CATOOSA, Okla. -- Dozens gathered at the Blue Whale on Sunday, looking to revitalize the Route 66 landmark as it approaches its 50th birthday.
Volunteers came from as far as Iceland looking to take care of the unique landmark for the next generation.
The idea started with the non-profit OK Chive. The director took to Facebook and more than 100 volunteers came out: raking, power washing and mowing to make the structure good as new.
"He needed a bath so we came to give him a bath and we're cleaning up some of this area so it's more eye-appealing when you drive by and you come visit. People come from all over the world to check him out so we're just trying to make it better," Jeremy Ruiz said.
The Davis family built it in 1970 by hand. It took two years, and they wanted to create a lasting memory for their grandchildren.
"He said "well there's nothing bigger than a whale, so if I build them a whale then I don't know what they would want that's any bigger so here we go." And there it was," Blaine Davis said.
Davis still lives on site and said many groups have offered to tackle renovations, but none followed through until this week.
"It's so nice to have somebody do what they say they will do. This group is definitely doing that," he said.
Now he's relieved to see his father's work restored.
"This thing kind of has a mystique to it. I think it's going to outlast several generations. It outlasted my parents. It's probably going to outlast me, unless we have some more big earthquakes," Davis said.
This is the first of a few days work. OK Chive also wants to make repairs to the deck and said this will be a regular volunteering opportunity through the spring.
They are looking for more donations to finish repairs. For more information on how you can help just email Jeremy Ruiz.
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