Hugh Davis built the Blue Whale of Catoosa for his wife as a 34th wedding anniversary present in 1972. Since then, the smiling whale has greeted visitors cruising down Route 66 and become a major hub for visitors passing through Oklahoma.
Although Davis had his wife in mind when he built "Blue," he was also considering the neighborhood children. Prior to building the whale, Davis had built two petting zoos, one filled with cats and the other, known as the "Ark," filled with reptiles. After noticing children swimming in a pond near their property on Route 66, Davis decided to build the whale as a gift to his wife, and as a swim dock for children looking to dive and slide into the old pond.
The Davis' maintained the whale through the 1980s and even had a small concession stand at the pond. However, after Hugh Davis passed away, the whale began to fall into disrepair and was not restored until 1988, when his son Blaine took up the project. Fixing damage from vandals and repairing the decaying cement, Blaine Davis restored the happy whale, and it has now smiled at visitors for 40 years.