Everyone loves jackrabbits, it’s a proven fact. So how could I drive through Joseph City and not stop at the Jackrabbit Trading Post? I couldn’t. So I took Exit 269 and got off I-40 to go hunt jackrabbits. And maybe some rabbit stew.....
The Jackrabbit Trading Post dates back to 1949, when a man by the name of James Taylor converted a former snake farm (after releasing all the snakes around town) into a trading post. Soon there were rabbits all over the place, on the roof, the side of the building and on a huge billboard across the street. Taylor also placed billboards for miles in both directions along Route 66 which had a silhouette of a jackrabbit and the distance from that sign to the trading post. So naturally, when folks finally arrived and saw the huge “Here it is” billboard, they had to stop. Somehow, I managed to not take a photo of the trading post and huge rabbit out front. That will be remedied on my next visit. But in the meantime, I found this old postcard image on the amazing worldwide web.
Right after turning off I-40, I pulled over at this old, abandoned gas station. It was probably quite a busy place at one time, as it's located near what used to be the Jackrabbit campground.
The gas station and the campground and its buildings appear to have been closed for quite some time.
Looking up the road from the gas station, the "Here it is" billboard is visible on the right side of the old road, and the trading post is visible on the opposite side. It was time to head closer and get a nice shot of the billboard.
I found this old building on the opposite side of I-40 as the trading post, located on Jackrabbit Road. My good friend, Hearsay, claims that it was originally built as a schoolhouse by the railroad and at some later time became a trading post by the name of "Lone Wolf Annex."
Constructed of brick, it later had a coat of plaster applied and painted. A small, wooden storage area or enclosed porch was built on the east end. There was a door on the west end of the building at one time, you can see the outline in the middle of the wall. Maybe some of the schoolkids used it to make an escape one time too many and they decided to close it up.