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Harry and Hope Locke had a dream of building a musuem dedicated to the study of meteorites. In the mid 1930's they built the Meteor Crater Observatory west of Winslow, Arizona, where Route 66 met the road leading to the Barringer Crater. At that time the crater was still privately owned by Barringer's Standard Mine Company and tourists weren't welcome on the active mining site. The Lockes hoped that the close proximity to Route 66 would attract travelers and help fund their museum. The Lockes' observatory closed down shortly after opening due to a huge construction debt and lack of visitors. Sometime in the mid-40's Harry Locke was killed while trying to earn a living with the Winslow Police Department. In 1946 Harvey Nininger re-opened the observatory as the American Meteorite Museum where he also worked and lived. For 25 cents visitors could climb the tower and look through a telescope at Meteor Crater six miles to the south. Nininger managed to attract over 30,000 visitors to the museum in the first year, but the business suffered with the re-alignment of Route 66 in 1949. Nininger hung on until 1953, when the museum closed for good. Today what is left of the museum sits atop the small hill that it was built on within site of both the Meteor Crater and Interstate 40.