American State Highway Administrators, mainly because the route already shared and duplicated existing national highways. Once the overall plan was scratched, the state route segments began to disappear. Today the only remnant of the proposed Scenic Highway is a portion of Wyoming State Route 789.
Travelmats Corporation of AmericaThe Travelmats Corporation of America (1948 - c. 1972) was an American advertising and publishing company based in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin founded by J. Alvin Dru'yor. Travelmats manufactured place mats of well-traveled highways distributed them to restaurants, motels, hotels, and other places frequented by tourists across the United States. The company began publishing its 'Adventures in Travel' guidebook, or 'map-book' in 1948. In 1963, Dru'yor stated that businesses nominated for their guidebook should have a parking lot, good food, be modern and clean, and give the traveler outstanding value and service. By 1965, the company, which was started as an offshoot of a weekly newspaper in Prairie du Chien, grew to nearly 4,000 subscribers and was the second largest company in the United States that provided tourist information. Travelmat's ultimate fate is unclear, but it is known that Dru'yor retired in 1972.
Publication History and CensusTravelmats were not clearly dated, but they did bear codes which correspond closely to their publication year. This Travelmat bears the code 961, which fits a contextual dating of 1961. This map was published by Travelmats Corporation of America c. 1965. We see no other examples of this on the market, and there are no examples of this specific Travel Mat listed in OCLC. The Newberry Library has an impressive collection of Travel Mats, but the Scenic Hi-Way 789 is not among them.
J. Alvin Dru'yor (August 18, 1903 - April 29, 1990) was an American newspaperman and publisher. Born in Wall Lake, Iowa, Dru'yor graduated from high school in Cherokee, Iowa, after which he attended advertising school in Indiana. He worked for the Cherokee TImes and the Elkader Register before moving to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin in 1928 where they purchased the Crawford County Press. He founded the Travelmats Corporation of America in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, in 1948 as a secondary business to the Crawfordd Country Press, which he sold in 1954 to work full-time at Travelmats to continue to foster its success. He worked at Travelmats until 1972. Dru'yor was a member of the Kiwanis Club, the Masonic Lodge, an the Great River Road Commission, a board member fo the Prarie du Chien Foundation and a founding member of the Chamber of Commerce. He married his wife Inez Bock in Tampa, Florida on February 6, 1928, with whom he had one daughter. Learn More...