The Budville Trading Post is arguably one of the most photographed landmarks on Route 66 as it passes through New Mexico. Located about thirty feet from the highway's shoulder, it is an abandoned, one-story, white-washed cement-block building featuring a low angled roof. There is a large, non-functioning neon sign, "Budville Trading Company,'' mounted above it on two 12-foot iron posts, one of them sunk into the former island for Phillips 66 fuel pumps.
The unassuming gas stop would be of little interest if it were not for Bud Rice, son of the original owner and the man for whom the town of Budville was named. Rice not only operated a small grocery store, pawn shop, gas station, wrecker service, salvage yard, and repair garage from here; he also sold bus tickets, owned the local State Motor Vehicle Department concession, and was elected as a local Justice of the Peace.
In 1967, Rice was murdered during a hold-up. The criminals were never caught. For a dozen years after, Bud's wife Flossie kept the trading post going. But it closed in 1979 and an attempt to re-open it as a general store in 2006 failed. Today, the Budville Trading Post, established in 1928, serves as a fascinating reminder of one of the larger-than-life legends of America's most famous highway.