Prince and his wife
Janet opened their first Thing? roadside attraction and curio
shop on Highway 91 between Barstow and Baker, until the
expansion of the road into an interstate brought about the loss
of the building. In 1965 the Prince family packed up The Thing?
and moved to the current location. A heart condition and several
strokes led to Prince's death in 1969 at the age of 56.
The Thing? is
is now located just off I-10 at Exit 322 on a hilltop between
Benson and Willcox, near Texas Canyon, at 2631 North Johnson Road
in Dragoon. On the south side of the highway, the attraction is
part of a large gas station and gift shop complex painted red,
yellow and blue. Amid the bows and arrows, moccasins, baseball
caps, velvet paintings and turquoise jewelry, the gift shop also
sells The Thing? shot glasses and T-shirts. Suggestions have been
made to management to sell bumper stickers for proud Thing?
Stan Delaplane traced The Thing? back to 1950. Janet Prince, who
later moved to Baltimore, was interviewed by Delaplane in 1956 and
told him, "Man came through here about six years ago. He had three
of them he got somewhere. He was selling them for $50." Today, the
attraction is operated by an Albuquerque-based company, Bowlins,
Inc., which owns several roadside trading posts throughout the