In April, the City of Catoosa finalized the purchase the Blue Whale and the surrounding 23.5 acres. The Whale was built by Hugh Davis in the early 1970s as an anniversary present to his wife, Zelta. The property changed hands a few times over the years, but it has always stayed in the Davis family until now. Rest assured, Catoosa knows how important the Whale is not just to their community but to the entire world.
Since Catoosa has taken ownership of the land, there have been several improvements. The Whale itself has had a good cleaning. The bathrooms have been repaired. Much of the scrub brush has been removed and the walking path on the north side of the pond has been cleared.
Future plans include clearing a path around the south side of the pond and cleaning up the other walking trails through the woodland part of the property. The city plans to continue enhancing the area without negatively impacting the charm and integrity of what our Route 66 family knows and loves.
The gift shop remains open and staffed primarily by Linda Hobbs. All proceeds from the shop will continue to go to the Catoosa Arts & Tourism. Hugh and Zelta’s son, Blaine, has lived on the property off-and-on for the last eighteen years. Although he will no longer live on site, he plans to stay engaged with the Route 66 community.
The Blue Whale remains open daily. Follow along with them on Facebook to stay up-to-date with changes: https://www.facebook.com/blue.whale.144/
The Oklahoma Route 66 Association is excited to see what the future brings for ol’ Blue. The legacy of the Whale is a big part of our story and we stand ready to help ensure that this unique roadside attraction continues to welcome visitors for decades to come.