Chambless, CA

James Albert Chambless established a homestead near the National Trails Road and Cadiz Road in the early 1920’s. A store was built on this property in the late 1920’s, after the National Trails Road was dubbed Route 66.

In 1932, a gas station, motel, and store were added to the town, a post office followed in 1939. Cabins and a café were added as well.

Most of the buildings that housed these businesses are still intact today, however, the businesses have long closed up shop. The most impressive location is the Roadrunner’s Retreat located roughly a mile and half west of the town. The large 1950’s era sign still stands proudly above the crumbling ruins of the old restaurant.

In 1990, Gus Lizalde, purchased the town of Chambless with the intention of restoring it to its former glory days. Since making the investment, Gus was able to reopen the gas station for a short period in the early 90’s, only to be forced to close due to unsafe underground fuel-storage tanks.


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About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.