In October, 1857, Lieutenant Edward Fitzgerald Beale first explored the present site of Kingman when he and his team surveyed the 35th parallel in anticipation of building a wagon road. In the heat of the desert, they used camels for transportation, an idea they were sure would catch on. Alas, it never did. When the wagon road, stretching from Fort Defiance, New Mexico to the Colorado River was complete, it was named for the Lieutenant. Soon Beale Road saw all manner of travelers trekking through the desert. In the beginning these were primarily miners and prospectors seeking their fortunes.
When the railroad began to reach this part of the west, a man named Lewis Kingman surveyed the route between Albuquerque, New Mexico and Needles, California in 1880. The new railroad, when it arrived, would closely parallel Beale’s old wagon road. Later when Route 66 came barreling through; it too, would closely follow this historic path.