Becky L. Snider, Ph.D. and Debbie Sheals

Cultural Landscapes: Carol Grove, Ph.D.  Research assistance: Skip Curtis

Data entry and research assistance: Megan Dean


January 14, 2003















The Phase II Survey of Route 66 in Missouri was funded by a grant to Missouri State Historic Preservation Office

 from the National Park Service, Route 66

Preservation Program





















The consultants would like to acknowledge the assistance of the Route 66 Association of Missouri, Tom and Glenda Pike, Skip Curtis,

Carol Grove, Ph.D., and Megan Dean.  








Introduction and Methodology

Survey Objectives........…...........………………....................…..…........…………………....…1

Project Scope……….............…………………………………..................................……….…1

Geographic Boundaries of the Survey Area....……................................................................2

Archival Research..........……..…..….....….....…....................……………………....................2

Field Work............………………...…..........…...………………............................……………..3


Historic Context – Automobile Tourism and Roadside Commerce Along Route 66 in Missouri

Early Transportation Routes………….........…......…...……………............................……...4

            Boosterism and Early Road Development: 1892-1921……………...........................…. 11

            U.S. Highway 66 - Designation and Paving: 1922-1933…………...............................…19

            U.S. Highway 66 - The Depression and War Years: 1934-1944….............................…33

            U.S. Highway 66 – The Golden Years: 1945-1955…...……………............................…..41

            U.S. Highway 66 – Decline and Decommissioning: 1956-1985…...……........………..43


Associated Property Types

            Property Type A: Lodging Resources…….........….....…..............……….....................…..46

                        Subtype: Cottage Court

                        Subtype: Motel

            Property Type B: Automobile-Related Resources…......…...……………........................53

                        Subtype: Commercial Garage

                        Subtype: Gas Station

                        Subtype: Residential Theme Gas Station

                        Subtype: Oblong Box Gas Station

            Property Type C: Restaurants and Taverns.......…...…………….............................……60

                        Subtype: Food Stands and Drive-ins

                        Subtype: Full Service

                        Subtype: Taverns

Property Type D: Commerce and Entertainment Resources……..........................…..64

                        Subtype: Grocery Stores

Property Type E: Landscape and Roadway Resources..................…..........................70

                        Subtype: Rural Historic Landscapes

                        Subtype: Cultural Landscapes

                        Subtype: Designed Historic Landscapes

                        Subtype: Roadways

                        Subtype: Bridges


Conclusions and Recommendations                                              
Inventory Forms/Database....……………......…...…........…………….............………....77

            Integrity and Current Condition……........………………....……..………......……...........77

National Register Eligibility……...................…......................................………................79

Cultural Landscapes and Historic Districts..……..……….........................………........80

Recommendations for Future Work…….....……………….............................................88


Bibliography ...........………………………………...…….............………...….....89



A.        Sample Inventory Form

B.        Chronology of Route 66 in Missouri

            C.        Master List of Surveyed Properties Sorted by Inventory Number

            D.        Master List of Surveyed Properties Sorted by Property Type

            E.        Master List of Surveyed Properties Sorted by Integrity and Current Condition

            F.         Inventory of Properties Identified for Future Study – Skip Curtis List

            G.        Glossary of Landscape Terminology


Introduction and Methodology




The current survey project (hereafter referred to as Phase II survey) continued the work begun in a 1992 survey (hereafter referred to as Phase I survey) of transportation-related properties on Route 66 in Missouri.  The Phase II survey was aimed at two primary objectives:  evaluation of the resources that were identified, but not evaluated in the Phase I survey and development of a survey report summarizing the findings of the two phases of the survey of Route 66 resources in Missouri.  In both phases of the survey, the identification and evaluation of resources was limited to the transportation-related resources along Route 66 in Missouri.  Additional goals established for the Phase II survey included the evaluation of the historic resources along Route 66 in terms of eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and the creation of a database of survey properties.  Both of these objective are aimed at  providing the State Historic Preservation Office and the Route 66 Association of Missouri with a planning tool for the management and promotion of the historic resources along Route 66 in Missouri.



Project Scope:


In September 1992, a survey of the transportation-related resources along Route 66 in Missouri was begun.  Using the Secretary of the Interior’s Criteria for Evaluation, four criteria were developed to use as a basis for identifying and evaluating resources for the survey. 


1.         A building, structure, site or object which was designed or used to serve the travel trade

on U. S. Route 66 and was constructed between the years 1926-1955.

2.         A building, structure, site or object which may be eligible for individual National Register


3.         A building, structure, site or object which contributes to the highway corridor’s sense of

time and place and historical development and may therefore be a contributing resource

in a National Register district.

4.         A building, structure, site or object which is necessary to fully develop and evaluate the

highway’s historic context or associated property types.


Preliminary fieldwork and research by the Phase I project consultant and the Route 66 Association of Missouri yielded a list of 266 resources (representing 233 individual sites) which appeared to meet the four criteria established for the purposes of the survey.[1]  This list included properties in the counties of Crawford, Franklin, Greene, Jasper, Laclede, Lawrence, Phelps, Pulaski, St. Louis, and Webster, and in the city of St. Louis.  In April 1993, the scope of the survey was amended, and the number of counties to be surveyed was reduced to five   Franklin, Lawrence, Jasper, St. Louis (city and partial county), and Webster.  Ultimately, 173 inventory forms were completed.  A brief final report was also written to summarize the findings of that phase of the project.


For the current (2002) Phase II Route 66 survey project, the consultants, Debbie Sheals and Becky Snider, continued the survey that was begun in 1992.  All of the information compiled during the 1992-93 survey was entered into a survey database.  In addition, the remaining 105 sites (144 individual resources) that were identified, but not inventoried, were documented, researched and entered into the survey database.  The consultants also reviewed earlier surveys that covered areas in the path of Route 66.  Information from the inventory forms for transportation-related resources on Route 66 from these surveys was compiled and included in the survey database.  Many of these resources are bridges along Route 66 for which inventory forms were generated as part of an Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) survey. 


More than 75 previously unidentified resources were also documented as part of the Phase II survey.  To distinguish these new properties from the ones identified in Phase I, they were given 100 level survey numbers.  Many of these resources were initially identified by historian Skip Curtis.  Mr. Curtis provided the consultants with information about more than 100 properties along Route 66 that had not been identified in the Phase I survey.  A separate database was created for properties identified by Mr. Curtis, but not surveyed as part of the Phase II survey project. (See Appendix F)



Geographic Boundaries of the Survey


This survey was limited to transportation-related resources along Route 66 in Missouri. Only resources directly related to travel and transportation along Route 66 were evaluated. The database that was developed from previous and current survey information includes resources from all of ten counties in Missouri through which Route 66 traversed including resources along abandoned alignments.



Archival Research


In the Phase II Survey, the consultants used primary and secondary resources to determine, when possible, historic uses, construction dates and early owners for the properties identified but not researched in the Phase I Survey.  However, only limited research was done on the properties that were newly identified in the Phase II Survey.  Archival research identified information about the general history of Route 66 and roadside architecture, with specific attention to the development and resources of Route 66 in Missouri.  The topic of Route 66 has captured the attention of many writers in recent years, and a number of highly respected historians have published books and articles about the beginnings of Route 66, its effect on the country and on the local communities it passed through, and its demise.  In addition, the topic of the development and proliferation of all types of roadside architecture has also been widely covered in the mainstream press and in scholarly journals.  These sources and many others related to the development of transportation in Missouri were used.  The consultants also reviewed primary sources to assist in the dating and evaluation of individual properties.


The location of historical source materials used for the survey includes the State Historical Society of Missouri, Ellis Library at the University of MissouriColumbia, the Missouri Department of Transportation archives, county historical societies, and the private collections of several local historians, particularly those involved with the Route 66 Association of Missouri. Highway, city, telephone, and lodging directories as well as Route 66 guidebooks and historic postcards, were used to establish construction dates and to identify early owners.  However, due to the rural location of many of the survey properties, some properties were not included in these directories or guidebooks and little historical information about them was found.  Local newspapers were also used to develop additional information about specific properties.  Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps and Missouri Department of Transportation Highway Maps provided very limited historical information about the survey properties because maps existed for only a few towns along the route and because these maps rarely extended beyond city limit boundaries.  


The Route 66 Association of Missouri and, in particular, Skip Curtis, also assisted in the compilation of current names and address information as well as historic owner information for property owners within the survey area.





The fieldwork for the survey was, for the most part, limited to those resources previously identified, but not documented in the 1992-1993 survey.  However, many of the resources that were surveyed in Phase I were also rechecked during the Phase II fieldwork. The entire length of Route 66 in Missouri was driven by the consultants and field notes about the current condition of some of the previously surveyed resources has been included in the database. Transportation -related resources that were discovered during the course of the fieldwork for the project were also documented and added to the database.


Basic physical information about the properties was recorded on inventory forms. (See Appendix I)  An electronic template for the forms was developed using Filemaker Pro 5.0.  Final inventory forms have been printed on archival paper.


Black and white photographs were also taken of each property that was not recorded in the 1992 survey or other related surveys.  Streetscapes and general views were also taken to document potential historic districts and/or cultural landscapes.


Potential historic districts and intact cultural landscapes received separate evaluation and analysis by Dr. Carol Grove. 




Historic Context


Automobile Tourism and Roadside Commerce Along Route 66 in Missouri


The historic context for Automobile Tourism Along Route 66 in Missouri traces the development of Missouri’s roads and highways from early trails to the national interstate system, with an emphasis on the history of U.S. Highway 66.  It is divided into six major sections which detail the early transportation routes in Missouri, the promotion and development of roads in response to the proliferation of automobiles, the creation of the highway system and Route 66, the effects of the depression and World War II on highway and roadside business development, the golden years of Route 66, and the creation of the national interstate system which precipitated the decline and decommissioning of Route 66.



Early Transportation Routes


Although transportation modes in Missouri in the twenty-first century are radically different from those used by the first inhabitants of this land, many of the roads that we use today follow routes that were established centuries, if not millennia, before the first European settlers ventured into this area.  Buffalo, deer and other animals created some of the earliest traces as they migrated from one area to another following the paths of least resistance.  These traces were also used by Native American tribes and became established Indian trade and hunting trails.  “Because these trails followed the easiest and most direct routes, many of them became the first roads used by European settlers, and, in turn, our modern highways.”[2] 


Early explorers of Upper Louisiana territory initially followed the area’s extensive natural waterways.  However, when they ventured beyond the banks of the rivers into the unchartered wilderness, they discovered trails worn into the landscape by the animals and Indian tribes that inhabited the region.  The earliest account of an expedition by a European into what is now Missouri dates to 1542.  That year a group led by explorer Hernando DeSoto crossed the Mississippi into the Upper Louisiana Territory. DeSoto sent a small group north along an Indian trail to LaSaline for salt.  “With this penetration of the Missouri wilderness to present Ste. Genevieve County, DeSoto left his name on one of the state’s earliest known trails, a trail that has left its mark on the present highway system.”[3]  During the next two centuries as the Missouri territory was explored, the Indian tribes that inhabited the area were encountered and the many trails that they used were discovered.  These trails, along with the Missouri’s system of riverways

influenced later settlement and transportation routes.  A map, which was included in the thesis Early Roads in Missouri by Martha May Wood, shows the major Indian trails that were in existence in Missouri before European settlement of the area.[4]  (Figure 1)  Many of these trails, particularly those south of the Missouri River, were established and used by the Lower Osage tribe; most of these trails became roads and eventually highways.




Figure 1: Indian Trails of Missouri

Source: Early Roads of Missouri by Martha May Wood, 1936.






The trails of the Lower Osage Indians branched out in several directions from their villages south of the Missouri River on the west side of the state.  Some of these trails led south to hunting areas near the White, Arkansas and Verdigris Rivers while others led north to the villages of other Indian tribes.  However, the longest and best known of the Osage trails led from hunting grounds in present-day southern Missouri, northern Arkansas, and eastern Oklahoma to St. Louis where there was a market for trading with European settlers.  This trail, which grew to be known simply as the Osage Trail “roughly followed the highlands between the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, crossing the Gasconade river on its headwaters near present Waynesville in Pulaski County.”[5]  Despite its importance, the Osage trail, like most of the trails in the Upper Louisiana area, remained mainly an Indian trail until the nineteenth century when white settlers began pushing into the heart of the territory newly acquired by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. 


In the eighteenth century, when the Upper Louisiana area was ruled by the French and later, the Spanish, a number of traces, which roughly followed established Indian trails, were in use along the Mississippi and Meramec Rivers.  These traces developed into crude roads as a result of early lead mining activities in the area and as a result of the establishment of French and later, Spanish posts at St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Cape Girardeau and New Madrid.  Early miners followed an Indian trail that led from Mine La Motte to the Mississippi’s west bank across from Fort Chartres.  By 1735, Ste. Genevieve had developed into a settlement at this river crossing point, and this trail had become so well-established that it could be considered a road.  It was called the Three Notch Road because it was marked by three notches in trees along the route.[6] 


When Spain took control of Upper Louisiana in 1770, the development of the area was still limited mainly to St. Louis and to the mining settlements. However, in the late eighteenth century the Spanish government began encouraging settlement of the area west of the Mississippi by United States citizens in an effort to keep the settlement of the area by the English from Canada in check.  As settlements were established in New Madrid and Cape Girardeau in 1789 and 1793 respectively, another trace from St. Louis to New Madrid, which was also based on the Shawnee Indian trail, quickly developed.[7]


Following the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the increased settlement of the area west of the Mississippi resulted in new roads.  The first law concerning roads in the Missouri territory was passed in 1806.  It provided for the establishment and maintenance of roads in each district.  Two years later, Territorial Governor Meriwether Lewis signed a law providing for a road between St. Louis and New Madrid.  Each of the four districts through which the road passed was to pay for its part of the road.[8]  Over the next decade, roads also began to stretch westward along the Boonslick Trail and north along the Mississippi River.  The Boonslick Road was the first east-west road, and it was the first road in the area that was not based on an Indian trail.[9]  These roads were established by laws passed by Missouri’s territorial government and, for the most part, were financed by the districts they ran through.  However, a few roads were funded by private individuals or by subscription.  In 1814, Missouri’s territorial road laws were rewritten and all roads established by any court were declared “public roads.” 


With new roads being constructed in the Missouri Territory and new settlements being established, enterprising citizens started businesses to accommodate the hundreds of emigrants.  Not only were stagecoach routes established, but also taverns, Missouri’s earliest roadside businesses, were constructed along those routes.  Like the tourist courts that developed along Missouri highways in the early twentieth century, these taverns provided a variety of services including food, lodging and mail. 


In the Missouri tavern, the pioneer settler and the wandering stranger were first welcomed to our soil.  In this early wayside inn business was transacted, religion preached, duels decided, politics discussed and frequently settled, towns founded, courts convened, and hospitality dispensed.[10]


By 1821, the year Missouri became a state, four main trunk line roads were in existence: the St. Louis-New Madrid Road, also known as King’s Highway, the Boonslick Road, the Salt River Road and the St. Louis-Arkansas Road, also known as the St. Louis-Natchitoches Trail.[11]  Upon admission to statehood, Missouri, like other states newly admitted to the Union, was given a grant for the construction of roads, waterway improvements and schools.  The funds for this grant, known as the three-percent fund, were derived from a portion of the proceeds of the sale of public lands.[12]   In 1829, the Missouri General Assembly officially designated the three-percent fund as a road and canal fund to be distributed equally among the counties.  With the exception of construction of military roads, the three-percent fund was, however, one of the only federal subsidies for Missouri roads until the twentieth century.  The policies established by two controversial road projects, the Cumberland Road and the Maysville Turnpike, would set the tone for the federal government’s participation, or lack thereof, in the construction and management of the country’s roads. 


In 1806, an act was passed by the President and Congress authorizing the construction of a national road known as the Cumberland Road.  The design and construction of the road took twelve years and the traffic on the road was so heavy that it was in need of repair soon after the road was put into use.  To fund its maintenance, Congress passed a bill in 1822 authorizing the collection of tolls on the Cumberland Road. President Monroe, however, vetoed this bill on the grounds that collecting a toll was, in effect, assuming jurisdiction over the land upon which the road was constructed on, a power that Congress did not have.  Eventually, the legislatures of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia agreed to accept responsibility for the maintenance of their state's section of the road.  This Presidential veto virtually halted Federal appropriations for road maintenance. 


The Maysville Turnpike Veto of 1828 produced a similar result with regard to Federal appropriations for road construction.  President Jackson vetoed a bill that would have subscribed 1500 shares in the Maysville Washington, Paris and Lexington Turnpike Road Company to the U.S. Government.  In his veto, the President noted that the Constitution delegated the construction of roads to the states and that an amendment to the Constitution would need to be made to shift this responsibility to the Federal Government.[13]


Because the only Federal subsidy for Missouri roads was the three-percent fund, the state had to find ways to pay for road construction and maintenance.  One such method was taxation.  As a result, the construction of early Missouri roads was facilitated, in part, by the creation of a poll tax by an act of the General Assembly in 1822.  The act stipulated that each county was responsible for maintaining its roads and that all free males between the ages of 16 and 45 were required to maintain the roads within their district.  The tax could be paid in cash, but few were able to do so.  Instead, each county would periodically have a “road bee” to work on the local roads.  Although the road did receive some attention, these work details were very much social events.  As Walter Williams and Floyd Shoemaker noted in Missouri, Mother of the West,


Working the roads was really a festive occasion.  Its social value was beyond question.  It was really a time for local gossip and for story telling.  The fate of the state and nation was heatedly debated.  “Inside stories” of recently past political maneuvers were made public. There were guesses on future political line-ups.  Questions of supremacy in running, jumping and wrestling were settled in a practical way.  There was also some work on the roads, rarely under skilled direction....The dirt was moved around a bit.  There was an effort to build up the center of the road so each side would slope almost to the degree of the roof of a house.[14]


Prior to 1821, immigration into Missouri had largely been restricted to the areas along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers and along the Boonslick Trail.  However, in the early 1820s, settlers began moving into the interior portions of the state and laying claim to lands in central and southern Missouri.  Because this area had been designated as reservation land for the Delaware and Kickapoo Indians, conflicts arose between the white settlers and the Indians.  The Indians appealed to the government and their claim to the land was upheld.  However, “in 1832, the Delawares and the Kickapoos ceded the land in this region back to the United States.   Many of the early white settlers then returned to their former claims and began permanent settlements.”[15]


Greene County was established in 1833 and a land office was set up in Springfield in 1835.  With the rapid settlement of this area and the development of Springfield as the most important town in the southwest region of the state resulted in a need for a better road between St. Louis and Springfield.  It was this road which was later developed into U.S. Highway 66.  As a result, a series of laws in 1837 and 1838 authorized the construction of a state road from St. Louis to Springfield.  The St. Louis-Springfield State Road roughly followed the route of the Osage Trail, which was also referred to as the Kickapoo Trail.  Later, during the Civil War when the Federal Government installed telegraph lines along the Osage Trail, it became known by a new name – the Old Wire Road.


In the mid-nineteenth century, along with demands for more roads came the expectation for continued improvement in road conditions.  Roads were often impassable for several days after a rainstorm.  One of the early attempts to create a hard-surface road was the plank road.  These roads, which were similar to the plank sidewalks found in many burgeoning towns, were constructed with oak sills laid parallel to the roadway and planks laid on the perpendicular across the sills.  In the late 1840s and early 1850s, more than 50 plank-road companies were granted charters to build plank roads in Missouri.  Seventeen plank roads were actually constructed in Missouri, including the longest and most famous plank road in the United States.  The 42-mile long Ste. Genevieve, Iron Mountain and Pilot Knob Road was completed in 1853.  It had five toll gates and was used primarily to haul iron ore.  However, a short four years after it was completed, the Ste. Genevieve, Iron Mountain and Pilot Knob Road was made obsolete by the completion of the Iron Mountain Railroad.[16]  Initially, plank roads seemed like a good way to create a smooth hard road surface, but they were costly to build and they often warped or sunk into the mud.  Although a few plank roads in Missouri remained in use until the early twentieth century, the development of railroads shifted the focus of the American public away from road building. 


In 1836, a convention was held in St. Louis to promote the development of railroads in Missouri.  Nine delegates from eleven Missouri counties were represented at the meeting in which the construction of two railroad lines was recommended and a petition to Congress was written.  The petition asked that Congress release 800,000 acres of public land to railroad companies to encourage railroad development.[17]  Shortly after this convention, a number of railroad companies were incorporated by the legislature.  However, all of these companies failed in the nationwide financial crisis of 1837.  Despite the failures of these early railroad companies, nationwide enthusiasm for railroad transportation continued to grow.  In 1849, a national railroad convention was held in St. Louis.  More than 1000 delegates from thirteen states attended this convention and the construction of a transcontinental railroad was widely supported. 


The construction of railroad lines in Missouri began in earnest in 1851, and by 1860, Missouri could boast almost 800 miles of track within the state.  The Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad and the Pacific Railroad were the first two companies incorporated in Missouri.  Although the Pacific began construction first in 1851, the Hannibal and St. Joseph was the first railroad company to stretch its tracks to Missouri’s western border.[18]  A number of other railroad companies were chartered and began construction of lines in Missouri in the 1850s. 


Missouri railroads were financed in part by individual contributions and subscriptions, and railroad promoters often solicited right-of-way donations of land from individual property owners.  However, as was the case in other states, most of the early railroad companies were the beneficiaries of federal and state aid in the form of transportation contracts, loans, and grants of funds and land.  In 1838, Congress designated all railroads as “post roads,” thereby facilitating faster mail delivery and providing another source of income for the railroads as they were constructed.  “The Federal government eventually received a handsome return on its grants to the railroads.  One of the conditions of these grants was that the aided railroads transport Government troops, mail and freight at reduced rates.”[19]  In contrast, the railroad companies were frequently delinquent on their repayment of loans to the State of Missouri.  The Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad was the only one of the railroad companies that did not default on its repayment of state aid.  In 1859, state aid for railroad construction ended in Missouri, and, over the next decade, the state foreclosed on several companies, losing millions of dollars in the process.[20]


Despite the great hardship and cost of construction, railroad expansion in the United States reached a feverish pitch during the years following the Civil War and Missouri was an integral part of this expansion. Railroads quickly surpassed steamboats and stagecoaches as the method of choice for transporting people and commodities.  Railway mileage in Missouri increased from 2,000 miles of track in 1870 to 6,142 miles in 1890.[21]  As the early roads had followed established animal and Indian trails, so did many of the routes for the new rail lines.  When it was constructed, the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad substantially followed the Ozark Trail. 



Figure 2: Transportation Map of Missouri

Source: The State of Missouri, by Walter Williams, 1904.





As it did throughout the country, the construction of the railroad also opened up vast new areas of settlement in Missouri.  Not only did towns develop along the new rail lines to serve as shipping and trading points, but also the railroad companies themselves built new towns and boosted existing town’s populations and economies when they established maintenance shops and service points along their routes.  In these towns, rows of commercial buildings quickly began to appear on the streets around the depot offering goods and services to railroad passengers and employees and to the farmers who brought their goods into town to be shipped off on the railroad. 


By the late-nineteenth century, the railroad had become the dominant form of long-distance transportation in America.  Along with the many benefits the proliferation of railroads brought to America, there were some losses associated with the development of this form of transportation. 


The spread of the railroad appeared to remove any need for a national highway system, or even state systems.  Roads might still be needed for strictly local traffic, but this was a responsibility that could be left to local authority, as it always had been, and if local authority did the job badly, why, that too was the way it always had been.[22] 


This attitude, which was pervasive among many American citizens, many of whom lived in the big cities or in a town on a railroad line, resulted in a general apathy towards America’s roads. However, outside of the major cities, local travel was still by way of wagon roads, and the construction of roads, although they were primitive, continued throughout the country during the second half of the nineteenth century.  As the authors of America’s Highways 1776-1976 note, between 1850 and 1900, “well over 1 1/2 million miles of rural roads were built in the United States.”[23]  Although these roads provided farmers with a means to bring their products either to the local market or to the nearest shipping point, most, due to lack of funds, were unimproved and poorly maintained.  Poor road conditions made life more difficult for people living in rural areas, lessened the amount of product that the farmers could haul to market, and increased the cost of locals goods to people in the cities.  Interestingly enough, roads in the United States were not bad due to a lack of knowledge of how to make them better.  A number of advances in road construction technology, including brick and asphalt paving, were in use on city streets as early as the 1870s.[24]  However, it would take the development of new modes of transportation to rekindle the American public’s interest in road construction and road improvement.



Boosterism and Early Road Development: 1885-1925


The invention of the safety bicycle and the automobile in the 1880s changed transportation methods forever, but also these inventions changed the country’s perception of the importance of good roads.  Prior to the development of the bicycle and the automobile, transportation along the country’s roads was primarily associated with trade and settlement.  However, as a result of these two inventions, the nation’s roads and streets also became venues for sport and tourism.


The original high-wheeled bicycle was popular when it was introduced in the United States in the 1870s, but it was difficult to ride and its design was incompatible with women’s fashions of the period, thereby limiting its use to men.  In contrast, the “safety bicycle” was much more stable and could be used by anyone.  It was introduced in 1885 and “almost overnight, cycling became a national craze in the United States.”[25]   Not only was the bicycle viewed as a form of general transportation, but also cycling became a national pastime. By 1896, more than one million bikes a year were being sold in the United States.[26]  As Americans began riding their bicycles beyond the city streets out onto the country’s rural roads, the deplorable condition of those roads was brought to the forefront. 


During the same period that the safety bicycle became popular, a number of inventors in Europe and the United States were developing self-propelled vehicles.  The first automobiles began to putter down America’s streets in the early 1890s and word about these curious vehicles was quick to spread throughout the country by way of newspapers and magazines.  At first, many considered the automobile a novelty.  However, the convenience, efficiency and freedom offered by these “horseless carriages” quickly became apparent, and the automobile soon became an accepted mode of transportation.  The concept of automobile touring was also developed, and automobiles became more than just being a new method of transportation; they became synonymous with a spirit of adventure and the exploration of the United States.  This image was undoubtedly instrumental in the rapid proliferation of the automobile.  However, like the bicyclists, early motorists were frequently hampered by the country’s poor road conditions.  As a result, the movement to improve the roads in the United States received a huge boost in support from automobile manufacturers and dealers, from motorists, and from the many business owners who foresaw the commercial possibilities of highway travel.


Although the federal government and some state governments began in the 1890s to demonstrate some receptivity to shouldering the responsibility for constructing and maintaining the country’s major roads, full acceptance of this responsibility was still several years away.  In the absence of state and federal participation, a variety of grass-roots organizations worked to provide America with better roads.  These groups included social organizations whose members were interested in road-dependent activities such as cycling or automobile touring, road booster groups and trail associations whose members were local businessmen, farmers and elected officials who were interested in improving a specific road or constructing a new highway along a particular route, and professional organizations whose members‘ livelihoods were directly tied to the road.  While all of these groups had the same basic goal – better roads – each organization worked towards that goal in a different way.


The League of American Wheelmen was one of the first national organizations to lobby for better roads.  The League was formed in the 1880s when the original, high-wheel bicycle was introduced, but the club took on a national presence as the widespread proliferation of “safety bicycles” led to the formation of “wheel clubs” all over the country.  Initially, the League organized bicycle tours and races and promoted cycling as a sport, but “very early in its life the League perceived that cycling as a sport depended on good roads and it transformed itself into a powerful propaganda and pressure group for promoting them.”[27]  In an effort to carry their message to the American people and to the federal government, League members wrote newspaper articles and printed pamphlets promoting a ”good roads” movement in America, and the organization published a magazine called Good Roads.  Information in the League’s propaganda touted the superiority of roads in Europe, the potential for the improvement of American roads, principles of good road building, and the benefits of all-weather roads. 


Another organization composed of road enthusiasts that became a powerful lobby for good roads was the American Automobile Association.  In 1902, a number of state and local automobile clubs banded together to form AAA.  In addition to providing its members with maps and guidebooks and to publishing information about highways, automobiles, and traveler services, AAA quickly became a national voice for automobile owners and enthusiasts and was instrumental in the development of the early federal highway legislation. While the national AAA lobbied for better roads at the national level, the state and local automobile clubs continued to work for change in their own states, counties and cities.  The Automobile Association of Missouri was one of the state organizations out of which the national organization was formed.  The Automobile Association of Missouri led the movement in 1920 “which resulted in an amendment to the state constitution authorizing the sale of $60,000,000 of road bonds for the purpose of building state roads through the State Highway Department.”[28]


In contrast to organizations such as the League of American Wheelmen and the American Automobile Association, who lobbied state and federal legislators and printed propaganda, the road booster groups and the trails organizations had much more specific agendas.  They raised money for road and highway construction and maintenance, marked the roads and trails under their organization’s purview, issued maps and guide books and organized work details to maintain the roads and trails.  Some of these booster groups were statewide organizations, some had a regional focus, and others were interested in national highway development.


Two of the earliest statewide road booster groups in the nation were formed in Missouri.  The Missouri State Roads Improvement Association was formed in 1883 and had its first annual convention in Sedalia that same year. Named after the movement and magazine created by the League of American Wheelmen, the Missouri Statewide Good Roads Association was organized in 1891.  It was the first Good Roads Association in the country.[29]  At the meetings of these statewide groups, counties sent “delegates” to provide information about road conditions in their areas and to represent their county's interests in future road projects.  Following Missouri’s lead, Good Roads Associations were organized in other states and in many of the metropolitan areas.  By 1901, “there were over 100 organizations promoting good roads, including six distinctly national road associations.” [30] 



Figure 3: Ozark Trails Pole Marker

Source: Auto Trails and Commercial Survey of the United States, p. 3.




Trail associations, such as the National Old Trails Road Association and the Ozark Trails Association, which were formed in 1913 and 1915 respectively, tended to be regionally, if not nationally based since they promoted routes that often crossed state lines.  Although these groups often worked to garner both financial and fundamental support for the specific trail or highway route that their organization promoted, they also lobbied for better roads throughout the country. One of the largest of these organizations, the Ozark Trails Association, was founded by Arkansan, S. H. “Coin” Harvey to encourage the improvement of roads in the Midwest and the Southwest.  Some of the original members of this group, including Cyrus Avery and John T. Woodruff, became the most influential leaders of the highway movement.


The National Good Roads Association (NGRA), one of the most active and aggressive of the grass-roots organizations promoting good roads, was formed in 1900.  NGRA was responsible for one the most flamboyant and most successful publicity campaigns for the good roads movement.  Conceived of by Colonel William H. Moore of St. Louis, the leader of the NGRA, the Good Roads Train was basically a traveling road show that educated the public on the benefits of improved highways.  The first run of the Good Roads Train left Chicago with nine flatcar loads of road machinery and two sleeping cars filled with machinery operators, highway officials, road experts and members of the press.  Between April and August 1901, the Good Roads Train stopped in sixteen cities in five states.  At each stop, sample earth, gravel and stone roads were constructed and road conventions were held.  Over the next two years, additional Good Roads Trains traveled across the country spreading the doctrine of the good roads movement.  Most of the cost of this campaign including the road machinery and the trains was covered by donations.[31] 





Figure 4:  Good Roads Train

Source: American Highways: 1776-1976, p. 48.





Although it was not technically a booster group, the American Association of State Highway Officials was one of the most important organizations in the creation of federal legislation for roads. Comprised of highway officials and engineers from each state, state highway commissioners, and the staff of the U.S. Office of Public Roads, which was created as the Office of Road Inquiry in 1893, AASHO was established as a venue for the discussion of legislative, economic and technical subjects related to the national highways.  The founding members of the group, who were appointed by President Woodrow Wilson, were charged with drafting “a legislative proposal for federal cooperation in road construction.”[32]  AASHO became, in effect, a liaison between the states, the booster organizations, and the federal government.  Furthermore, the early highway legislation bills including the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916 and the Federal Highways Act of 1921 were basically drafted by AASHO.  Several years later in 1925, AASHO took on the challenge of drafting a system of numbering and marking the national highways.[33] 


Other important organizations, which were formed in the early twentieth century and became powerful lobby groups for the good roads movement, include the National Association of Rural Letter Carriers, the American Road Makers, and the Travelers Protective Association of America. 


It was the efforts of all of the various organizations interested in better roads that resulted in changes in road construction and maintenance policies at the state and federal level.  These organizations helped to prove that there was widespread support for interstate highways, for governmental management and oversight of road construction and improvement and for the levying of bonds and the assessment of taxes to finance road projects.  Beginning in the 1890s, the federal government and some state governments began to take incremental steps towards a return to governmental participation in the financing and management of road projects. 


The first such action was the Agricultural Appropriations Act of 1893, which resulted in the formation of the Office of Road Inquiry (ORI) and the appointment of General Roy Stone as Special Agent and Engineer for Road Inquiry.[34]  Although the ORI had no power to influence or direct any road construction or maintenance projects, the research done by the office showed the serious deficiencies of the country’s roads.  In its later incarnation as the Office of Public Roads, this agency took the lead in the development and testing of road materials and the dissemination of information on road construction techniques through demonstrations and lectures.


The Post Office Appropriation Act of 1913 was the next major step along the path to federal assistance for roads.  Under the auspices of aid to the Post Office for improved rural mail delivery, this bill appropriated federal funds for the improvement of certain post roads and, most importantly, authorized the appointment of a committee to investigate the topic of Federal aid to highways.  The Post Office Appropriation Act of 1913 also reinforced the partnership between the Federal Government and the states for funding the country’s roads. States who received funding for the post road improvements had to match the Federal funds on a 1 to 2 ratio.


Between 1913 and 1916, a number of Federal-aid road bills were introduced into Congress, but all were met by opposition of one form or another.  The bill that formally extended federal aid for road construction and improvement was introduced by Representative Dorsey William. Shackleford of Missouri and passed by Congress in 1916.  The significant provisions of the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916 included an annual appropriation of $25 million for the construction and improvement of rural post roads, an equal cost-share ratio with the states, and apportionment of federal funds based on each state’s population and post road mileage.  In addition, all states had to have an organized highway department to be eligible for federal aid, and it was the burden of the states to maintain these federal-aid roads.[35]   As a result, the 1916 Act not only ensured the construction and improvement of America’s roads, but also their maintenance. 




Figure 5: 1916 illustration of disconnected roads

Source: America’s Highways: 1776-1976, p. 106.
























Furthermore, the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916 reinforced the concept of a partnership between the Federal Government and the states for the stewardship of the country’s roads.  It was not long, however, before the deficiencies of the 1916 Act came to light.  Perhaps the biggest defect was the fact that no stipulation was made that the rural roads constructed or improved with federal aid had to connect to one another.  This resulted in a series of short segments of improved roads, but not a network of higher-type roads or “highways” either within each state or between states.  The use of Federal aid by the states was also problematic since few states had any mechanism in place to raise the funds needed to match the Federal aid dollars.  Furthermore, the outbreak of World War I left the states short on trained engineers to lead road construction, short on men to perform the roadwork and short on materials for road projects.


The Federal Highway Act of 1921 corrected some of the problems of the 1916 Federal Aid Act.  The 1921 bill "required the states to designate a connected system of main rural roads that would be eligible for federal monies, with the caveat that these main roads amount to no more than 7 percent of all of the rural roads in the state."[36]  In addition, the bill appropriated $75 million for fiscal year 1922 and increased the limit of Federal participation in road costs to $20,000.  The bill concentrated a sizable amount of money on a limited number of road projects, and thereby produced significant improvements in the country’s interstate road system.  Additional appropriations for Federal aid for fiscal years 1923-1925 were secured with the Post Office Appropriation Act of 1923; the authorization of appropriations for future years allowed state governments to plan their own matching appropriations and also negotiate lower wages and construction materials.[37] 


New Jersey and Maryland were the first two states to respond with state aid programs in 1891 and 1894 respectively, but slowly over the next two decades all of the other states in the country would enact some form of state aid legislation.  Assistance at the state level varied widely from state to state.  At the very least, most states appointed a State Highway Engineer or Commission to work with the counties on road issue.  In some states, the state aid consisted only of advice to counties on road building techniques while in others, convict labor was employed to work on the roads and laws were passed appropriating state funds for road construction and improvement. 


In Missouri, state aid for roads began in 1903 and in the following years, the state’s commitment to participate in the creation and maintenance of good roads in Missouri was solidified.  The development of state aid programs and highway agencies paralleled that of the federal government.


In 1903, the Missouri Legislature passed a law that appropriated the proceeds of a $2 annual state license fee for the operation of motor vehicles to each county’s general road fund.  A year later, a tax on private railroad cars operating in Missouri was also designated for use in the construction and repair of public roads and apportioned to the counties.[38]  


In 1906, Missouri Governor Joseph Folk called a statewide good roads convention in Chillicothe.  At this convention, which was attended by 200 appointed delegates and thousands more interested citizens, a number of resolutions were written calling for the state to take the lead managing the state’s roads. 


They called for a state highway engineer, setting up a road engineering course and materials testing laboratory at the University of Missouri, state aid to counties for public roads, constitutional convention to supply adequate sources of revenue and use of the drag to maintain dirt roads.[39]


Most of the demands stated in these resolutions were satisfied by a series of bills that were passed by the Missouri State Legislature in 1907.  The position of State Highway Engineer was created and a State Road Fund was started with the payment of approximately $500,000 from the Federal Government for a Civil War claim. 


Another idea that was presented at the Good Roads Convention in Chillicothe was the construction of a cross-state highway from St. Louis to Kansas City.  That project was not included in the 1907 bill, but proponents of the cross-state highway continued to promote it.  In 1911, Governor Hadley appointed a committee to study the feasibility of the idea. That summer, the committee announced an inspection tour of the three proposed routes.  The cross-state highway was not built for several more years.  However, the four-day inspection tour created a flurry of road improvements along each of the proposed routes, and “it awoke the spirit of good roads and it demonstrated by mass use of the automobile that the motor car was here to stay – and to be reckoned with.”[40] 


Prompted by the passage of the Federal Aid Road Act of 1916, the Missouri Legislature passed the Hawes Law in 1917.  The Hawes Law created a State Highway Board and revived the position of State Highway Engineer, which had been replaced by a State Road Commissioner in 1913.  The Board and the Engineer were charged with the task of designating no less than 3,500 miles of “state roads.”  These roads, which accounted for approximately 7 percent of the total mileage of all the roads in the state, would be the roads in Missouri eligible for federal aid.  The Hawes Law also created a permanent state road fund.[41] 


A tremendous number of roads projects were initiated in the late 1910s as a result of the passage of the Hawes Law and the Morgan-McCollough Act, which authorized yearly grants to each county in the amount of $1,200 per mile for the construction of state roads. Despite this allocation of additional funds, the counties were still responsible for some of the cost of roadbuilding.  The principle vehicle for raising money at the county level for local road projects was the sale of county bonds.  In some counties, the bond campaigns were highly successful, enabling the construction and maintenance of many roads; in others, they were utter failures and few road projects were accomplished. 


By 1920, 346,838 motor vehicles were registered in Missouri.  However, less than ten percent of the designated system of 7,640 miles had been constructed.[42]  The realization that better roads were needed at a much faster pace than the counties could finance them led to two landmark pieces of road legislation in Missouri.  In 1920, a successful campaign to “Get Missouri Out of the Mud” resulted in an amendment to the state constitution authorizing the sale of $60 million in state road bonds.  This amendment provided for the payment of principal on the bonds with motor vehicle registration fees. 


One of the most important new road laws was passed a year later.  In 1921, the Centennial Road Law, named for the centennial anniversary of Missouri statehood, was passed by the Missouri Legislature.  It shifted the responsibility for the construction and maintenance of state roads from the counties, where it had been since the territorial period, to the state.  Other significant provisions of the Centennial Law included the appointment a four-member highway commission with the authority to designate, construct and maintain a “state highway system, an increase in the construction allowance apportioned to the counties, and the designation of 1,500 miles of primary roads, which would be of a higher type than claybound gravel, and 6,000 miles of secondary roads."[43]   The passage of the $60 million state road bond issue and the Centennial Road Law marked the beginning of a new era in Missouri road history.




Figure 6: Designation of State Highways Map

Source: State of Missouri Official Manual for Years Nineteen Twenty-One and Nineteen Twenty-Two, p. 846.







U. S. 66: Designation and Paving: 1922-1931


1922, federal aid was flowing, and many states, like Missouri, had developed State Highway Departments and passed bond issues.  As a result, road construction projects were in progress throughout the country.  In his annual report, Bureau of Public Roads Chief Thomas MacDonald reported that in 1922 alone, 10,247 miles of roads were constructed in the United States.[44]  Although this figure included a majority of “low type” roads, it was still a significant accomplishment.


The development of improved technology and machinery for road grading and paving greatly boosted the road construction of the early 1920s.  Although many states did not have the funds to purchase additional road equipment, after World War I, the Federal Government began donating surplus road equipment to the states.  Missouri greatly benefited from this program.  In the Official Manual for the State of Missouri for Years 1919-1920, it was reported that:


The road equipment which the federal government has donated to the State Highway Department will hasten the road building program in Missouri.... Almost 1000 tractors and trucks, besides a lot of surveying equipment, have been allotted to Missouri, and they have been shipped to the six division engineers for distribution among the counties.[45] 


As more and more roads were constructed nationwide, the necessity for a standardized system for marking the routes grew increasingly apparent.  In “Making and Unmaking A System of Marked Routes,” Edwin James notes that


By 1924, there were at least 250 marked trails [in the United States] sponsored by 100 or more separate organizations, each with a headquarters, and issuing maps and promotional material and collecting funds.  Some of these routes were interstate in character, some of only local significance.  Some routes were promoted to further roadbuilding by arousing public opinion, some were purely scenic, and some existed only to provide salaries for their organizers.[46] 


Thanks to the provisions of the Centennial Road Law, Missouri was several years ahead of many states in the process of categorizing and marking the state’s roadways. In the fall of 1922, the State Highway Commission designated a 1,500-mile state highway system and formally assigned route numbers to the state roads.  State Route 14, the road that in 1926 would be assigned the number U.S. 66, was the second route to be designated.  The commission order stated:


A higher type of primary road is hereby designated between St. Louis and Joplin.  The road will start at or near the end of the pavement on what is known as Manchester Road, in St. Louis County, thence south through or near Rolla, Lebanon and Springfield, to or near the Carthage-Webb City-Joplin population district.[47]


In Missouri, the numbering of the state roads was based on a grid pattern in which all north-south roads were given odd route numbers and all east-west roads were assigned even numbers.  Although Route 14 cut across the state diagonally, it was basically a thoroughfare from the state’s eastern population centers to those on the west side of the state.  As such, it was assigned an even number.  A table published in Auto Trails and Commercial Survey of the United States that was published in the mid-1920s shows that only 299,135 of the nation’s 2,478,552 miles of roads, equaling just 12 percent, were surfaced.  With 49 percent, Massachusetts had the highest percentage of surfaced roads in the country; Oklahoma had the lowest percentage with only 700 of the state's 107,916 miles of roads surfaced.  Missouri ranked 33rd with only 7.8 percent of its 96,041 miles of roads surfaced.[48]  One article entitled “Ten Week-End Tours From St. Louis – Weekend Trip No. 5” that appeared in the July 1921 issue Apropos, the magazine of the AAA Club of Missouri, described the conditions of Highway 14 from St. Louis to Rolla.  The author, M. J. Murphy, notes:


From St. Louis to St. Clair the roads are very good.... Between St. Clair and Rolla the roads are largely of dirt, which present the usual difficulties in wet weather. It is inadvisable to attempt the Rolla trip unless you have first secured from the Automobile Club the latest information concerning the condition of the stretch between St. Clair and the terminus.[49]



Figure 7: Map of Missouri, 1922

Source: National Map Company





A map of the state dated 1922  (Figure:7) shows that many portions of Highway 14, the road that would later become Route 66, were still unimproved.  The largest section of this highway that was improved outside of the major cities stretched between Springfield and Joplin.  It was a portion of this section that was the first to be paved with concrete in Missouri.  A 7.4-mile slab between Joplin and Carthage, which was laid down in 1920, had two nine-foot lanes with a lip curling up on the edges.[50] 


Only a few years later, State Highway 14 became an interstate highway, a change that would involve renumbering.  On March 2, 1925, at the request of the American Association of State Highway Officials, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture appointed a joint board for the purpose of creating an interstate marking system.[51]  The task assigned to this board became one of the most significant events in the history of the modern highway movement.  The Joint Board on Interstate Highways was composed of twenty-one state highway engineers and three repre-sentatives from the Bureau of Public Roads.  Within this joint board, a committee of five was formed and charged with the task of creating an interstate numbering system and assigning these numbers to the country’s interstates. 


In an effort to include the input of the booster groups, trails organizations, and state and local officials, regional hearings were held across the country.  For the most part, the designation and numbering was fairly straightforward and uncontroversial.  However, there was one major exception – U.S. Highway 66.  The creation of U.S. 66 was controversial because its routing and its initial numbering deviated from the system created by the Joint Board.  On November 18, 1925, the final report of the Joint Board was approved by AASHO and the Executive Committee was authorized to make minor changes in the recommended system.  However, due to the Route 66 controversies, almost a year would pass before the Federal Interstate Highway System (and Route 66) was formally commissioned.


One of the people picked to serve on the Joint Board was Cyrus Avery.  Avery, an Oklahoma entrepreneur, is generally regarded as the “father of Route 66.”  Avery was the Ozark Trails Association’s first vice-president, the Oklahoma State Highway Commission’s first chairperson, and one of the leaders of the American Association of State Highway Officials.[52]  He is, however, best known for his work on the Joint Board of Interstate Highways.  It was Avery who conceived of the idea of an interstate that began in Chicago, cut diagonally southwest across the country and ended in Los Angeles.  Coincidentally, that route passed through Avery’s home city of Tulsa. 


Avery’s proposed route was controversial because it did not follow a major historic route, because it ran on a diagonal, and because it did not follow the grid pattern established for the interstate system by the Joint Board.  All of the other designated highways followed major historic trails across the country, and all ran either north-south or east-west. Avery argued that the route he proposed did, however, follow a predominate trade route from Tulsa to Chicago. Had it not been for Avery’s new route, Oklahoma might have been left without an interstate because few historic trails went through Oklahoma. 


If the Chicago to Los Angeles highway was not controversial enough because of its diagonal route, the selection of a number for Avery’s highway caused one of the biggest battles of the interstate system designation and numbering process.  Because the interstate highways were laid out on a grid pattern, the numbering process was fairly straightforward.  North-south routes were labeled with odd numbers and east-west routes were given even numbers.  The principal east-west routes were assigned multiples of 10.[53]


Avery was supported in his efforts to establish this new highway by fellow committee members, Frank Sheets, State Highway Engineer of Illinois, and B. H. Piepmeier, State Highway Engineer of Missouri, and, in the end, Avery’s highway was included in the interstate system.  The report of the Joint Board of Interstate Highways which was presented at the committee’s final meeting on September 25, 1925 describe the route as:


Chicago to Bloomington and Springfield, Illinois; Saint Louis, Rolla, Springfield and Joplin, Missouri; Vinita, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, El Reno and Sayre, Oklahoma; Amarillo, Texas; Tucumcari, Santa Fe, Los Lunas, and Gallup, New Mexico; Holbrook and Flagstaff, Arizona; and Barstow and Los Angeles, California.[54]


Avery, Sheets and Piepmeier wanted the Chicago to Los Angeles highway to be designated Route 60, but other Joint Board members thought the number 60 designation should go to a highway that began on the east coast and ended on the west coast.  Officials from





Figure 8: Portion of the 1926 Map of Missouri showing the number 60 designation for the

highway between St. Louis and Joplin

Source: Auto Trails and Commercial Survey of the United States, National Map Company, p. 70.





Kentucky also objected to the assignment of 60 to the Chicago to Los Angeles route because no transcontinental highways (a route designated with a number ending in a “0”) were assigned to Kentucky.  Furthermore, Kentucky had been assigned only one east-west interstate, Route 62, and that route only ran from Kentucky to Missouri.[55]  The battle over the designation of the number

60 ensued for more than six months. Throughout this period, Avery and Piepmeier were so confident in their position about the correctness of giving the number 60 to the Chicago to Los Angeles highway that they authorized the marking of the route in their states as U.S. 60.  “In Missouri, the State Highway Department printed 600,000 road maps that actually showed Highway 60 going through the state from Joplin to Saint Louis.”[56]  In addition, several national map producers also printed maps with the route from Chicago to Los Angeles numbered as Route 60. (See Figure 8.)


In an early effort to appease Kentucky officials, the Joint Board extended Route 62 to Newport News, Virginia, but Kentucky officials still were not satisfied.  Kentucky Governor Fields and a Congressional delegation from Kentucky met in Washington with Bureau of Public Roads Chief Thomas MacDonald and BPR Design Chief Edwin James.  They pleaded their case and persuaded MacDonald and James to change the designation of Route 62 from Newport News, Virginia to Ozark, Missouri to Route 60 and to make the Chicago to Los Angeles highway Route 62. 


Piepmeier was informed of the change in a letter dated February 4, 1925 from Edwin James.  Both he and Avery were livid, and they became more entrenched in their position.  In a telegram to AASHO Secretary Markan, Avery writes:


Piepmeier wires that Route Sixty and Sixty-Two have been interchanged Stop cannot understand why such a change has been made after meeting in chIcago without notice to members of the executive committee stop... if routes are to be changed without any notice to states or to executive committee you are making a joke of the interstate highway stop i can think of nothing more unfair to the original marking committee than to make this change outside of a meeting of the executive committee stop ...we shall insist on route 60 from chicago to los angeles[57]


The battle raged back and forth this way for several months until April 30, 1926 when the idea for using number 66 came up.  On that day Avery was meeting with Piepmeier in Springfield, Missouri.  After having been informed by John Page, the chief engineer from Oklahoma, that the number 66 was unused in the interstate numbering system, Avery and Piepmeier agreed to accept it as the designation for the Chicago to Los Angeles highway.  As a result, many consider Springfield, Missouri to be the “birthplace of Route 66” since it was the place from which Avery and Piepmeier sent the telegram to BPR Chief MacDonald accepting the number 66.  On November 11, 1926, the Secretary of Agriculture approved the Federal Interstate Highway System, and Route 66 was formally commissioned.[58]


Although U.S. Highway 66 was formally commissioned in 1926, it would be five years before the interstate was fully paved in Missouri and twelve years before it was fully paved from Chicago to Santa Monica.  In the 1920s, most of the country’s roads were still simply graded earth.


Like many states, the work on Route 66 in Missouri was done using the “stage construction” process.  Rather than attempt to pave each section of highway before moving on to the next, thereby leaving many areas with completely unimproved roads, the initial goal was

to improve the entire route by grading it and covering it with macadam or gravel.  Then, after each

section was improved, the work of paving the entire route began.  A report by the State Highway Department on the progress of building the national highways in Missouri was included in the




Figure 9: Telegram dated April 30, 1926 to Bureau of Public Roads Chief Thomas H. MacDonald from Cyrus Avery and B. H. Piepmeier.

Source: “The Birthplace of Route 66” Show Me Route 66 Magazine, Fall 2001, p. 29.






State of Missouri Official Manual for Years Nineteen Twenty-Seven and Nineteen Twenty-Eight.  The report states that "U. S. Route 66, St. Louis-Joplin road, will be an all-weather road at the end of 1927; however, the Department will not be able to complete the surfacing with concrete until about 1932."[59]


Although the construction of the highway was slow, the citizens of the Missouri could at least see that progress was being made.  Newspaper coverage of the road building progress was comprehensive.  Both the commencement and the completion of paving from one town to another were events to be celebrated.  In addition, the paving of the highway encouraged the improvement of local roads. An article in the Rolla Herald on June 13, 1929  notified local readers about the progress of road work in the area:


The contractors who have the contract for paving U.S. Highway 66, from Rolla to Cuba have closed the highway in the west part of Rolla and are busy putting the road in shape for the pouring of the concrete.  The paving will commence at the intersection of 66 and 63 and will continue east to Cuba where it will connect on the paving at that point, so before the summer is over Rolla citizens should be able to get on a concrete slab which will carry you into Saint Louis and on east as far as you may wish to go


We believe now would be a good time for our citizens to think about paving Sixth Street and Springfield Road to the highway, and Pine Street from Twelfth Street to the highway.  If Rolla does not pave these streets it will lose many dollars from the tourists who come through Rolla, otherwise they will stay on the highway and pass us by.  Let’s get busy.[60]


A number of portions of Route 66 provided major challenges for Missouri’s highway engineers and road construction crews.  One such section was in Franklin County near Grays Summit through Tucker Hill.  This section of Route 66 represented one of the earliest rerouting projects by the highway department.  It was undertaken to smooth out the curves and straighten the highway and to shorten the route between St. Louis and Gray Summit.  Construction of the highway for this routing involved a 55-foot deep cut into the 100 foot hill since the limestone in the hill was considered too unstable to tunnel through.  Work on the cut began in 1926, but mud and rockslides hampered the construction process.  Route 66 through Tucker Hill was finally paved and opened to the public on July 3, 1929.[61] 


Many of Missouri’s bridges were also constructed in the 1920s.  Undoubtedly, the most famous of these bridges is the Chain of Rocks Bridge, which opened in 1929.  The one-mile bridge, which spans the Mississippi River between Madison, Illinois and St. Louis, was constructed as a private venture by the Chain of Rocks and Kingshighway Bridge Company.  Built as a toll bridge to bring travelers into St. Louis from the north, the Chain of Rocks Bridge became a free crossing in 1966.  The bridge, which is the 12th longest continuous span bridge in the world, became notorious for delays caused by the 30-degree bend in its middle span.  After the City of

Madison purchased it, the Chain of Rocks Bridge was incorporated into the third routing of U.S. 66 through St. Louis in 1931.  In 1965, U.S. 66 traffic was routed over the new I-270 bridge.  The Chain of Rocks Bridge closed for repairs in 1970 and never reopened to automobile traffic.  In recent years, it has been reopened for hiking and biking connecting Missouri and Illinois trails.[62]





Figure 10: The Chain of Rocks Bridge Postcard, ca. 1935

Source: Show Me Route 66 Magazine, Vol. 12, No. 4, Fall 2001, p. 48.





The last mile of original Route 66 paving was completed on January 5, 1931.  The work crew for this section, which was located in Phelps County near Arlington, tossed coins into the wet cement to celebrate the completion.[63]  Missouri was the third of the eight Route 66 states to be fully paved. 


The fact that promotion of Route 66 began almost from the highway’s inception undoubtedly contributed to its immediate success as a tourist destination and to its long-lasting place in the hearts and minds of America.  Initially, promotional efforts focused on getting people onto the highway as tourists and bringing new businesses to the areas along the highway, but soon business owners began vying for ways to get them off the highway and into their establishments.  As Susan Croce Kelly points out in her book Route 66: The Highway and Its People,


In the 1920s, a well-marked national highway was as much a novelty to Americans as a circus or a world’s fair.  Almost anything that happened on Route 66 attracted national attention and made its way into the newspapers and newsreels of the day.[64]


The U.S. 66 Highway Association also worked to keep Route 66 in the news.  Formed just a few months after Route 66 was commissioned, the U.S. 66 Highway Association’s original mission was to help expedite the construction of the highway and to publicize the road.  Cyrus Avery, the man who originally envisioned Route 66, wanted Route 66 to be the first of the interstates to be fully paved and he thought a booster organization should be formed to make that happen.  To this end, he solicited the help of John T. Woodruff, a Springfield, Missouri businessman, whom he had known through the Ozark Trails Association.  Avery and Woodruff invited people from all of the eight Route 66 states to a meeting in Springfield on February 4, 1927.  Although Woodruff rather than Avery became the organization’s first president, it was Avery who suggested that the organization be called “The Main Street of America.”  That slogan was the organization’s first promotional campaign, and it soon became synonymous with Route 66.”[65]


To drum up support and to publicize the highway, each time the U.S. 66 Association met for a meeting it was in a different Highway 66 town.  In addition to conducting the business of the meeting, the Association would make each meeting an event for the local community.  Members of the Association gave speeches to the public and interviews to the press updating them on the progress of the highway and promoting the sites and destinations along the route.  In addition, members of the Association traveled the route meeting with local dignitaries, service groups and business leaders.  From these individuals and groups, they solicited support for the highway and donations to finance the promotions and publicity campaigns organized by the Association.  Often the information about the participants and results of these meetings was published in the local papers.  A report of one such meeting, which appeared in the Rolla Herald on May 19, 1927 notes that 


Mr. E. Bee Guthrie, traveling representative of U.S. Highway 66, was in Rolla last Friday night and Saturday morning.  He met with the Chamber of Commerce Board and other businessmen and discussed with them the importance of the great highway.  He pointed out that this could be made the main highway between Chicago and Los Angeles.  That it is the shortest route, that it has more paved road and good graveled road than any other highway leading across the country.


He told the Rolla business men just what he had told the business men of Springfield, of Lebanon, and of every town along the route, that the important thing was to let people know, it is necessary to send out literature and advertise not only the shortness and excellence of the highway, but also the many attractions along the route. 


Mr. Guthrie said that every town he has been in had contributed liberally toward this enterprise and that he was confident Rolla would be glad to contribute at least $250 toward it....[66]


One of the biggest events organized by the U.S. 66 Association was a celebration to commemorate the completion of Route 66 in Missouri.  The event headquarters was the newly completed Hotel Edwin Long and the celebration included a parade through Rolla.  More than 8,000 people turned out to hear the bands, watch the floats and automobiles go by, and hear speeches from dignitaries including Missouri Governor Henry Caulfield.[67]


Although the U.S. 66 Association organized many events to promote the highway, some of the most memorable events and publicity campaigns associated with Route 66 were not organized to promote the highway at all.  Rather, campaigns such the naming of Phillips Petroleum Company’s gas, “Phillips 66” and the Bunion Derby simply capitalized on the novelty of Route 66.


Phillips Petroleum Company’s “66” gasoline was named in part because of the name recognition and popularity of Route 66.  In 1927, Phillips Petroleum was gearing up to open the company’s first gas station.  However, a name for the company’s gasoline had not been chosen.  The label “66” had been suggested by the company’s research scientists because the high quality of the gasoline was due to its high specific gravity which was near 66, and by the advertising department because the company’s refinery was close to Route 66.  The name “66” was initially rejected.  However, one day one of the company’s executives was on his way to a meeting about the naming of the gasoline when he commented that the car in which he was riding “goes like sixty on our new gas.”  Glancing at the speedometer, his driver answered – according to Phillips tradition – “Sixty, nothing. We’re doing 66.[68]  With this statement, Phillips 66 gasoline was born.


The event that garnered more worldwide attention for Route 66 than any other was C.C. Pyle’s Transcontinental Footrace.  In 1927, C. C. “Cold Cash” Pyle, a famous sports promoter, was contacted by Lon Scott, the promotions director of the U.S. 66 Association, about a footrace from Los Angeles to New York.  Pyle agreed to manage the footrace, and the U.S. 66 Association pledged $60,000 sponsorship for the race, which would follow the entire U.S. 66 route from Los Angeles to Chicago and then head on to New York.


The race began with 275 runners in Los Angeles on March 4, 1928.  A reported 500,000 spectators turned out to see the start of the race.[69]  Seventy-five runners dropped out the first day. and each day, several more quit the race.  All along the Route 66 section of the race, the runners

were greeted with hero’s welcomes, parades, celebrations and proclamations. When the race came through Rolla, the newspaper reported that: “They are accompanied by a regular carnival company (featuring) various advertising stunts.”[70]  The runners, followed by a huge press

entourage, ran through towns on Highway 66 that had never had any publicity before. They ran through the mud and gravel where the highway hadn’t been paved and they ran on pristine stretches of newly paved Highway 66.  This contrast showed the promise of a paved interstate, but also pointed out how much still needed to be done.


Pyle’s management of the race, however, was less than successful.  The race was rerouted when towns failed to pay their sponsorships; one town in the desert had no water to provide the runners and when the race reached New York, few spectators turned out. When the race ended on May 26, 1928, 84 days and 3,422.3 miles after it had begun, only 55 runners were left.  The first person to cross the finish line was Andy Payne from Oklahoma, who went home with $25,000.  Despite the hardship to the runners and the financial ruin of promoter C.C. Pyle, the race, which was given the nickname “the Bunion Derby” was fabulous publicity for U. S. 66, making Route 66 familiar to every household in the United States.




Figure 11: Program Cover for C.C. Pyle’s First Annual International-Trans-Continental Footrace.

Source: “The Early Years of Route 66” by John F. Bradbury, Jr.  Newsletter ofthe Phelps County Historical Society, October 1993, p. 6.



























By the early-1920s, as the roads improved, more people ventured out of the cities in their cars.  Existing businesses in the cities and towns had already begun to modify their products, services and buildings to better address the new automobile market.  One of the most common adaptations was the shift of livery stables to gas stations and garages. In communities where the highway paralleled the railroad, some businesses were able to modify their buildings or change their services to meet the needs of the highway motorists.  The Hotel Cuba in Cuba, Missouri successfully made this switch. (Figure 12)  The hotel, which had originally opened as the Palace Hotel in 1915 to serve railroad travelers, was located on Main Street facing the railroad tracks.  When Route 66 developed one block north of the railroad tracks and Main Street, the hotel was redesigned with a new facade and entrance lobby facing the highway.  In addition, new signs were installed and a parking lot was constructed on the highway side of the building. 


At the same time as existing business owners were adapting to meet the needs of motorists, American entrepreneurs, many of whom had witnessed the development of businesses along the railroads in the late nineteenth century, realized the potential for capitalizing on the traffic brought by the highway.  As Chester Liebs points out in his book, Main Street to Miracle Mile, all types of businesses began to develop along the side of the road.


Shops could be set up almost anywhere the law allowed, and a wide variety of products and services could be counted on to sell briskly in the roadside market.  A certain number of cars passing by would always be in need of gas.  Travelers eventually grew hungry, tired, and restless for diversions.  Soon gas stations, produce booths, hot dog stands, and tourist camps sprouted up along the nation’s roadsides to capitalize on these needs.[71]



Figure 12: Postcard of the Hotel Cuba, Cuba, Missouri, ca. 1940.

Source: The Missouri U.S. 66 Tour Book by Skip Curtis, 1994 p. 88.




Gas stations, which developed in the early 1900s, were one of the first new building types to evolve as a result of automobile proliferation and highway development.  In the 1890s and early 1900s, few places sold gasoline and automobile owners had to find an oil distribution terminal to fill up their tanks.  By 1905, however, petroleum companies began to enlist the services of livery stables, garages, hardware stores, and grocery stores to sell their gasoline.  Initially, gas was sold in cans, but soon gasoline pumps were installed near the road.  This method of selling gas quickly caught on and the first stand-alone gas stations began to appear.  One of the earliest, if not the first, such building was a station constructed in St. Louis in 1905 by the Automobile Gasoline Company.[72]  As more and more stations were constructed, particularly in the 1920s and 1930s, petroleum companies began to experiment with new building types and additional amenities to draw customers to their station.


Although the farmers and the rural areas of Missouri were hit hard by the depression in the years following World War I, many Americans found new careers during the 1920s in the burgeoning highway tourism business.  People whose property fronted the highway often helped make ends meet by constructing and renting out a tourist cabin or two or by selling souvenirs in a roadside stand.  In addition, an enterprising individual or couple could build a tourist camp or cottage court with very little capital.  Many of the cottage courts in Missouri were built of Ozark rock because the materials were readily and cheaply available, if not free, and construction did not require sophisticated skills or tools.  Buildings such as the cabins and cafe at Shady Side Camp in Rescue, Missouri were constructed simply by laying up walls of coarse rubble rock and concrete.  Simple frame one-room cabins were also quite common.  (Figure 13)  Many tourist courts also started out simply as tourist camps, offering tents and bathroom facilities.  As business increased, cabins, cafes, grocery stores and gas stations were often also built on the site, thereby providing the traveler with “one-stop shopping.”




Figure 13: Shady Side Camp

Source: Route 66 Phase I Survey Photo, Inventory Number LA027b






The history of Camp Joy in Lebanon, Missouri is typical of the development of early tourist camps across the country.  Emis Spears and his bride, Lois, set out in the late-1920s in search of a place to open a tourist camp.  When they arrived in Lebanon, Missouri, they sat on the side of the highway and counted cars.  Apparently satisfied by the potential client base, they bought a piece of property along Route 66 and started renting out tents for fifty cents a night.  Their place, named Camp Joy after their daughter, was an immediate success.  One by one they built cabins,

and later, they added a gas station/grocery store.  In the 1939 Directory of Motor Courts and Cottages which was published by the American Automobile Association, the listing for Camp Joy reads:


AAA    Camp Joy, on U.S. 66.  24 cottages, 15 with shower baths.  Rates $1.25 to $4 per day.  Cottages of one, two and three rooms, accommodating two to six people, $4 per day. Public baths and flush toilets.  Convenient to stores and cafes.  Accommodations, with electrical connections for trailers.  Rates 50c to $1 per day.  Good.[73]


The Spears family owned and operated Camp Joy, later known as the Joy Motel, into the 1970s.  The gas station building, two duplex cabins and four single cabins are now used as monthly rentals.


In addition to gas stations and tourist courts, other types of businesses including restaurants, souvenir shops and tourist attractions also began to be constructed along Route 66. However, the real boom in roadside business development was still several years away.



U. S. 66 – The Depression and War Years: 1932-1944


In the early 1930s, the steady stream of adventurous motorists who ventured out onto the country’s new roads in the teens and twenties, gave way to a flood of motorists including displaced farmers, middle-class tourists, military vehicles and personnel and interstate truckers.

The nation was still reeling from the stock market crash of 1929 when dust storms blew through the southern plains states and further devastated the country’s agricultural economy.  As a result, thousands of tenant farmers from Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska as well as the people whose businesses were dependent on the farm economies, lost everything.  In the hopes of finding work, many picked up their meager possessions and headed westward.  While many of these travelers carried all their possessions in and on their cars or trucks, others walked and hitchhiked.  As the shortest route across the west to Southern California, Route 66 was the principal road they followed.  In 1939, John Steinbeck immortalized the highway and the plight of these migrants in The Grapes of Wrath.  He wrote:


66 is the path of a people in flight, refugees from dust and shrinking land, from the thunder of tractors and shrinking ownership...they come into 66 from the tributary side roads, from the wagon tracks and the rutted country roads.  66 is the mother road, the road of flight.[74]


As they worked their way westward, these displaced Americans patronized the tourist camps, cottage courts, gas stations and restaurants.  Many did not have money to pay for gas, food or lodging, but they were rarely turned away by the proprietors of businesses along the highway.  In some cases, they worked to pay for what they needed and then moved on; in other cases, they found permanent jobs in one of the communities along the highway and settled down.[75]  


Following the “mother road” at the same time as the migrant farmers, but in sharp contrast to them, were American tourists.  Despite the poor economy of the early 1930s, many Americans still had jobs and a small amount of disposable income, and were able to take an occasional vacation.  When they took their vacations, they often headed out in their cars to explore the country.  The year 1934, the same year the dust storms hit the Midwest, was also the biggest tourist year in the United States since 1929.[76]  The completion of many of the interstate highways and the production and sale of thousands of automobiles during the 1930s were big boosts to tourism in the United States.  Between 1925 and 1940, the number of cars registered in the United States jumped from 19,937,274 to 32,452,861.[77]  In Missouri, the increase was not as remarkable, but during the same period, approximately 300,000 new vehicles were put into use in the state.[78]  For some of these tourists, Missouri was just a point on the way to destinations in the west; for others their final destination was one of the many Missouri resorts or state parks that developed along with the highways.


The growth of the trucking industry and the increase in military operations in the late 1930s and early 1940s also contributed to the increase in Route 66 traffic and the continued development of traveler-related facilities along the nation’s highways. The trucking industry was thrust into high gear during World War I when the railroads had virtually collapsed from gridlock.  After the war, as quickly as the railroad industry declined, the trucking industry boomed.  By the time the United States military began to mobilize for war in the early 1940s, much of the personnel and equipment that was moved to new bases across the country was carried by trucks on the nation’s highways.  However, in 1935, a study of the military’s highway needs completed by the Public Roads Administration and the War Department found that more than 2,400 of the nation’s bridges could not safely sustain many of the military’s vehicles and many of the roads leading to military bases were unacceptable.  As a result,


The Administration asked the States and counties to step up work on the strategic network and on access roads to defense installations, but with little success.  Many of the defense access roads were not on the Federal-aid or State highways and were thus ineligible for improvement with Federal or State funds.  The counties were impoverished and unable to take on the added burden of providing for vastly increased volumes of defense traffic. [79] 


In response to this dilemma, Congress passed the Defense Highway Act in 1940, which authorized an appropriation of $50 million for strategic network improvements.  Additional appropriations of $100 million in 1942 and $25 million in 1944 were earmarked for defense access roads.


In 1940, construction began on Fort Leonard Wood in Pulaski County, Missouri.  Around the same time, the Highway Department began working on improvements to Route 66 between the eastern border of Pulaski County and St. Robert to provide better access for future base.  Not only did this project create the first four-lane section of Route 66, but also it involved a massive cut through the limestone bluffs of Hooker Hill.[80]  The project, which became known as the Hooker Cut, was 93 feet deep, 86 feet wide and a little over a mile long.[81]  At the time, it was the deepest limestone cut ever attempted in Missouri and many sources cite it as the deepest cut to that date in the country.  The new four-lane section of Route 66 through Hooker Cut was completed in 1946.[82]


In May of 1938, the last unpaved section of Route 66, an 18.8-mile section in Oldham County, Texas, was paved with asphalt.  Three months later, a gala celebration in honor of the completion of Route 66 and the dedication of U.S. 66 as the Will Rogers Highway was held in Amarillo, Texas.  Although the paving was just being completed, already major changes had been made to the highway.  Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, the Highway Department continued to improve Route 66.  In some areas, this involved widening the roadway, but in others, whole sections of the original highway were bypassed in the interest of straightening the roadway.  The highway was rerouted to bypass congested downtown areas and to eliminate sharp curves that were dangerous and impeded traffic flow.  An article that appeared in a Missouri newspaper discussed the reasoning behind and the plans for straightening Route 66 in the vicinity of Marshfield.


Highway 66 through Webster County is to be straightened. Surveyors for the state highway department have been here the past week surveying new routes the pavement can follow to eliminate the major curves.


Curves which ten years ago when the pavement was laid were not considered dangerous at the cruising speeds of the automobiles of the day seem inadequate and dangerous to the new machines traveling at much greater speeds today....

Whereas the present route includes curves that turn within 500 feet, Mr. Scrafford said, the new routes would not include curves with less than 1500-foot radius.[83]


One of the most radical of all of these rerouting projects in Missouri took place in St. Louis.  Between 1926, the year U.S. 66 was commissioned, and 1936, the highway route was changed twice and there were several different routes including Optional 66 and City 66.  The biggest change to the highway’s path through St. Louis was approved in 1936 when motorists were routed over the Chain of Rocks Bridge and then along a loop that bypassed the downtown areas of St. Louis.[84]  The frequent rerouting of Route 66 in St. Louis undoubtedly created a challenge for 1930s motorists.  Another challenge for motorists in St. Louis resulted from the construction of the first cloverleaf interchange east of the Mississippi River.  The February 1932 issue of Missouri Motor News provided a description of how to negotiate the new interchange.


Traffic desiring to turn from one road onto the other uses a paved circle or ramp constructed at each corner of the intersection.  All left turns are prohibited, and neither is traffic allowed to cross either road.  The necessity for left turns is eliminated by constructing the drives so that traffic makes two right turns.  It is expected that drivers may be slightly confused the first time they use this structure, but it is neither complicated nor difficult.  The one important thing to remember is that in place of making a left turn, the driver of the vehicle goes over or under the bridge and then makes two right turns.[85]



Figure 14: Highway 66 Cloverleaf, St. Louis

Source: Missouri Highway and Transportation Department, reprinted in Show Me Route 66 Magazine, Vol. 5,

No. 1, June 1993.





Many of the road and highway improvements accomplished in the 1930s and 1940s were the result of a number of pieces of legislation which were passed by Congress in an effort to boost the nation’s economy.  These emergency appropriations resulted in millions of dollars of public improvements and also provided relief in the form of jobs for thousands of Americans.  Although many of the projects built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Projects Administration were public buildings such as schools and courthouses, many of this country’s roads, bridges and highways were constructed or improved by the hands of unemployed Americans who were put to work under these programs.  In Missouri, many of the facilities, roads and bridges in the state park system were created by CCC workers.


The passage of two key pieces of federal highway legislation In 1934 and 1944, however, foreshadowed the demise of Route 66.  In addition to appropriating additional funds for road improvements, the Hayden-Cartwright Act of 1934 designated federal funds for highway use surveys and long range planning.[86]  The results from these surveys and studies would be used to plan and justify the creation of the Interstate Highway System.  In 1944, the Federal Aid Highway Act authorized a 40,000-mile National System of Interstate Highways.  However the funds to create this system were not appropriated until 1956.


The combination of displaced migrant farmers, middle class tourists, military personnel, interstate truckers, millions of cars, and miles and miles of new highways created a situation ripe for the making of the American dream.  No matter the reason for their travel, the motorists traveling down Route 66 had to stop at some point for some reason.  Hundreds of businesses developed along the highway to meet the needs and desires of those travelers.  Although the owners of roadside businesses that opened when Route 66 was first commissioned fought to make ends meet during the years of economic depression, in most cases, they had little competition in those early years.  However, beginning in the 1930s, that situation changed as more Americans and immigrants settled and opened businesses along the highway.  Soon, the landscape was dotted with gas stations, tourist courts, restaurants, food stands, souvenir shops, and tourist attractions.


Although highway travelers could sleep in their cars, and they could bring food along for their meals, they still needed to find a gas station every once in a while.  As a result, gas stations were the most stable of all the roadside businesses.  Even during times when tourism was down, the income from business travelers kept most stations going.  In addition to providing a service that motorists could not do without, many gas stations were franchises that benefited from the name recognition of and the national advertising campaigns and promotional products provided by their gasoline distributors.  Highway maps, which were printed by all of the major petroleum companies, were some of the most popular giveaways with cross-country travelers.  Not only did they provide stations with a promotional gimmick, but also they provided advertising for many stations.  Many of the early maps that were printed by the petroleum companies showed the names and locations of each station where their gas was sold. 


Early gas stations were typically designed to give the impression of a small tidy house often in the style of an English cottage or Craftsman bungalow.  However as the competition for customers grew more intense and as the speed of cars increased, gas station owners and petroleum companies began to experiment with designs to better attract the attention of the passing motorists.  Independent station owners often opted for the fantastic, building stations in the shapes of all types of objects from American culture.  The major petroleum companies hired architects, industrial designers and advertising companies to create an image for the company which generally included a prototype station design that could easily be identified as that of a certain brand.  The program created for Texaco by industrial designer Walter Dorwin Teague appeared in a 1937 issue of the journal, Architectural Record.  The program he designed called for easy to clean facilities with efficient service bays, adequate restrooms, ample display space, and a design for the station such that “building, pumps and signs together form a distinctive company trademark that would be instantly recognizable both day and night.”[87]  Many gas station owners also began adding additional products and services to their business.   Some provided automobile maintenance and repair services as well as tire and battery sales while others built cafes or tourist cabins to capture more of the traveler’s dollar. 


By the mid-1930s, the primitive early tourist camps and tourist courts had to upgrade to compete with the many new tourist courts that were being constructed.  Many of these new villages of tidily-arranged miniature cottages were professionally designed, and they provided travelers with all the comforts of home including kitchens, bathrooms, electricity and comfortable furniture. Once eschewed by architects as “shacks for autoists,” the tourist court was featured in a portfolio of special building types in a 1935 issue of Architectural Record, a leading architectural journal.[88]   In an effort to draw in business, some tourist courts were designed along a particular theme.  These accommodations offered travelers the opportunity to sleep in their very own teepee, Mission-style cabin, or English cottage, complete with all of the accoutrements.  Later, during the forties and fifties, streamline modern and international style units became the preferred design theme.  Tourist courts became so popular and so numerous that they developed into a niche of the lodging industry with their own associations and journals.  The tourist court grew into the preferred type of lodging for many highway travelers, and the hotel business suffered as a result. 


In accommodation directories published by AAA and the petroleum companies, the rates shown for hotel rooms and cabins are comparable.  However, the courts offered travelers a different kind of accommodation than the downtown hotels.  When staying in a tourist court, travelers could park right in front of their room and carry in their possessions without the assistance of a tip-hungry bellman.  Cabins also provided better ventilation, were often quieter and were sometimes cheaper than hotel rooms.


Although tourist courts were undoubtedly the most common form of lodging found along the highway in the 1930s and 1940s, another alternative to the city hotels was the tourist home, which was the early incarnation of what we now call a “bed and breakfast.”  During the depression years and war years, instead of constructing a cabin or tourist court on their property, many people who lived along the highway simply opened their homes to travelers.  Tourist homes provided a serious threat to hotels and tourist court owners because they catered to the most desirable class of travelers.  


Most rooms had free linen and a hot shower down the hall.... Usually run by women, the homey decor and easy informality attracted families and salesmen.  After a good seventy-five-cent meal, tourists could listen to the radio in the parlor or chat with host and fellow boarders on the front porch.[89]


Some of the earliest accommodations for African American travelers undoubtedly began as tourist homes.  Unlike the millions of white American tourists who were free to stop at any of the roadside businesses along the highway, even the most affluent African –American tourists were very limited in the places they could stop for food and lodging.  As Irv Logan, Jr., the author of the article titled “...Money Couldn’t Buy” noted,


There were things money couldn’t buy on Route 66. Between Chicago and Los Angeles you couldn’t rent a room if you were tired after a long drive.  You couldn’t sit down in a restaurant or diner or buy a meal no matter how much money you had.  You couldn’t find a place to answer the call of nature even with a pocketful of money...if you were a person of color traveling on Route 66 in the 1940s and ’50s.[90]


As a result of this discrimination, a few African-Americans, such as Alberta Ellis opened their own food and lodging establishments along the highway.  Although many might call Alberta Ellis an entrepreneur, she was much more than that; she was a blessing to many African-American travelers.  After World War I, she converted the old city hospital in Springfield, Missouri into a hotel with a barbershop, a beauty salon, a restaurant and a club for “colored travelers.”[91]  Although Ellis’ hotel no longer exists, one cabin from the Wishing Well Motel, another African-American lodging establishment on Route 66 in Springfield, still stands.


Prior to the 1920s, automobile travelers had few choices in the way of restaurants on the road.  However, that changed as food stands, drive-in restaurants, diners, and full service restaurants joined into the competition for the traveler’s attention and money with gas stations, tourist courts, and roadside attractions.


Food stands were often shacks virtually thrown together by farmers who owned property along the highway and sold their produce and other homemade products to passing travelers.  One town in particular in Missouri is known for the food stands that developed along Route 66.  The inhabitants of Rosati, Missouri, predominately Italian immigrants, were grape growers.  Although they primarily made their living growing grapes to be shipped to other markets, they also sold grapes, grape jellies and grape pies in food stands along the highway.  Some food stands also served hot, refrigerated or frozen foods such as hot dogs, hamburgers, cold drinks and ice cream.  One such stand, Ted Drewe's Frozen Custard in St. Louis, is a Route 66 landmark.  It originally opened in 1929 and moved to its current location on Chippewa, then City Route 66, in 1941.  During the summer, the lines for this establishment’s rich frozen custard can be very long.




Figure 15: Grape Stands, Rosati, MO

Source: The Missouri U.S. 66 Tour Book, by Skip Curtis, 1994, p. 90.





In the 1920s, the food stand evolved into a completely new type of restaurant- one that was born of the automobile – the drive-in restaurant.  The distinct difference between a food stand and a drive-in is the method by which the patrons acquire their food.  Although food stand patrons often consumed their meal in their car, they had to get out of the car to order and receive their food.  At a drive-in, the patron never has to leave his car.  A carhop takes the food order and also delivers the patron’s food to their car. 


Although curbside soda-fountain service was offered by some downtown pharmacies as early as the turn of the century, the drive-in developed as a distinct entity in the 1920s and grew into a franchised phenomenon in the 1930s.  According to Chester Liebs, the author of Main Street to Miracle Mile: American Roadside Architecture, most industry publications cite the Pig Stand in Dallas, Texas as the earliest “food stand operation to use the automobile as a rubber-tired stand in for the dining room.”[92]


Full service dining establishments ranging from diners to family restaurants also popped up along the highways in the 1920s and ‘30s.  With the exception of the fact that these restaurants tended to be more informal than the restaurants travelers could find in downtown hotels, they did not differ much in the services they provided.  However, diners were architecturally unique in that they were generally housed in a long, narrow, prefabricated building that resembled a railroad car.  It was simply delivered to a site and secured.[93]  If necessary or desired, the building could be moved to a different site at a later date.  Although these semi-permanent buildings were originally designed to fit into small lots in downtown areas, they fit just as well on a small strip of land next to the highway.


Unlike the businesses that provided necessary products and services to travelers, roadside tourist attractions and souvenir shops simply offered tourists a diversion from the road.  Many of the attractions found along Route 66 offered little more than a gimmick to divest the traveler of a few dollars, but some, like Meramec Caverns, were actually destinations unto themselves that offered tourists a truly unique experience.  Meramec Caverns is one of the most significant attractions along Route 66.  Not only is it an example of one of the earliest and longest lasting roadside attractions along Route 66, but also it is representative of the American success story which, in the case of Lester Dill, was made possible by the highway. 


Lester Dill acquired Meramec Caverns in the early 1930s and quickly made it into one of the biggest tourist attractions in the state of Missouri.  Although the caverns are a natural wonder worth visiting, it was Dill and his partner, Lyman Riley’s promotion and management of them that made Meramec Caverns a successful business as well as a household name in America.  Dill and Riley worked hard in the early years to make Meramec Caverns into a quality attraction.  They cleared passages and strung lights in the caverns, and they built public restrooms, a souvenir shop, a restaurant and cabins on the site.  They also promoted the site in a variety of ways.  Dill and Riley were the first in the midwest to paint advertising on the sides and rooftops of barns located along the highway, and they were the inventors of the bumper sticker.[94]  Over the years, millions of motorists traveling between Ohio and Oklahoma have seen the advertisements for Meramec Caverns on barns or on other cars and stopped to take a look.  In addition to making Meramec Caverns into a successful tourist destination, Lester Dill and Lyman Riley were active in the national and the Missouri Route 66 Associations.  Even after Route 66’s fate was sealed, they “were key workers in the effort to keep the highway businesses accessible and to hold off the interstate as long as possible.”[95]


Just when many roadside businesses were getting established, World War II began and tourism virtually stopped.  As a result, the war years (1941-1945) were extremely hard on all roadside businesses. The rationing of gas, tires and vehicle parts along with curtailed automobile production significantly decreased automobile tourism during World War II.  Although many parts of Route 66 were used heavily for military troop and equipment movement, the tourist courts, restaurants or roadside attractions did not benefit from this traffic.  Instead, the convoys of heavy trucks and equipment that used the nation’s highways, including Route 66, damaged the roadway and brought to light the inadequacies of the highway system.



U.S. 66 - The Golden Years: 1945-1955


Although all Americans breathed a sigh of relief when World War II ended, the owners of roadside businesses must have been especially optimistic for the future.  However, it is unlikely that they anticipated how much their business would increase when thousands of GI’s returned from duty.  As soon as the war ended, tourism returned to pre-war levels, and during the late 1940s and early 1950s, the roadside businesses along Route 66 boomed.  Like the migrant farmers of the 1930s, thousands of GIs traveled on Route 66 on their way to California in search of jobs, but, in contrast to the dust bowl migrants, most GIs had money to spend. 


During the post-war years, business was so good for Route 66 business owners that many upgraded and expanded their businesses.  In particular, many of the owners of tourist courts joined their independent cabins together under a single roof.  Some created garages in the space between units, while others simply created additional units.  This practice resulted in the creation of a new form of lodging – the motor hotel or motel. 


Figure 16: Munger Moss Motel sign

Source: Route 66 Phase II Survey, Inventory No. LC004























The Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon, Missouri is a classic example of the architectural development of a tourist court.  In 1946, the original owners, Pete and Jessie Hudson, sold their sandwich shop at Devil’s Elbow, Missouri.  Route 66 had been rerouted so they decided to relocate their business to Lebanon.  That same year, they purchased a restaurant called the Chicken Shanty, a gas station and four acres of land located on Route 66 on the outskirts of  Lebanon.  Soon thereafter, they built seven stucco buildings.  Each had a cabin on each end and a double garage in between the cabins.  In 1950, the Hudsons installed the first swimming pool in Lebanon.  Although the section of Route 66 that went through Lebanon was the first portion of the Interstate to be constructed in Missouri, the travelers kept coming, and the Hudsons kept building.  Over the years, they built more units, covered the buildings with brick, converted the garages into additional units and finally joined all of the buildings together.  They also constructed an office out of the gas station and added a large sign with a neon arrow.[96]  In 1971, Bob and Ramona Lehman took over the business.  The restaurant was demolished several years ago, but the Munger Moss Motel is still a popular motel.


Bobby Troupe was one of the many GIs who headed out to California shortly after World War II ended.  A songwriter, Troupe hoped to start a music career on the West Coast.  He and his wife, Cynthia, left Pennsylvania and headed west on Route 40 in their 1941 Buick.  Along the route Cynthia suggested that Bobby could write a song about their trip and later, after they had picked up Route 66 outside St. Louis, she said to him “Get your kicks on Route 66.”  Bobby loved the sound of it.  He immediately got out the map and started writing the now-famous song.  When they reached Los Angeles, Troupe was able to get in to see Nat King Cole.  Cole loved the song, and when it was finished, he recorded it for Troupe.  “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” was released in 1946 and was a great success for Nat King Cole and for Troupe.[97]  Over the years, dozens of singers have recorded Troupe’s lyrical travelogue, and the song’s title has become the mantra for Route 66 travelers.


The same year radio listeners began hearing Nat King Cole singing “Get Your Kicks on Route 66,” Jack Rittenhouse published a book that became the Route 66 traveler’s bible. Shortly after the war ended, Rittenhouse traveled the length of Route 66 from Chicago to Santa Monica in his 1939 American Bantam coupe.  Along the way he made notations about the towns he traveled through and about the services available on the route.  When he returned from his trip, he typed up his notes and published A Guide Book To Highway 66.  With his book, Rittenhouse ushered travelers along the route, enumerating the distances between services such as gas stations, tourist courts and restaurants, pointing out historic points of interest as well as topographic and landscape features, detailing information such as size, altitude, history about the towns along the route and providing novice travelers with travel tips.  The book is roughly divided into ten chapters; Missouri is addressed in two chapters.  Chapter III traces the route from St. Louis, Missouri to Springfield, Missouri and Chapter IV describes the section of Route 66 between Springfield, Missouri and Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Mileages listed in the book are shown for both east/west and west/east travel.  The portion of the book describing the journey between Marshfield and Springfield, Missouri reads as follows:


Marshfield.  (Pop. 1,764; alt. 1,491’; Tarr’s garage; Webster hotel; stores; few cabins) The town of Marshfield is a short distance off US 66.  At the intersection of US 66 and the road into town, there are several small cafes, gas stations, and a few tourist cabins. The village of Marshfield is a quiet, agricultural community, little touched by the rush of the highway traffic.


In passing, it should be mentioned that many of the “cafes” mentioned in this Guide Book do not survey full-course meals.  Often, many roadside cafes serve only sandwiches, soups, chili, pie and similar light food.  The size of the cafe building is usually an indication of its menu.  Any time you see several huge trucks parked outside a roadside cafe, you can usually be assured of excellent coffee and possibly other food as well, for these men who make long drives know where to stop.


205 mi. (16mi.)  Gas Station.  Another at 206.


207 mi.  (14mi.)  Start climbing a one-mile, winding grade.  At the top is Red Top tourist camp: cabins and gas.


210 mi. (11 mi.)  Oak Grove Lodge: gas and cabins.


215 mi. (6 mi.)  Enter STRAFFORD (Pop. 311; alt. 1,482’; McDowell garage; gas; no courts), a community whose peak has been passed, now only a suburb of Springfield.


218 mi. (3 mi.)  Gas station.  Another at 219 mi. (2 mi.)


221 mi. (0 mi.)  Enter northeast edge of Springfield (Pop. 61,238; alt. 1,324; all types of accommodations:)  There are two routes: through town on City 66, or around it on Bypass 66.  There are plenty of tourist courts on all approaches to the city, and several hotels in town....



As quickly as tourists disappeared from the highway when World War II began, they returned after the war ended.  In fact, post-war travel exceeded pre-war levels.  The increase in tourism was great for roadside business owners, and many refer to this period as the golden years of Route 66.  Ironically, the success of Route 66 eventually led to its demise.  The deteriorated condition of Route 66 caused by military vehicles and lack of maintenance during the war along with the increased traffic on the highway highlighted the predominately two-lane road’s inadequacies.  Increasingly, the need to separate roadside businesses, which caused highway congestion, from the roadway itself was acknowledged.  Although the National Interstate Highway System was authorized by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1944, the anticipated costs of the construction of such a system and Congressional debate over the Interstate System’s form delayed its implementation until the mid-1950s.  As a result, Route 66 was given a reprieve for several years.



U.S. 66 – Decline and Decommissioning: 1956-1985


In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Interstate Highway Act and sealed the fate of Route 66.  This legislation authorized the appropriation of funds for the construction of the Interstate Highway System, which was originally authorized by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1944.  Funding for the Interstate System would be paid for almost exclusively by federal funds.  Under the new legislation, the states would only bear the burden of 10% of the costs to construct the Interstate System. 


Missouri was the first state to award a contract using the Interstate construction funding authorized by the 1956 federal legislation.  This contract was for the construction of the Interstate 44 bypass of Lebanon, Missouri.  The construction of I-44 in Missouri was not completed until 1980.  As each new section of the Interstate was completed, one more section of U.S. 66 was decommissioned and hundreds of roadside businesses were bypassed.  During this period, many sections of the Interstate carried the dual designation of I-44 and U.S. Highway 66.  Although some sections of Route 66 remain in use, designated Business 44, many sections of the old highway were completely abandoned.


In 1962, Missouri led one of the last efforts to save the number 66 as a cross-country route designation.  On behalf of all of the Route 66 states, the Missouri State Highway Department petitioned AASHO to have the Interstates between Chicago and Los Angeles renumbered as I-66.  This petition was denied.


The last Route 66 shield-shaped signs in Missouri were removed in 1977, and the last section of the old U.S. 66 roadway in use as a part of the Interstate Highway System in Missouri, located between Hooker and Waynesville, Missouri, was bypassed in January of 1980.  Four years later, the last section of U.S. 66 in use in the country was bypassed by Interstate 40.  Across the country, U.S. 66 was replaced by Interstates 55, 44, 40, 15, and 10. 


In 1990, both the Missouri state government and the Federal Government recognized the historical significance of Route 66 in American history.  Governor John Ashcroft signed House Bill 1629, which designated Old U.S. Highway 66 in Missouri as a historic highway.  Over the past ten years, Historic Route 66 signs have been installed along the length of old U.S. 66 in Missouri.  Congress passed the Route 66 Study Act of 1990, which directed the National Park Service “to conduct a special resource study to consider management and preservation options for Route 66.”[98] Furthermore, through the passage of House Resolution 66 in 1999, Congress authorized the appropriation of up to $10,000,000 between 2000-2009 for a program to conserve the cultural heritage of Historic Route 66.


Despite the fact that it was relatively shortlived as an interstate highway, U.S. Highway 66 (Route 66) is, without a doubt, the most famous road in America.  It is important in the history of transportation in the United States as the first national highway linking Chicago and Los Angeles, but its significance in American history is much more far-reaching.  Route 66 is symbolic of the major changes in American life during the first half of the twentieth century.  These changes included the proliferation of automobiles, the development of roadside culture, and the westward migration of Americans during the depression and post-war years.  However, more than anything else, Route 66, the Main Street of America, the Mother Road, has become an icon of progress, hope, opportunity and adventure in America.


Associated Property Types


Most of the buildings inventoried in the Phase I and Phase II survey projects were simple vernacular properties.  However, approximately one-third of the buildings inventoried could be described in terms of their allegiance to a particular architectural style.  Of those buildings, more than half exhibited massing or detailing typical of Craftsman styling.  Other styles that were represented in the survey group include twentieth century revival styles, such as Tudor Revival and Mission/Spanish Revival, and modern styles such as Art Deco, Streamline Moderne and International.  The Revival Styles were found in their greatest numbers on buildings constructed in the 1920s and 1930s while examples of buildings with modern styling mostly date from the 1940s and 1950s.


The difficult economic climate in which many of the buildings in the survey group were built resulted in buildings constructed primarily with inexpensive, easily acquired, if not found, materials.  The buildings in the survey group were often constructed with a variety of building materials.  Frame construction was the dominant construction method for buildings in the survey group.  These buildings were often sheathed with weatherboard siding or stucco. However, native stone was also a very common building material among properties in the survey group.  Many of the stone buildings in the survey group are constructed with random coursed rubble set in concrete, but others have frame walls with slab rock veneer, giraffe rock or combinations of rock and brick.  Brick was also used as an exterior wall material on buildings in the survey group, but it is found largely on buildings located within the commercial areas of the towns along the route rather than on the buildings distributed between towns.


The consultants found that the inventoried resources fit into six basic property types: Auto Related, Commerce and Entertainment, Restaurants, Lodging, Landscapes and Historic Districts, and Roadway Resources.[99]  In addition, subtypes were developed to further delineate several of these property types.  Each of the resources inventoried in Phase I and Phase II were classified as one of these property types. 


The following table shows the number of resources in each of the different property types:




Property Type

Number of Resources

Lodging Resources


Automobile-Related Resources


Restaurants and Taverns


Commerce and Entertainment Resources


Landscape and Roadway Resources


Total Number of Resources



Property Type A.  Lodging




Figure 17:  The ca. 1945 Rock Fountain Court, in Springfield, (Inventory GR.021) is a highly intact example of the Cottage Court Subtype.

Source: Photo by Debbie Sheals, 2002.
























[1] Other lodging facilities in the survey group which had a high level of integrity and generally good physical condition include the ca. 1934 Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba (CR.008); the 1946 Munger Moss Motor Court, in Lebanon (LC.004); Camp Joy, built in 1927 in Lebanon (LC.009); the ca. 1946 Rest Haven Court, in Springfield (GR.008).



Description: Lodging


The Lodging property type refers to establishments, which offered temporary lodging for rent during the period of significance.  This is the most common type of resource identified by the survey; just under 36% of the study properties were associated with roadside lodging during the period of significance.  Surviving commercial lodging along the route includes a few tourist homes and downtown hotels, as well as large numbers of cottage courts and motels.  Construction dates for lodging facilities in the study group range from ca. 1910 to ca. 1960.


Tourist homes often functioned like boarding houses, only on a more temporary basis.  The Lenz Homotel in Laclede County, (Inventory number LC008) which rented rooms to travelers from 1932 to 1975, is a good example of that type of commercial lodging.  Hotels, the most formal type of lodging found along the route, are often sizable buildings located in commercial centers of larger communities.  Hotels differ from motels, which came later, in that guests come and go through public spaces, usually a formal lobby, as opposed to motels, which were designed to give travelers easy access from car to room, usually via private exterior entrances to each room.  Many of the hotels recorded during the survey pre-date the highway.  Notable 66 era hotels in the survey group include the Kentwood Arms, which was built in 1926 in Springfield (GR.016), and the 1931 Hotel Edwin Long in Rolla (PH.009).  The Edwin Long was the headquarters for the celebration of the completion of Route 66 across Missouri three days after it opened.[100]


The vast majority of the lodging establishments among the survey group, however, are either cottage courts or motels, both of which are property types which developed specifically for the roadside tourist trade.  Those two subtypes, which account for more than 95% of the lodging resources in the survey group, are described separately below.


It should also be noted that roadside lodging facilities during the period of significance were often multi-functional operations, offering such things as gas, groceries, and hot meals.  About 20% of the lodging establishments within the survey group offered at least one additional service; several of those had multiple functions.


Lodging properties also tended to have at least minimal landscaping to add an air of homelike comfort, as well as distinctive signs to catch the traveler’s eye.  A notable large and intact early motel sign can be found at the Rest Haven Motel in Springfield, which opened for business in 1946, and continues to serve travelers today (GR.008).  Many of the lodging establishments also have, or had, swimming pools, a feature, which became almost requisite in the years following WWII.  



Subtype: Cottage Court


Also referred to at times as a tourist court, or cabin court, this subtype is defined by the use of separate, home-like buildings for guest rooms.  It is the single most common property type within the survey group, accounting for some 64% of all lodging facilities and nearly 23% of all survey properties.  The cottage court is also one of the earliest forms of roadside lodging; more than half of the cottage courts among the survey group were built before 1940.


Individual buildings could contain one or more units; one per building is most common, and more than two unusual.  Although wall materials vary, the use of at least some native stone was particularly popular, especially during the 1930s and 1940s when building materials were scarce.  The office is often in a separate, larger, building.  It is not unusual to see offices, which accommodated other operations as well, such as a gas station or the owners’ personal residence.


The cabins were generally arranged on the property in some formal layout, such as a half circle or square, although a few examples along 66 in Missouri do utilize a more random approach.  The two most common layouts are a half circle facing the road, or long rows of units lined up along a rectangular courtyard.  The crescent layout was often used where there was good road frontage, while the long court allowed the owner to take advantage of a deep lot by placing the short end of the court at roadside, usually behind an elaborate front office.


Most courts also have, or had, some unifying landscaping as well.  At least one early cottage court, the Rock Fountain Court in Springfield, (GR. 021) took its name from a formal landscape feature, the large rock fountain that originally graced the hedge-lined front courtyard.  That property, along with the Wagon Wheel Motel, in Cuba Missouri (CR.008) is being nominated to the National Register as part of the current survey and identification project.



Subtype: Motel


Motels, which comprise nearly 32% of all lodging facilities in the survey group, represent the next phase in the evolution of roadside lodging.  Although they are like cottage courts in that they cater to highway travelers, motels differ physically from courts in that the room units tend to be connected, often in long low buildings.  Some of the motels in the survey group actually followed the national trend of being created by modifying existing cottage courts via low new roofs which attached individual cabins into larger buildings.  In some cases, the former spaces between the cabins were converted into additional units as well.  The new motel form retained the cottage court’s auto-friendly design, however, with individual entrances close to private parking spaces, and many of the same types of settings and services.  The form’s roots in the cottage court were also reflected in the use of the term “motor court,” especially in the transitional period of the 1940s.


Nationally, “motel” largely supplanted “court” as a descriptive term in the years following WWII, and this is reflected in the survey group.[101]  The oldest example in the group, the Boots Motel in Carthage, was built in 1939, and more than two thirds of the motels surveyed along Route 66 in Missouri were built after 1943.  The relatively early construction date of the Boots Motel is reflected by its modified court design, which features small units separated by open garage spaces, grouped together under two or three larger roofs.  The Shamrock Motel (CR.001), which was built ca. 1945 in Sullivan, is a good example of a motel which utilizes a more integrated unit configuration. 



Significance: Lodging


Roadside lodging accommodations along Route 66 in Missouri reflect national trends in the travel service industry; they serve as tangible links to the early days of cross-country travel along Route 66.  Unlike the other types of resources related to Route 66 in Missouri, these businesses were created exclusively for the use of travelers, and had few local customers.  They were, however, almost all locally owned and operated.  Roadside lodging in the first half of the twentieth century was predominantly a “mom-and-pop” industry.  More than 98% of all motels in the country were independent operations in 1948.  That percentage dropped significantly in the 1960s and 1970s, as national and regional franchise operations began to dominate the lodging industry.[102]


As with other property types associated with Route 66, early twentieth century developments in the lodging industry were closely linked to the rise in popularity of the automobile.  Although the modern hotel had been around for almost a century by the time the automobile was developed, it was not until the 1920s and 1930s that full service roadside lodging facilities became common.


Prior to the early 1800s, commercial lodging in America and Europe consisted mostly of inns which offered rooms and sometimes communal meals, all of which were of varying quality.  The level of housekeeping services also varied, and in many cases, travelers were required to supply their own servants.  It was not until around 1800 that the concept of combining overnight lodging with full housekeeping and dining services began to develop.  The idea caught on quickly.  One history of the industry noted that “it took 12,000 years for innkeepers to progress to the point of having 30 rooms under one roof.  And in the next 100 years this jumped to 3,000 rooms.” [103]


It has been noted in several historical accounts that the modern hotel industry is an American invention.  The full service Tremont Hotel, which opened in Boston in 1839, has been widely recognized to be the first hotel ever opened.[104]  The Tremont pioneered a number of features associated with modern hotels.  It was, for example, the first to offer washing facilities, including what was at that time a rare commodity, soap, in every room.  The Tremont was instantly a hit, and was soon imitated throughout America and Europe.  Hotels became a standard feature in communities across the country, and were often regarded as objects of civic pride, with communities competing to have the biggest and best hotel of the day.


The locations of commercial lodging facilities have always been tied to transportation routes.  The first known inns or taverns operated along trade routes thousands of years ago, and later, were located near stage lines in both America and Europe.  One description of the English inn system claimed that “the stagecoach and the inn developed together for the 200 years before the railroad appeared.”[105]  The spread of railroad service had a profound effect upon the growth of the hotel business in America, especially in frontier situations.  As one history put it, as “the railroads spread westward across the continent, new cities grew at junction points. With new cities came new chambers of commerce that realized the need for a grand hotel to demonstrate enterprise and faith in the future.”[106] 


Those downtown hotels, which varied from upscale establishments to basic accommodations for traveling salesmen, did not quite meet the needs of the new breed of automobile traveler, however.  Early automobile tourists, especially in the days of open cars and dirt roads, were not comfortable with the thought of traipsing through a downtown hotel lobby to secure lodging after a day on the road.  Location was also an issue; the commercial center of town was usually inconvenient to the highway traveler, as it often required a trip through traffic and unfamiliar neighborhoods. 


Another issue was the distance between communities large enough to have a downtown hotel.  Traveling by car meant that one could stop for the night anywhere along the route that suited, but the problem was that there was often nowhere to stay when they did stop.  As a result, many early travelers simply camped.  As one history of the motel put it, “They brought camping gear, found an attractive spot along the roadside at day’s end, pitched a tent, lit a fire, and then slept in their own makeshift camp.”[107]


By the time work began on Route 66, campgrounds for motorists, often called tourist camps, had become common features along many of the nation’s roadways.  Those camps were at first publicly owned and operated, and in most cases free, but as the need to charge for the services became apparent, the private sector took over the business.  Tourist camp operators saw an opportunity in the making, and quickly expanded their offerings to include cabins as well as campsites.[108] 


The concept of individual dwelling units which came complete with tiny kitchens and many of the comforts of home was enthusiastically greeted by the traveling public.  By the mid-1920s, the cottage court was the lodging of choice for the automobile traveler in America.  It has been estimated that the number of cottage courts in the nation doubled between 1920 and 1926, and by 1935, there were 9,848 tourist courts in the country.  Growth in the industry continued throughout the Depression; the national total had risen another 39% by 1939, to 13,521.[109]


Route 66 in Missouri was no exception, almost all of the 1920s and '30s era lodging facilities found on the old route today are cottage courts, and lodging directories from the 1930s include numerous listings for “cottages.”  The Missouri listings in a directory put out in 1935, for example, show that except in major cities, cottages greatly outnumbered hotels, especially in towns served by Route 66.[110]  Hotels were completely absent from the listings for most of the smaller communities, many of which had two or three cottage courts.  Early directories also show that the cost of cottage rental was usually about the same or slightly less than that of a hotel room, about $1.50 per night.


As the industry matured, operators began combining units into larger buildings for the sake of efficiency.  This was done either as part of a remodeling project, or, in the case of later buildings, as an original design element.  The terms “motor court” and “motel” came into widespread use, and by mid-century, the “motel” had become firmly established as the modern form for roadside lodging.  The term “motel” had actually been around for two decades by then; the first establishment to operate with that name was the Milestone Mo-tel in San Louis Obispo, California, designed by architect Arthur S. Heineman in 1925.[111]


Figure 18: Evolution of the Motel Form.

Source: Chester H. Liebs, Main Street to Miracle Mile: American Roadside Architecture. (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995), p. 37.




Although auto tourism saw a sharp drop during WWII, the post-war years more than made up for lost time.  Those operators who had managed to hold on through the slow war years were rewarded with the largest client base yet.  One source estimates that by 1956, there were approximately 60,000 motels and tourist courts in the country.[112]  Ownership profiles within the industry had not seen many changes to that point; the majority of those operations were still mom-and-pop businesses, locally owned and operated.


That pattern of ownership began to change in the late 1950s and early 1960s, as large corporations took notice of the ever-growing market.  Fortune magazine put it thus in 1959:


The motel was like the stationary-store business.  You had these thousands and thousands of little courts run by middle-aged, semi-retired couples.  They had the world by the tail–a market yelling for improvements–and they couldn’t handle it.  Then, almost overnight, the big money began to flood in from everywhere–and I mean everywhere.[113]



With corporate interest came new, larger buildings, with more rooms per operation.  The long low profiles of the motor courts and early motels gave way to larger, often multi-story buildings, many of which utilized standardized designs.  By the 1960s and 1970s, roadside lodging had largely lost its local touch.  Mom and Pop had retired, and many of the modest vernacular buildings which defined the early motor courts had fallen from use or been replaced. 


For many of the owners of the courts and motels of Route 66, that change had come about earlier, however.  Decommissioning of the old route, combined with the construction of Interstate 44, meant that almost overnight, traffic out front dropped to a trickle. [2]  They were not alone; countless roadside businesses across the country suffered similarly.  As Chester Liebs put it:


Probably the greatest threat to the industry.... was the specter of being bypassed.  Motel owners about to be commercially marooned by road realignments, or even worse, new limited access superhighways had relatively few options.... For some, especially in isolated areas, the only choice was abandonment.  As a result, to this day ghost motor courts, with their eerie gatherings of tumbledown cabins, are still a relatively common vision through the windshield. [114]


Route 66 in Missouri has its share of “ghost motor courts," as well as many former courts and motels which have found new life serving different functions.  It is worth noting that there are also a few motels and courts along the route that managed to hang on through the slow years following decommissioning.  Several of those now enjoy trade from travelers who wish to recreate the Route 66 experience.  The Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba, Missouri, is one such motel.  It continues to operate in its original function, and in recent years has had overnight guests from all over the world, many of whom come thousands of miles to enjoy the historic ambiance of Route 66. 


The surviving lodging establishments on Route 66 in Missouri reflect national trends in the development of roadside lodging, and strongly evoke the days when such establishments were locally owned and operated.  They stand as reminders of the days when Route 66 was still considered The Main Street of America.


Registration Requirements: Lodging


Representative examples of the above property type will be eligible for inclusion in the National Register if they are reasonably intact, and readily recognizable to the period of significance.  Intact buildings will retain their basic early form, with no major modern alterations to principal exterior dimensions or rooflines.  Door and window openings, especially on the principal elevations, should also be intact, and most original exterior trim and other detailing should remain in place.  Integrity of location and association will be especially important; the property should be located close to the historic roadway, and continue to reflect its early association with the travel trade along Route 66.


Although the buildings must be reasonably intact to qualify for listing, alterations and minor changes are practically inevitable, and in the case of travel-related businesses, often a natural outgrowth of the need to project an up-to-date image to the public.  Additions and alterations which are more than fifty years old are likely to have acquired historic value of their own.  Rear additions and alterations to secondary elevations are also acceptable, as long as they are not overly noticeable from the street.  Representative examples of the Lodging property type which meet the above requirements will be eligible under Criterion A, in the area of Commerce, with a period of significance which corresponds to the time in which they offered commercial lodging along Route 66 in Missouri.


Buildings which exhibit a high level of individual integrity of design, materials and workmanship may also be eligible under Criterion C, in the area of Architecture.  Buildings eligible in the area of Architecture will be highly intact.  Original or early building materials will predominate, especially on wall surfaces, and at least some early or original doors and/or windows should also be extant.  Such things as intact interiors or the presence of associated site features, such as historic signage, will bolster eligibility in this area.


Intact groupings of resources which convey a sense of their time and place may also qualify for listing as historic districts, under one or both of the above criteria.  Intact tourist courts, which by their nature contain a collection of resources, will be considered as historic districts.  Such groupings need not be limited to a single property type, however, as multi-functional operations were common during the period of significance.


Historic districts will be eligible under Criterion A if they contain a reasonably intact collection of historic resources which reflect their early relationship to Route 66 in Missouri.  Districts eligible under Criterion C will also exhibit a notably high level of physical integrity.  To be eligible under either criterion, the majority of the buildings within a district must have been built when Route 66 was in use, and as a group, they should continue to reflect their association with the travel trade of that road.  The general setting and the cohesiveness of the resources will have a strong impact upon how well the district conveys a sense of time and place.  An intact setting, paired with a significant concentration of intact resources, is therefore required for district designation.



Property Type B: Automobile Related


Figure 19:  Moore’s Station (GR.032) was built in western Green County around 1929.  When it was open, the business offered at least two cabins for rent as well.  It also provides a fine example of vernacular stone construction.

Source: Photo by Carol Grove, 2002.





















Other automobile related resources in the survey group which had a high level of integrity and generally good physical condition include the ca. 1940, Delano Station, in Cuba, CR012, the ca. 1950-51 Skelly Gas Station, in Phillipsburg (LC.017), and the ca. 1932, Lilley Gas Station and Grocery Store, in Springfield, (GR.143).



Description: Automobile Related Resources


The automobile related resource is a property type which was directly tied to automobile sales or service during the period of significance.  This is one of the most common types of resources still found along the roadside; nearly a third of the properties in the survey group, about 32%, had gasoline sales or automobile service as their primary function during the period of significance.  Many of the businesses continue to operate in their original capacity.  Most of the resources are buildings, although some related structures and objects, such as signs, canopies, and gas pump islands also survive.  Early or original pumps are quite rare; any survivors represent especially important resources. 


Most automobile related resources are located directly adjacent to the roadway.  The settings and associated buildings vary widely; some of the businesses operated in association with other roadside enterprises, while many were the only business on the property.  Although most of the automobile related properties in the survey group operated independently, there were a number of gas stations which were associated with other businesses, such as grocery stores or cabin courts.  Construction dates for the automobile related resources in the survey group range from ca. 1916 to ca. 1962.



Subtype: Commercial Garage


Commercial garages are buildings which historically had automobile service and/or sales as their primary function.  They are located on or close to the highway, and are in most cases relatively large, and clearly commercial in appearance.  Most have prominent garage doors on the facade or a side elevation, and some sort of office space near the front of the building.  Prominent garage type doors for auto access are a character-defining feature of this property type. 


Historically, auto service operations included towing and repairs; auto sales were less common along the highway corridor, although some local dealers did profit from parts sales to travelers.  Some were multi-functional buildings, combining service operations with such things as grocery stores and/or gas stations.  Several also have living quarters, most commonly above the main shop and service space.  Many of the commercial garages identified during the survey continue to provide auto service operations today.



Subtype: Gas Station


Gas stations are buildings which were built specifically for the sale of gasoline to the general public.  They are often relatively small, especially if they were single-function buildings used solely for gasoline and oil sales.  Buildings used exclusively as gas stations often had only a small office area and one or two bathrooms.  Gas pumps generally sat in front of the building, between it and the highway.  Although early gas pumps themselves are rare, many of the gas station properties in the survey group retain early or original concrete islands which housed those pumps, and many also have early signs or signposts.


Although gas stations were built in a variety of forms and materials, two basic themes prevail within the survey group.  Early stations especially tended to emulate residential structures, while later examples had a more commercial appearance.  Those two types of gas station buildings have been identified on survey sheets as residential theme gas stations, and as oblong box gas stations.



Subtype: Residential Theme Gas Station


Residential theme gas stations generally have hipped or gable roofs, often with residential type windows and doors.  Some have covered drives which are sheltered by an extension of the main roof of the building.  They always have an office or retail area; some also have small service bays which are original or early additions.  The most common stylistic influences for these buildings are Craftsman and English Cottage or Tudor Revival.  Those with a Craftsman influence often use stone or brick walls, and feature heavy square posts for the covered drives, with gable or hipped roofs.  Those utilizing English Cottage Revival details are characterized by very steeply

pitched, side-facing gable roofs which generally have at least one small, equally steep, front cross gable.  Brick or weatherboard wall surfaces are common on those buildings.  This subtype was constructed most commonly in the 1920s and 1930s.



Subtype: Oblong Box Gas Station


The more commercial designs which tended to be popular later can generally be classified under the oblong box heading.  Those buildings have flat roofs and simple clean lines which reflect the popularity of the Modern and International styles in architecture.  They generally contain both an office/retail area and at least one service bay, set side by side to create a rectangular, or oblong, footprint.  The windows and doors of the office areas are commercial in form and materials, generally consisting of large metal-framed storefront units, many of which wrap around the corner which contains the office.  Common wall materials include stucco and metal panels.  This type of gas station came into use in the mid-1930s and continued to be built in to the 1950s and beyond. Of these types, the House, House with Canopy, and House with Bays correlate to the Residential Theme category used for 66 in Missouri.  The Oblong Box is the other form most often built on 66 in Missouri before mid-century.




Figure 20.  Gas Station Types.

Source: John A. Jakle, and Keith A. Sculle, The Gas Station in America, (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994), p. 134.








































Significance: Automobile Related


Commercial garages and gas stations share with Route 66 a strong connection to the automobile; neither would have existed had not the automobile become such a dominant force in American life.  Nationally, commercial garages and filling stations came into existence in the 1910s, as a result of the exploding popularity of the automobile.[115]  In less than a decade, the car went from being a novelty owned only by a wealthy few, to an integral component of American life.  


In Missouri, for example, the number of registered motor vehicles jumped from 16,387 in 1911 to 347,480 in 1921.[116]  By 1926, the year Route 66 was officially commissioned, there were more than 650,000 cars in Missouri alone, and automobiles had become the largest industry in the United States.  By the time paving of the route was completed in Missouri in 1931, 55% of all American families owned a car.[117]  That increase created a whole new category of commerce, which naturally had an effect upon the built environment; automobile related commercial buildings soon became part of the landscape.


Gas stations came into existence relatively early in the growth of the automobile industry; some cities had such facilities before 1910.  One history of the gas station noted that “early motorists treated their cars like horses, feeding them petroleum obtained from drums at the local livery, hardware or dry goods store...Eventually price-conscious motorists began bypassing traditional gasoline dealers in favor of a trip directly to the bulk-station.” [118]  That practice resulted in the development of the filling station, which was described by the same source as a building type which was “at once highly sophisticated and disarmingly simple.” 


Many of those early businesses were literally “filling stations,” where the only service offered was filling the tank of a car with gasoline.  In some cases, those stations were created by simply adding a pump in front of an existing house or store, or putting up a small shed next to a new pump.[119]  Early multi-functional auto service establishments were often located in former livery stables and other large buildings which had been in use for horse related functions.  As one history of the gas station put it, many of those businesses located in “the ordinary architecture of converted livery stables, sales barns, and other utilitarian structures...”.[120] 


As time went on, and more and more cars came into use, the business grew and the need arose for a more diverse range of services.  As the auto became firmly established as America’s favorite means of transportation, new buildings designed exclusively for automobile related businesses began appearing, and by the time Route 66 was being paved, most auto related establishments were located in buildings constructed specifically for that purpose. 


The maturing auto service industry also saw a specialization of services.  Commercial garages focused on such things as repair and towing, while gas station operators continued to emphasize the retail aspect of the business.  (There was, of course, overlap of function, both within the auto service industry and within the larger scope of traveler services.  Several of the commercial garages still on Route 66 in Missouri, for example, also sold groceries or gasoline during the period of significance.) 


With that specialization came different building forms.  Commercial garages were usually housed in relatively large buildings, within which several vehicles could be stored or serviced at one time.  The facades of those buildings were often dominated by large garage doors which allowed access to the service areas, and most showed little concern for an eye-catching design of the facade.  Gas stations, by contrast, emphasized the retail side of the auto service industry, and even early buildings reflect the desire to present a pleasing facade and to capture the traveling public’s attention. 


Retail operations continued to expand, and soon most gas or filling stations were true “service stations,” with added offerings of everything from repair service to public bathrooms and food and drink sales.  Service stations were one of the first business types on the roadway to see corporate control and standardization.  In an era when most businesses along Route 66 were locally owned “mom-and-pop” type operations, many of the gas stations in the country were under corporate control.  One of the first gas stations in the country was in fact built by a major oil company; Standard Oil of California opened a gas station in Seattle in 1907.[121]  By the time Route 66 was being established in Missouri, several major companies owned or leased large numbers of gas stations, many of which utilized standard designs.


Corporate property or private development, gas station designs followed an identifiable evolution in form and stylistic characteristics during the first half of the twentieth century.  In general, earlier stations tended to emulate residential designs, while those built later adopted a more commercial appearance.[122]  This reflected patterns of use as well as current styles.  Gas stations built in the 1920s and 30s were often located in residential neighborhoods, and oil company designers took special care to ensure they fit their surroundings.  (See Figure 19.)  Out of that concern developed the Residential Theme Gas Station Subtype.  Those stations often housed simple filling station type operations which required no service bays and little public display space.


The depression years brought a change in the way gas stations operated, and a corresponding change in the average size and form of the buildings that housed them.  As gasoline sales slowed with the economy, operators expanded their offerings to boost overall sales.  Most stations became service stations, with more and larger service bays, and a more diverse offering of items for sale.  It became standard practice for gas stations to offer the “TBA line”: tires, batteries and accessories.[123]  That greater range of products necessitated larger display areas within the station, and there was a growing desire to have the buildings reflect their commercial function. 


Those changes, combined with new trends in architectural styling, led to the development of the Oblong Box Gas Station form.  (See Figure 20.) That larger form is characterized by a rectangular footprint, flat roof, integrated service bays, and a generally more commercial handling of architectural details.  Although the use of streamlined styling and flat roofs for this form reflected the International style of architecture, the end product has been more accurately described in The Gas Station in America, which notes that the designers of the new form “introduced ‘Depression architecture,’ a stripped down, functional design to put a new, optimistic face on hard economic times.”[124]  The oblong box form became extremely popular for gas station design, and, with minor variations, was an industry standard throughout the middle of the 20th century.


Auto related resources survive from all significant periods of development of the highway, and they are among the most numerous of the Route 66 related resources left in Missouri today.  Intact examples of this property type may be eligible under Criterion A, in the area of Commerce, for their connection to the travel trade associated with Route 66 in Missouri.  Especially intact buildings may also be eligible under Criterion C, in the area of Architecture, as representative examples of the types and styles of architecture which housed those businesses.  Gas stations and commercial garages owed their existence to the automobile, and the travelers along Route 66 provided a steady stream of customers.  By the same token, the highway would have been useless had those businesses not offered support services for the highway users.  The gas stations and commercial garages found along the roadway today are important reflections of that historic interdependence. 




Figure 21:  1933 Sanborn Map of a neighborhood in Springfield, Greene County, showing corner filling stations in an otherwise residential neighborhood.  The wide street running between the stations is Route 66, now called College Street.























Registration Requirements: Automobile Related


Representative examples of the above property type will be eligible for inclusion in the National Register if they are reasonably intact, and readily recognizable to the period of significance.  Intact buildings will retain their basic early form, with no major modern alterations to principal exterior dimensions or rooflines.  Door and window openings, especially on the principal elevations, should also be intact, and most early exterior trim and other detailing should remain in place.  Integrity of location and association will be especially important; the resource should be located close to the historic roadway, and continue to reflect its early association with the travel trade along Route 66.


Although the buildings must be reasonably intact to qualify for listing, alterations and minor changes are practically inevitable, and it is important to gauge the overall effect of any changes when evaluating eligibility.  Rear additions and alterations to secondary elevations are acceptable, as long as they are not overly noticeable from the street.  Additions and alterations which are more than fifty years old are likely to have acquired historic value of their own, and should be carefully evaluated.  Representative examples of the Automobile-Related property type which meet the above requirements will be eligible under Criterion A, in the area of Commerce, with a period of significance which corresponds to the time in which they were associated with Route 66 in Missouri.


Buildings which exhibit a high level of individual integrity of design, materials and workmanship may also be eligible under Criterion C, in the area of Architecture.  Buildings eligible in the area of Architecture will be highly intact; original or early building materials will predominate, especially on wall surfaces, and at least some early or original doors and/or windows should also be extant.  Such things as intact interiors or the presence of associated site features, such as gas pumps or signage, will bolster eligibility in this area.


Intact groupings of resources which convey a sense of their time and place may also qualify for listing as historic districts, under one or both of the above criteria.  Such groupings need not be limited to a single property type.  Multi-functional operations were common during the period of significance.


Historic districts will be eligible under Criterion A if they contain a reasonably intact collection of historic resources which reflect their early relationship to Route 66 in Missouri.  Districts eligible under Criterion C will also exhibit a notably high level of physical integrity.  To be eligible under either criterion, the majority of the buildings within a district must have been built when Route 66 was in use, and as a group, they should continue to reflect their association with the travel trade of that road.  The general setting and the cohesiveness of the resources will have a strong impact upon how well the district conveys a sense of time and place.  An intact setting, paired with a significant concentration of intact resources, is therefore required for district designation. 



Property Type C.  Restaurants/Taverns


Figure 22:  The Red Cedar Inn, (SL.019) which was built in 1934 in Pacific, is a highly intact restaurant and tavern which has never left the family of its builder.  It looks and operates today much as it did during the period of significance.

Source: Photo by Debbie Sheals, 2002.























Other restaurants in the survey group which had a high level of integrity and generally good physical condition include the ca. 1945 Tinkle Bar, in, Waynesville, (PU.138), the ca. 1963, Steak ’n Shake, in Springfield, (GR.152) and the ca. 1935 State Line Restaurant, near the Kansas border (JP.033).



Description: Restaurants and Taverns


The Restaurants and Taverns property type designates businesses which sold food and/or drink to travelers on Route 66 during the period of significance.  At least 12% of the study properties fall into this category.  They vary widely in form and type of business, from tiny ice cream stands with walk up windows, to larger full service restaurants; several of the restaurants recorded were operated in conjunction with hotel or gas station businesses.  Styles and types of the buildings which housed those businesses also vary, although as a group, they tend to be relatively simple buildings, most often vernacular structures which utilize common building materials.  Construction dates for restaurants and taverns in the study group range from ca. 1915 to 1963.



Subtype: Food Stands and Drive-ins


This subtype describes the most modest of the food-service operations, the quick dining establishment.  These businesses offered fast service, often via a walk-up window or open-air stand.  This could include such things as roadside hotdog stands, ice cream shops, and drive-in restaurants.  In some cases, such as the Steak ‘n’ Shake Drive In, in Springfield, carhops served travelers lunch or dinner right in their cars.  One of the best known roadside stands of the survey group is Ted Drewe’s Frozen Custard, which has been serving homemade ice cream to travelers in St. Louis since 1941.  



Subtype: Full Service Dining


Full service dining establishments, which include such things as diners, family restaurants and highway destination restaurants, offered travelers a more relaxed dining experience.  They provided indoor dining facilities and table service.  Offerings ranged from breakfast to full dinners.   Several of the restaurants which served dinner, such as the Red Cedar, (See Figure 22) also had cocktail service, and several had separate bar or tavern operations as well.


Subtype: Taverns


Taverns are businesses which offered alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises.  Like restaurants, they took many forms, and often catered to local residents as well as tourists.  There are six historic taverns among the survey group, with construction dates ranging from ca. 1920 to the mid-1950s.


Significance: Restaurants and Taverns


One study of restaurant history noted that: “The restaurant, like the gas station and the motel, is a form of commodified place” and claimed that most modern restaurants “follow the strict formatting of one or another corporate chain.”[125]  Many of the restaurants which served travelers on Route 66 in Missouri pre-date that period of standardization, and, like many of the early motels found there, reflect the days when private ownership and individualism was the norm for roadside businesses.


Unlike auto-related commerce and roadside lodging, the restaurant was established as a type of business before the advent of automobile travel.  The concept of the restaurant, and even the term itself, can be traced to 19th century France.  From the Encyclopedia Britannica:


The public dining room that came ultimately to be known as the restaurant originated in France, and the French have continued to make major contributions to the restaurant’s development.  The first restaurant proprietor is believed to have been one A. Boulanger, a soup vendor, who opened his business in Paris in 1765. The sign above his door advertised restoratives, or restaurants, referring to the soups and broths available within.  The institution took its name from that sign, and “restaurant” now denotes a public eating place in English, French, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Romanian, and many other languages, with some variations.[126]


By the 19th century, the term had come into widespread use in the United States as a description of all manner of commercial dining establishments. 


The restaurant business also differs from previously discussed property types in that there was a less linear type of development; different types of restaurants came into use at the same time.  As is the case today, it was possible to find both quick-dining and full service establishments in most settled areas by the last half of the 19th century.


Some of the first quick dining establishments could be found in industrial areas, near the gates of factories.  Chester Liebs, in Mainstreet to Miracle Mile, has noted that early lunch counters were attractive to industrial workers, who were often “short on time but possessing sufficient pocket change for a lunch or supper break.”[127]  Other notable antecedents include the type of food stands found in places like Coney Island and local fairs. 


The quick dining establishment proved itself to be especially attractive to the roadside traveler, especially as automobile ownership came within the grasp of less affluent Americans.  As one study put it “As automobile ownership increased to embrace even the lower middle class, the market for “road-food” grew, inviting contexts for roadside eating...” which was quick and inexpensive.[128]  From those beginnings developed everything from the roadside barbeque shack of the 1940s to the fast food chains which line American roadsides today.


One of the most distinctive types of quick dining establishments to develop in the twentieth century was the drive-in, which offered in-car service, often under the shelter of a broad canopy.  The presence of a canopy and carhop service can be considered to be defining features of the drive-in; as one history of the genre put it: “After World War II, drive-ins came to share one important architectural feature--the canopy.  And the canopy served one important feature–to shade in-car eating where food was delivered on trays by carhops.”[129]


In a parallel pattern of development, full service dining establishments began appearing along American roadside by the early 1920s.  Full service dining had been available to the American public for several decades before that, often in association with urban settings, large hotel operations, or saloons. 


Figure 23:  An early photo of the Munger Moss Sandwich Shop, in Devil’s Elbow, Pulaski County.

Source: From Jakle and Sculle, Fast Food: Roadside Restaurants in the Automobile Age.  Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999, p. 172.




Other restaurants in the survey group which had a high level of integrity and generally good physical condition include the ca. 1945 Tinkle Bar, in, Waynesville, (PU.138), the ca. 1963, Steak ’n Shake, in Springfield, (GR.152) and the ca. 1935 State Line Restaurant, near the Kansas border (JP.033).



The earliest full service roadside restaurants, which were often called tea rooms, offered family-friendly dining facilities in a relaxed environment.  Tea rooms, which were often located in historic buildings or other quaint settings, were commonly run by female entrepreneurs.  Although the tearoom as a type was relatively short-lived, tearooms did prove that there was a market for comfortable, moderately priced, full service dining along America’s roadsides.  From the tea room tradition came the roadside family restaurant, or highway cafe, a type which endures today.  Many of the full service restaurants which operated in association with motels and gas stations during the period of significance were highway cafes.


Another form of full service dining found along the early highways was the “Highway Destination” restaurant.  As Jakle and Sculle noted in Fast Food, “Highway destination restaurants catered not to transients seeking security and convenience, but to discerning customers seeking the unusual.”[130]  That account noted that such places could be upscale or less pretentious, but that customers were looking for “atmosphere” which could be established through such things as exterior architecture, interior design or other features which were calculated to be “place-defining.”  It was also noted that after prohibition, “the sale of alcoholic beverages set the highway-destination restaurant apart from other roadside eateries.”[131] 


The survey group includes two notable examples of highway-destination restaurants in eastern Missouri.  One, the Red Cedar Inn, in Pacific, St. Louis County, is a rustic log building to which a log bar was added shortly after its construction in 1934.  The Big Chief Restaurant, which was built in Pond, St. Louis County, around 1928, is a restaurant and bar in a Mission style building which was originally part of a motor court operation.  Both of those businesses are today operating in their original functions.


Fast food or fine dining, the restaurants along Route 66 in Missouri stand as important links to the early days of car travel.  Quick service restaurants allowed travelers on a tight schedule to grab a bite and go on their way.  Highway cafes, which could be found operating as independent businesses, as well as in association with motor courts and gas stations, offered those with more time a comfortable, affordable place to eat.  And finally, destination restaurants, which appealed to cross-state or cross-county travelers, provided a distinctive dining experience.  All reflect the diversity of roadside dining options presented to the Route 66 tourist during the period of significance.


Registration Requirements: Restaurants and Taverns


Representative examples of the above property type will be eligible for inclusion in the National Register if they are reasonably intact, and readily recognizable to the period of significance.  Intact buildings will retain their basic early form, with no major modern alterations to principal exterior dimensions or rooflines.  Most door and window openings, especially on the principal elevations, should also be intact, and most original exterior detailing should remain in place.  Other types of resources should exhibit comparable levels of physical integrity.


Integrity of location and association will be especially important; the resource should be located close to the historic roadway, and continue to reflect its early function.  Because this property type includes businesses which are not necessarily dependent upon automobile travel or proximity to the highway, integrity of association will be especially important.  For a property in this category to be eligible for its association with Route 66, there must be clear evidence that it was a goal of the business to take advantage of highway-generated traffic.


Although the resources must be reasonably intact to qualify for listing, alterations and minor changes are practically inevitable, and it is important to gauge the overall effect of any changes when evaluating eligibility.  Rear additions and alterations to secondary elevations of buildings are acceptable, as long as they are not overly noticeable from the street.  Additions and alterations which are more than fifty years old are likely to have acquired historic value of their own, and should be carefully evaluated.  Representative examples of the Commerce and Entertainment property type which meet the above requirements will be eligible under Criterion A, in the area of either Commerce, or Entertainment/Recreation, (or in a few cases, both) with a period of significance which corresponds to the time in which they were associated with Route 66 in Missouri.


Buildings, which exhibit a high level of individual integrity of design, materials and workmanship, may also be eligible under Criterion C, in the area of Architecture.  Buildings eligible in the area of Architecture will be highly intact; original or early building materials will predominate, especially on wall surfaces, and at least some early or original doors and/or windows should also be extant.  Such things as intact interiors or the presence of associated site features, such early signs or other structures, will bolster eligibility in this area.


Intact groupings of resources, which convey a sense of their time and place, may also qualify for listing as historic districts, under one or both of the above criteria.  Such groupings need not be limited to a single property type; multi-functional operations were common during the period of significance.


Historic districts will be eligible under Criterion A if they contain a reasonably intact collection of historic resources which reflect their early relationship to Route 66 in Missouri.  Districts eligible under Criterion C will also exhibit a notably high level of physical integrity.  To be eligible under either criterion, the majority of the resources within a district must have been built when Route 66 was in use, and as a grouping, they should continue to reflect their association with the travel trade of that road.  The general setting and the cohesiveness of the resources will have a strong impact upon how well the district conveys a sense of time and place.  An intact setting, paired with a significant concentration of intact resources, is therefore required for district designation. 


Property Type D: Commerce and Entertainment


Figure 24: Wrink’s Food Market (LC.007), which was built in 1947 in Lebanon, Laclede County provides a highly intact example of a grocery store which was opened specifically to capitalize on the Route 66 trade.

Source: Photo by Carol Grove, 2002.



Other commercial facilities in the survey group which had a high level of integrity and generally good physical condition include the ca. 1943, Sterling’s Hillbilly Store, a souvenir shop in Hooker, (PU.001), the ca. 1945 Donut Drive In, in St. Louis, (SL.107) and, the 66 Drive-In, in Carthage (JP.104).



Description: Commerce and Entertainment


The Commerce and Entertainment property type describes resources associated with businesses which relied upon Route 66 travelers for a significant percentage of their income.  Such businesses include, but are not limited to, grocery stores, souvenir shops, drive-in theaters, and various tourist attractions, such as caves or other natural features promoted to travelers along the route.  Some businesses which were already in operation before the highway was built at their front door, such as general stores in small towns along the way, have also been included in this category.   Related resources can include buildings which housed or supported those businesses, as well contributing outbuildings and structures.  Signage was often an important vehicle by which the businesses attracted customers, and both billboards and on-site advertising from the period of significance fall into this category.  This property type includes approximately 14% of the study properties, and construction dates range from ca. 1885 to ca. 1970.


Although these businesses were housed in many different types of buildings, they tend toward a generally commercial appearance.  Most are simple vernacular buildings, constructed of materials which would have been readily available at the time of construction.  Native sandstone walls, for example, were common to buildings built before mid-century.  Almost all of the commercial buildings are one story tall, and most are sited very close to the roadway.  A few retain early signs and other site features.



Subtype: Grocery Stores


Roadside grocery stores account for nearly one third of the resources in this category.  As was the case for many roadside businesses, grocery stores were often operated in association with other businesses, such as gas stations or cottage courts.  Grocery store buildings in the survey group come in many forms and ages.  Construction dates range from ca. 1898 (Parson’s Market, in Laquey) to 1954 (Miller’s Market, in Devil’s Elbow, Pulaski County).



Significance: Commerce and Entertainment


Route 66 offered local entrepreneurs a ready-made customer base; hundreds of automobiles passed along any stretch of the highway every single day.  In those cars were people, and where there are people, there is a way to make a buck.  An article published in Fortune magazine in 1934 recognized the business opportunities presented by the spread of the automobile: “After the autoist had driven round and round for a while, it became high time that people should catch on to the fact that as he rides there are a thousand and ten ways you can cash in on him en route.”  The same article noted that the resulting explosion in roadside commerce “completed a circle which will whirl for pleasure and for profit as long as the American blood and the American car are so happily married.”[132]


In addition to local “autoists”, the highway carried millions of out of state customers past the doors of roadside establishments.  As the State of Missouri Book reported in 1932 “The improvements of state highways has resulted in a very large increase in the number of tourists passing through the state.  Estimates based on traffic counts made several years ago indicate that 5,000,000 visitors come to this state during the touring season.”[133]  That steady stream of travelers injected millions of dollars into Missouri’s economy over the years, and supported hundreds of small businesses along the route. 


It was also during this period that the grocery store business, which is one of the most common roadside business types among the survey group, saw major developments.  Prior to World War I, shopping for food often involved several stops, especially in towns large enough to support multiple stores.  It was often necessary for the average shopper to go to the butcher, the baker, the dry goods store, and the produce market to get needed provisions.  At each of those stores, it was common for the shopper to simply give their list to a clerk, who would select and package the needed goods. 


About the time of World War I, the industry began to develop into a less labor-intensive and less specialized type of business.  One of the most successful such operations was the brainchild of Clarence Sanders, who opened a new kind of market in Ohio in 1916.  Sanders’ market, the Piggly Wiggly, utilized an innovative new layout which allowed customers to choose their own items, then proceed thought a check-out counter.  The patented layout, which greatly reduced labor requirements, was an immediate success.[134]



Figure 25:  Grocery Store Plan from Piggly Wiggly founder Clarence Saunder’s Patent Application.

Source: Chester Liebs, Main Street to Miracle Mile: American Roadside Architecture, (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995) p. 120.

































The next big change to the business came soon after - one-stop shopping.  As the business became more competitive, retailers found that offering a greater variety of goods brought more customers, and by the 1930s, “combination stores” had become an established business type.  The expanded offerings, plus the need for more space to allow customers to wander through the aisles on their own, led many retailers to expand their downtown stores, or to move to new locations out by the new highways.  From that trend came ever larger stores, and by the mid-1930s, the “supermarket” had become a standard.


Many of the grocery stores which catered to highway travelers in the days of Route 66 were closer to those early combination stores than supermarkets, correlating more closely to the modern day convenience store than supermarkets.  Wrink’s Food Market, in Lebanon, which is still in operation, provides a highly intact example of an early grocery store which was established because of Route 66.  Founder Glenn “Wrink” Wrinkle recently recounted his reasons for opening the market:  I wanted to have some kind of business on Route 66.  So in 1950 I started Wrink’s Food Market in Dad’s vacant building with $300 worth of groceries.  Route 66 was the reason I came here.”[135]


Other roadside enterprises capitalized on the automobile travelers’ desire for entertainment.  As Chester Liebs put it: “Travelers eventually grew hungry, tired, and restless for diversions.”  Those in search of diversions in Missouri could shop at a souvenir stand, go to a drive-in movie, visit a private tourist attraction such as a cave or petting zoo, or visit a scenic overlook or a state park.  It was reported in 1932 that the state highway department had recently “opened up beautiful vistas along the highways by the clearing out of under-brush and other obstructions.”[136]    


The drive-in theater, which developed specifically to take advantage of America's new love affair with the automobile, was a fitting diversion for the times. The drive-in concept was patented in the 1930s, and within two decades, the drive-in had become an important part of life in the United States.[137]  The drive-in industry experienced a huge growth spurt during the 1940s and 50s; Census of Business figures show that the number of drive-ins in the nation increased from 820 in 1948 to 3,799 in 1954.   The rate of growth in Missouri was even more dramatic, jumping from 16 in 1948, to an all-time high of 124 in 1954.[138]


That popularity did not last, however; by the late 1980s, the number of drive-ins in operation in the country had dropped back almost to 1940s levels.[139]  In Missouri, for example, only 24 Drive-ins were open in 1987, a number which had dropped to 14 by 2002.  Intact historic drive-ins are even more scarce on Route 66; only three drive-ins have been identified on or close to the route.  Of those, only one, the Route 66 Drive-In, in Carthage, is still in operation.  It is the oldest of those three, and by far the most intact.  The other two are the Holiday Drive-In, in Springfield, built in the 1960s or 70s, and the 1954 Highway 19 Drive-In, in Cuba, Missouri, which is actually a few miles off of Route 66.  The Route 66 Drive-In is being nominated to the National Register as part of the current survey and identification project.


As with most of the resource types found along Route 66 in Missouri, representatives of the Commerce and Entertainment property type reflect the interdependence of the road and the businesses that catered to those who used it.  The millions of tourists who visited the state every year, combined with in-state residents enjoying shorter trips, provided roadside entrepreneurs with an immense pool of potential customers.  Those businesses, in turn, provided travelers with everything from food to a couple of hours worth of diversion during a long trip. 



Registration Requirements: Commerce and Entertainment


Representative examples of the above property type will be eligible for inclusion in the National Register if they are reasonably intact, and readily recognizable to the period of significance.  Intact buildings will retain their basic early form, with no major modern alterations to principal exterior dimensions or rooflines.  Door and window openings, especially on the principal elevations, should also be intact, and most original exterior trim and other detailing should remain in place.  Other types of resources will exhibit comparable levels of physical integrity.


Integrity of location and association will be especially important; the resource should be located close to the historic roadway, and continue to reflect its early function.  Because this group includes business types which were not necessarily dependent upon automobile travel or proximity to the highway, integrity of association will be especially important.  Establishing eligibility for their association with Route 66 requires clear evidence that they were in business to take advantage of highway-generated traffic, and that they operated under that premise for a significant period of time.


Although the resources must be reasonably intact to qualify for listing, alterations and minor changes are practically inevitable, and it is important to gauge the overall effect of any changes when evaluating eligibility.  Rear additions and alterations to secondary elevations of buildings are acceptable, as long as they are not overly noticeable from the street.  Additions and alterations which are more than fifty years old are likely to have acquired historic value of their own, and should be carefully evaluated.


Although a historic resource must always reflect its period of significance to be eligible for the National Register, rare or exceptional examples may merit extra latitude in the area of integrity.  Strong associative qualities may outweigh moderate integrity issues if a property can be shown to have exceptional historical importance.


Representative examples of the Commerce and Entertainment property type which meet the above requirements will be eligible under Criterion A, in the area of either Commerce, or Entertainment/Recreation, (or in a few cases, both) with a period of significance which corresponds to the time in which they were associated with Route 66 in Missouri. 


Buildings, which exhibit a high level of individual integrity of design, materials and workmanship, may also be eligible under Criterion C, in the area of Architecture.  Buildings eligible in the area of Architecture will be highly intact; original or early building materials will predominate, especially on wall surfaces, and at least some early or original doors and/or windows should also be extant.  Such things as intact interiors or the presence of associated site features, such early signs or other structures, will bolster eligibility in this area.


Intact groupings of resources which covey a sense of their time and place may also qualify for listing as historic districts, under one or both of the above criteria.  Such groupings need not be limited to a single property type; multi-functional operations were common during the period of significance.


Historic districts will be eligible under Criterion A if they contain a reasonably intact collection of historic resources that reflect their early relationship to Route 66 in Missouri.  Districts eligible under Criterion C will also exhibit a notably high level of physical integrity.  To be eligible under either criterion, the majority of the resources within a district must have been built when Route 66 was in use, and as a grouping, they should continue to reflect their association with the travel trade of that road.  The general setting and the cohesiveness of the resources will have a strong impact upon how well the district conveys a sense of time and place.  An intact setting, paired with a significant concentration of intact resources, is therefore required for district designation. 



Property Type E: Landscape and Roadway Resources


Figure 26:  Hooker Cut, one of the most intact historic landscapes along Route 66

Source: Photo by Carol Grove, 2002.



Other Historic Landscapes of note include: Highway Z, in Pulaski County (Route 66); Highway 266 west of intersection with AB, and Highway 96 to Carthage, In Greene, Lawrence, and Jasper Counties; and the Henry Shaw Gardenway, St. Louis and Franklin Counties



Description: Landscape and Roadway Resources


Landscape and roadway resources provide the setting for travel related resources connected with Route 66 during the period of significance, 1926-55.  They tie together the various resources identified along the route and address the unique nature of this survey.  Unlike surveys that specifically assess discrete resources (a house, a civic building) or clusters of buildings (districts) at a specific place, this survey addresses the roadway between two given points and all the contributing resources incorporated along the route. Because of that, the roadway and contributing resources at points along the route are important, as is the landscape that links them.[140]  The landscape, which is, in a sense, the space in between, provides context for, and helps to explain and illustrate the meaning of the resources.  Associated structures along the route, such as intact sections of the early roadway and historic bridges, serve similar functions. Those structures can be significant on their own, or as contributing elements within historic landscapes and architectural districts.  There are five subtypes of landscape and roadway resources that relate to this survey.  They are rural historic landscapes, cultural landscapes, designed historic landscapes, roadways and bridges.[141]



Subtype: Rural Historic Landscapes


In rural historic landscapes, nature dominates the scenery.  The landscape is primarily countryside, rather than an urban cityscape or town.   Evidence of human activity is not predominant.  Much of the landscape along Route 66 is rural by definition, for example, rolling hills, farmland, streambeds, and although indications of man’s existence are impossible to avoid (there are almost always signs, fences, telephone lines within the view), many segments of the Route 66 corridor qualify as rural landscapes because they are predominantly countryside.


The subtype rural historic landscape includes the linear landscape which is the land over which the road is built, and the roadway itself together with the land at its edge.  The linear landscape along with the kinesthetic experience of the road is one of the most important factors in this survey.  Also considered as part of rural historic landscapes are roadside parks, including turnarounds for scenic viewing, which were part of the highway originally or were added within the period of significance.  These parks are vernacular in nature because we rarely know who designed them and they address function rather than design as a priority.



Subtype: Cultural Landscapes


Cultural landscapes represent the coming together, or interface, of culture and nature.   They are the combination of things that are man-made and man-altered (spaces, buildings, etc.) and landscape (place, site, geographic location).  In contrast to rural historic landscapes, cultural landscapes tend to be in towns, cities or distinct clusters along the highway.  If, for example, the stretch of road goes through a small town (like Devil’s Elbow), or a big town (like Springfield), which is made up of clusters of buildings that date to the period of significance, these clusters may be classifiable as cultural landscape districts (because they combine human activity and man-made objects like houses, parks, and sidewalks within the larger context of the landscape).  A broader, more inclusive category is a cultural landscape which can exist along the route, even without the occurrence of a specific town or city, if there is evidence of human activity that relates to Route 66 repeatedly along the way.  For example, the stretch of road, from Buckhorn to Lacquey, in Pulaski County, can be considered a cultural landscape, because of the number of rock motor courts and garages occurring along the Route 66 corridor.


Cultural landscapes are not any one particular thing or any one particular place, but are defined by the combination of various and changing elements.  They are by definition, fluid, not static; they have developed over time, and do not represent a single point in history.  For example, in several small towns that were visited and evaluated in this survey, older customs, architecture, and sense of community was altered by the introduction of a new, interstate highway, Route 66.  The travel related changes that took place and the new needs that were met resulted in change.  


Looking at cultural landscapes reveals information about economy, population, traditions, civic interests.  Cultural landscapes, as they relate to this survey, may be represented by any one of the many segments of Route 66 from St. Louis to Joplin, that is, the entire route, the roadway, the buildings and the spaces in between, not just specific places or architecture along the way.  Cultural landscapes included in this survey were evaluated for their potential to represent the period of significance along Route 66 in Missouri.  Within the broader context of a cultural landscape, there may (or may not) be clusters of buildings that stand together (in a figurative sense) and represent a cultural landscape district.



Subtype: Designed Historic Landscapes


The third type of landscape present in Missouri along Route 66 is a designed historic landscape.  As the name implies, it is a place that was designed (usually by a professional) with style and function as priorities for use relating to Route 66.  Designed historic landscapes include parks, gardens, public spaces, civic designs, parkways, grounds designed for outdoor recreation such as country clubs and stadiums.[142]  They have been designed by an architect, landscape architect or other professional based on plans that combine design aesthetics and function as dual concerns.  For this survey, they must have a connection to Route 66, both physically and ideologically.  Designed historic landscapes in this country include, for example, Central Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway and the grounds at Monticello.  Missouri examples of designed historic landscapes are as varied as Tower Grove Park, the Liberty Memorial and Camp Pin Oak in Camdenton.  The best known example on Route 66 in Missouri is the Henry Shaw Gardenway, a landscaped corridor, begun in 1933, that runs from south St. Louis to Gray Summit.  Further study may identify other examples of designed historic landscapes along the route.



Subtype: Roadways


The term roadway is used here to include the actual roadbed, its surface and edges, and associated structures such as curbing, culverts, markers, etc.  Roadways may be contributing features of larger historic landscapes, or may be considered as individual resources.  Examples of roadway that fall within the parameters of this survey may be two or four lane, urban or rural, bypass routes or routes through towns and cities, and may be of varied length and physical condition.  Abandoned sections of Route 66 can also be considered, if they continue to reflect their historic function.  Examples of intact two lane roadways that are potentially eligible include a segment of the route near Spencer, in Lawrence County, and a section in the city of Springfield, Greene County, located at the intersection of Kearney and Glenstone Streets.  Both of those short stretches have retained their original paving and much of their early physical configuration.  Another stretch of road, a section of Route Z, in Pulaski County, near Hooker, is significant as the first four-lane segment of Route 66 Missouri.



Subtype: Bridges


Bridges along Route 66 in Missouri may be rural or urban, and representative of a variety of construction methods and materials.  Intact bridges may be contributing features of larger historic landscapes, or may be considered as individual resources.  The most common types found along Route 66 in Missouri include reinforced concrete slab bridges, railroad underpasses and overpasses, and Pratt Through-Truss bridges.  Some were built specifically for Route 66, and others were in place before work began on the new highway project.  Concrete is the most common construction material, especially for those bridges constructed specifically for the interstate.  Concrete was used for everything from support arches to balustrades and deck paving.  Notable historic bridges in the survey group include a pair of bridges in Pulaski County (1923 and 1942) which use concrete arches for structural support, and the St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad over pass in Springfield, (1938) the construction of which greatly improved traffic safety on Route 66.



Significance: Landscape and Roadway Resources


When people take a road trip, they see and perceive the pavement, the buildings, the signs, and the surroundings.  The experience of the road is not only about the things seen along the way but the sensation that accompanies the process--the moving into and through the landscape.  Although motorists may not be aware of it, the sensation of movement and time are central to the experience and add a unique perspective.  The term "linear landscape" is used to define this experience, and the term is used here to mean the roadway, which is a combination of the roadbed and the land it covers, along with the views and objects one sees when traveling along the roadway. 


It is important to identify that this experience is a kinesthetic one, meaning, it is not static or fixed, but by definition, implies movement along the road and through space.  The way roads 6“work” when motorists drive along them is this: the road is a path, an axis, with focal points (signs, hamburger stands, motels) along the way that break the link.  The motorist identifies with, and usually enjoys, these points; they provide variety, occupy the senses, and people identify with them (which is part of the pleasure).  An example is the “Historic Route 66” signs along the road: when motorists see them, they not only know they're on the right road, the signs put us in a particular frame-of-mind and they are subtly reminded of all the things the route stands for.  The drive is pleasurable because it involves a variety of experiences, satisfying interests and surprising our senses.  As motorists slowly climb an incline, not until they reach the brow of a hill, is the view revealed.  Likewise, at a sharp curve in the road, there is a sense of mystery; one doesn't don’t know what exists beyond, until we round the bend.


One of the reasons Route 66 is such a strong visual and physical experience is because of the way it was designed and engineered.  Unlike new interstate highways which are much more efficient and meant to handle thousands of cars at high speeds, Route 66 has a more human scale, and as a result people feel more physically connected to it.   It is narrower, tends to have grassy shoulders (which means less hard pavement) and motorists can drive it more slowly without slowing the flow of traffic.  As a result, the landscape unfolds instead of whisks past.


Route 66 relates to the landscape much more directly than more recent highways, for which land is cleared into vast open stretches.  Rather than the straight level roadway, which characterizes modern interstates, Route 66 winds its way through the landscape.  It has alternating sharp and “slow” curves, and straightaways dictated by the topography (it goes “with” the landscape rather than forcing itself on to it).  The road is often tightly framed by vegetation and trees.  Even buildings, like diners and garages, tend to be located closer to the edge of the road (and are smaller in scale than their present-day, corporate counterparts).  When driving the route, motorists and passengers get the sensation of being part of a place because they experience more of it (another example of how it makes people feel connected).  This sense of place is an important characteristic of the Route 66 experience.  Not taking the road to get somewhere fast (the interstate is more effective in terms of speed), motorists experience place and savor the sensation.  


These are the characteristics of the route, hard to identify but easy to sense when traveled, that make Route 66 what it is.  When assessing Route 66 in Missouri, these characteristics should be considered.  It should be thought of as a linear landscape, involving a kinesthetic experience that evokes a sense of place, all of which is strengthened by historic resources along the way, such as garages, craft shops, gas stations and motor courts.  It is important to remember that landscape is identified not as one particular place (for example, a town) but also as the many places in between which are linked together by the linear nature of the route.



The rural historic landscapes, cultural landscapes and their districts, designed historic landscapes, roadways and bridges that are part of the Route 66 corridor are important because they characterize Missouri and the changes that took place as a result of the automobile.  Understanding them is vital to understanding the historic roadway itself as it represents the growth of transportation, construction of the highway system and travel as a new American pastime.


Intact bridges and individual sections of roadway may be representative of early engineering, workmanship and changes in road-building techniques during the period of significance, and of common patterns of use.  Those resources are important as tangible links with specific events and emerging technologies, such as completion of the first stretch of four-lane highway in Missouri, as well as for their overall role in the development of the highway system.  The presence of intact historic roadways and bridges can also serve to strengthen connections between other types of resources, such as landscapes and groups of buildings.


Intact examples of the Landscape and Roadway Resources Property Type may be eligible under Criterion A, in the area of Social History, for their association with the development of travel as represented by Route 66 in Missouri.  Indicative of broad patterns of history, the change in the way Americans traveled and enjoyed the country is characterized by the property types in this survey.  The five subtypes of landscape considered, rural historic landscapes, cultural landscapes, designed historic landscapes, roadways and bridges, all contribute to the significance of Route 66.  Important to this survey is the actual experience of the road, defined here as a kinesthetic experience, one that is dependent upon a sense of place created by intact landscapes with contributing properties along the route.



Registration Requirements: Landscape and Roadway Resources


Representative examples of the Landscape and Roadway Resources Property Type will be eligible for inclusion in the National Register if they are reasonably intact and readily recognizable to the period of significance.  The characteristics of each landscape subtype should reveal the interrelationship of roadway and place, whether it be rural or cultural, in nature.  Integrity of location and association is mandatory to the qualification of landscapes to this survey, and although changes and improvements are inevitable, the sense of place and experience must remain intact and discernable. 


In general, the linear landscapes being considered should incorporate the following characteristics.  In terms of geographical boundaries, the landscape must be contiguous to, or viewable from, Route 66.  This view should contain little evidence of later additions (buildings, construction, alterations), including views of, and noise from, newer highways that replaced the original route (for example, Interstate 44).  The setting, whether rural or cultural, should evoke the period of significance, with a strong sense of association to the period of significance, with few exceptions, although some alterations will be inevitable.  Materials, in the case of vegetation and trees, will have grown, died and been modified since the period indicated but the integrity of the site should remain.  Plants should in most cases be restricted to those native to, or naturalized in, Missouri (unless it is a designed historic landscape that is being considered). 


The road itself will evoke the truest sense of place when it incorporates the combination of the following.  In ideal circumstances, traces or segments of the original roadbed will exist.  If not, the road should retain the characteristically narrow width of the original, sometimes with grass shoulders.  It should, by definition, work with the local topography, providing an alternating pattern of curves and straightaway as dictated by the surroundings.  When in wooded areas away from open fields and businesses, it may be tightly framed by trees and vegetation, creating a sense of

enclosure uncharacteristic of newer highways.  This sense of enclosure extends to the positioning of related businesses and architecture, which were historically located close to the roadbed.  The relationship of these combined elements creates a more human scale than seen or experienced when traveling more recent highway and roads.  They are representative of historic Route 66. 


Rural historic landscapes within the limits of this survey will meet the above criteria within a primary context of countryside.  They will incorporate land use and activities typical of the specific region of the state, such as farming, the raising of cattle, playing fields, etc.  Likewise, the patterns of spatial organization will reflect these particular uses.  The cultural traditions of an area may be particularly evident in rural landscapes (Ozark handicrafts, county events, farmer’s markets, etc.) and should be considered depending on their relationship to the period of significance.  Buildings, structures and objects along the route that emphasize the relationship of that particular place (county, town, region) to Route 66 in general should be included as representative of Missouri.  Small-scale elements such as bridges, markers, fences, etc. should also be considered for their ability to evoke a sense of place and experience.  For example, the Abbeylee Court Motel’s original sign, which suggests the motel’s location “among the trees,” is now actually overgrown by the pine trees first planted along the front of the property.  It identifies the overnight accommodations once available and provides the traveler with a nostalgic reminder of how the landscape (and travel itself) has changed.


Cultural landscapes in this survey will be represented by the combination of the manmade and the natural.  They include towns, cities and clusters along the wider setting of the linear landscape.  They must also be contiguous to, or viewable from, Route 66, with a minimum of modern alteration or addition to this human/nature combination.  For example, the stretch of the route through Devil’s Elbow to Hooker in Pulaski County represents a cultural landscape for its combination of town buildings, scenic hills, river and roadway, and all the related objects and elements along the route.  Few modern additions and alterations appear to have been made to buildings and spaces along the route, with the exception of mowing, trimming and some replanting as necessary, which is allowable.  As with rural landscapes, cultural landscapes, by definition, should include the spaces in between, as an ongoing whole, rather than being focused on single resources.


When a cluster or collection of reasonably intact historic buildings exists, for example the community grouping at Paris Springs Junction, Lawrence County, it may be considered for nomination as a National Register District based on Criterion A in the area of Social History.  Districts considered under Criterion C will display a notably high setting or physical integrity.  In either case, both must exhibit resources with a direct relationship to Route 66, the sense of place and experience associated with it within the period of significance.


A designed historic landscape must have integrity of location, materials and workmanship, and an implied design intent, most often made tangible by professionals in the field, to be considered for National Register designation.  Designed historic landscapes associated with Route 66 in Missouri may be eligible under Criterion A, for their relationship to the changing patterns of travel across the country during the period of significance.  They may be eligible under Criterion C in the area of Landscape Architecture, for being representative of that same period, or because they represent the work of an important landscape architect or professional group.  Note that small roadside parks and scenic turnarounds for viewing, although they incorporate a design element, tend to be anonymous, and should be considered in the context of rural historic landscapes rather than under this category, which is usually reserved for larger scale projects. 


Representative examples of roadways will be eligible for inclusion in the National Register if they are reasonably intact and retain integrity of location, workmanship, design, setting, feeling and association.  Eligible roadways must have been constructed specifically as Route 66 during the period of significance or represent a previously existing highway that was officially assimilated into the system.  The roadway must retain the essential features that identify it as an early highway.  Integrity will be determined by such things as original road width, shoulder configuration, immediate right-of-way, and road surface.  Due to the fragile nature of materials, original surface paving is not a requirement for consideration, although surviving examples should be noted as exceptional.   The presence of materials altered by maintenance or natural elements can be acceptable, as long as the roadway possesses significant integrity in other areas. 


Sections of roadway that retain features dating to the period of significance, such as markers, curbing, culverts, guard rails, and center seams, merit special consideration.  Examples of landscaping practices that can be documented and identified with the period of significance should also be recognized.  These might include shoulder seeding, roadside plantings of native species and design elements that constitute formal plantings.


Representative examples of bridges eligible for inclusion in the National Register must also be reasonably intact and retain integrity of location, workmanship, design, setting, feeling and association.  Like roadways, eligible bridges must have been constructed as part of Route 66 construction during the period of significance system, or represent a previously existing bridge that was officially incorporated into the system.  They should retain their original site and relationship to setting, and should not be substantially altered by deterioration or replacement of materials.  Bridges and roadways need not be in use to be eligible, as long as they are largely intact and continue to reflect their original function.


Intact examples of roadways and bridges may be eligible under Criterion A, in the areas of Transportation and/or Social History, for their role in the development of Route 66 as part of the new Interstate Highway System.  They may also be eligible under Criterion C, as representative of a distinctive type, period and method of construction.    



Conclusions and Recommendations



The Inventory Forms and the Database


New survey forms were completed for all buildings identified, but not evaluated or researched, in Phase I and for resources identified during Phase II fieldwork.  In addition, the inventory forms for the properties evaluated in Phase I have been updated with any new information gleaned during the Phase II survey.  Each of the Phase II inventory forms is accompanied by a 4”x6” black and white photograph and a scanned photo on the form itself.  The survey inventory number, property name and address are recorded on the back of each photograph.  Properties that consist of more than one resource also include a site plan and photographs of the additional resources on the property.  A new set of maps which locates and cross references all of the Phase II properties in the database has been created.


All of the properties that were identified in Phase I and Phase II have an inventory number that begins with a two-letter county identification prefix and a ends with three-number suffix, e.g. PU001.  All of the properties identified in Phase One have inventory numbers less than 100; new properties identified in Phase II have 100-level inventory numbers.  However, for the purposes of database management, numbering for Phase II properties begins with the number of the last Phase I property plus 101.  For example, there were 22 properties identified in St. Louis county during the Phase I Survey Project so the last property from Phase I in the database is SL022.  Numbering for Phase II St. Louis County properties begins with SL123. 


A searchable electronic database developed in Filemaker 5.0 was created as part of the Phase II survey project.  Inventory form information for all of the properties identified during both the Phase I (1993) and Phase II (2002) Route 66 Survey Projects is included in this database.  Scanned photos and site maps of all of the inventoried properties are also included in this database.  The Phase I and Phase II combined database contains 348 records.  However, a small discrepancy exists between the number of sites inventoried and the number of records in the database because the consultants from Phase I often completed separate inventory forms for each type resource on a site.  However in Phase II, a single inventory form was created for each site, even if the site has multiple types of resources.  As a result, each site recorded in Phase II has been treated as a single record in the database. The database contains a template for the master inventory form and continuation sheets.  Additional forms for use in sorting and printing information in the database have also been set up and are easily accessed.  


A separate database file has also been created for Route 66-related resources identified by Route 66 historian, Skip Curtis.  This database contains an additional 91 records. The evaluation of these resources was, however, beyond the scope of the Phase II Survey project.



Integrity and Current Condition


Many of the buildings and sites inventoried retain sufficient integrity to potentially merit National Register of Historic Places designation. Although the properties identified and researched in the Phase I Survey were extensively documented, only a few inventory forms rated the property’s physical condition and historic integrity.  In Phase II, the consultants evaluated all of the properties from Phase I and Phase II with regard to their current condition, historic integrity and potential National Register eligibility.  The properties surveyed in Phase II were evaluated as a part of the on-site fieldwork;  the properties surveyed in Phase I were evaluated primarily with the information and photographs from the Phase I inventory forms.  Each property was assigned one of four levels of integrity. The most intact resources were rated “little changed.”  Properties that have experienced some adaptation or alteration over the years were rated “high.”  A rating of “moderate” was given to properties that have seen some significant changes such as infilled door or window openings.  The “low” integrity rating was applied to resources that have been significantly altered over the years and as a result the original character of the building has been changed. An overall integrity rating was assigned to sites with multiple resources. Approximately one-half (50%) of the properties in the survey group were rated “little changed” or “high.” 


A four-tiered rating system was also used to rate each resource or site’s physical condition.  A rating of poor was used for resources that are extremely deteriorated.  Often these resources were abandoned many years ago and the property is open to the elements.  Properties given an “excellent” rating are those which are well maintained.  As with the integrity assessment, an overall condition rating was assigned to sites with multiple resources.  A little over half of the resources in the survey group received a physical condition rating of “good” or “excellent.” 


It is important to look at both historic integrity and current condition when evaluating historic resources.  Properties can retain a high level of integrity while being in poor condition.  Similarly, there are many historic properties that are excellent condition, but they have been altered significantly, and as a result, retain little historic integrity.  Using a system combining integrity and current condition ratings provides a clearer picture of the status of the resources in the survey group, and this rating system can facilitate preservation planning.  Resources that are “little changed” but are in “poor” condition may warrant specific attention to prevent the loss of an important historic resource.  However, resources, that have a “high” or “little changed” level of integrity combined with “good” or “excellent” physical condition, are often those that have the best chance for preservation.  The following table shows numbers of properties in the survey group in each of the combined categories:




Number of Resources

Little Change/Excellent


Little Change/Good


Little Change/ Fair


Little Change/Poor


High/ Excellent


High/ Good


High/ Fair




















Razed/No Integrity






National Register Eligibility


In addition to rating the integrity and current condition of each of the survey properties, the Phase II consultants also evaluated the survey properties for their potential for individual listing on the National Register of Historic Places.  Of the 348 resources evaluated, 163 (47%) were determined to be potentially eligible for listing on the National Register. In a few areas, clusters of resources could be grouped together to form an historic district.  However, the majority of resources are scattered along the old highway throughout the state.  As a result, the development of a Multiple Property Submission (MPS) Cover Document would facilitate the designation of the greatest number of resources.  Along with the MPS, a group of individual nominations or several small district nominations could be prepared. 


The following table lists the properties that the consultants believe are the best candidates for National Register listing.  These are properties that retain the greatest integrity and are important examples of the roadside businesses that once flourished on Route 66 in Missouri.  A complete list of the properties in the survey group sorted by Integrity and Condition is attached at the end of this document as Appendix E.



Inventory #   City                       Historic Name                                       Integrity         Condition

CR  001             Sullivan                   Shamrock Motel                                          little changed     excellent

CR  012             Cuba                       Delano Station/Charley’s Auto Service           little changed     excellent

FR  001             Pacific                    Monroe’s Route 66 Diner                              little changed     excellent

GR 152             Springfield               Steak ’n Shake                                            little changed     excellent

GR 162             Springfield               Dutch’s Tavern/Station/ Cabin                       little changed     excellent

JP  022             Joplin                      Royal Heights Apartments                            little changed     excellent

LA  012             Paris Springs           Paris Springs Junction Garage                      little changed     excellent

LC  007             Lebanon                  Wrink’s Food Market                                    little changed     excellent

LC  012             Lebanon                  State Highway and Transportation Building     little changed     excellent


GR 034                                           Parkaway Camp and O'Dell Station               little changed     good

GR 145             Springfield               Original Road Section                                   little changed     good

GR 153             Springfield               Tile Commercial Building                              little changed     good

JP  002c           Avilla                       Hardesty Cabin                                            little changed     good

JP  021             Webb City               902 W. Broadway Garage                             little changed     good

LA  005             Halltown                  218 Main St. Building                                   little changed     good

LA  007             Halltown                  Main St. Commercial Building                       little changed     good

LA  008             Halltown                  Main St. Service Station                               little changed     good

LA  013             Paris Springs           Gay Parita Store                                          little changed     good

LA  019             Albatross                State Route 96 Service Station                      little changed     good

LC  009             Lebanon                  Camp Joy                                                    little changed     good

LC  134             County                    Slab Bridge F772                                         little changed     good

PH  006             St. James               American Way Motor Court/ S&K Cottages    little changed     good

PH  014             Doolittle                  Doolittle Service Station                                little changed     good

SL  123             St. Louis                 Chain of Rocks Bridge - NR listing in progress little changed     good

SL  125             Times Beach           Meramec River Bridge                                  little changed     good

WB 001             Niangua                  Abbylee Court                                              little changed     good


FR  022             Stanton                   North Service Road Cabin #1-#3                    little changed     fair

GR 032             Elwood vicinity         Moore’s Filling Station and cabins                 little changed     fair

JP  028             Joplin                      2311 W. 7th St. BuildingDivine Motors           little changed     fair

LA  014             Paris Springs           Highway 266/Paris Springs Jct Garage #2      little changed     fair

LC  128             Lebanon                  Woods DX                                                   little changed     fair

LC  136             Phillipsburg             Stl-SF Railroad Underpass                            little changed     fair

PU  128             Devils Elbow            Concrete Deck/Arch Bridge (L35-1942).         little changed     fair

PU  129             Devils Elbow            Thru-Truss Bridge                                         little changed     fair

PU  130             Devils Elbow            McCoy’s Market/ Station/ Cabins                  little changed     fair

PU  140             Waynesville             Concrete Deck/ Arch Bridge (G455A-1923)     little changed     fair


JP  001             Avilla                       Log City Camp                                             little changed     poor

JP  005             Avilla                       State Route 96 Commercial Building              little changed     poor

JP  006             Avilla                       Barbato’s Garage                                         little changed     poor

JP  007             Forest Mills             State Route 96 Filling Station                        little changed     poor

PH  022             Clementine              Fisher’s Filling Station                                  little changed     poor

PU  026             Gascozark              Gascozark store                                          little changed     poor

SL  012a           Marlborough            La Casa Grand Tourist Camp (office)              little changed     poor

SL  012b           Marlborough            La Casa Grand Tourist Camp (cabins)            little changed     poor

WB 004             Niangua                  Highway CC Filling Station                            little changed     poor




Five properties identified during the Phase I survey are being nominated to the National Register as a part of the Phase II project.  These properties, which retain a high level of integrity, are:



66 Drive-In Historic District                                                  Carthage

Big Chief Cabin Hotel Office and Restaurant                    St. Louis County

Red Cedar Inn                                                                       Pacific

Rock Fountain Court Historic District                                 Springfield

Wagon Wheel Motel Historic District                                  Cuba




Cultural Landscapes and Historic Districts


In addition to individual sites, there are, along the old highway, a number of areas that appear to warrant designation as historic cultural landscapes or historic districts; many of these were identified and suggested for future evaluation in the Phase I survey.  As part of the Phase II project, landscape historian, Dr. Carol Grove, evaluated the following potential historic districts and historic landscapes.  All were revisited during Phase II and re-evaluated as to their potential eligibility under a Route 66-related historic context.  Please note: few photographs are included as documentation in this section of the survey due to the nature of rural and cultural landscapes and the impossibility of representing them by means of photography. 



Potential National Register Districts


Commercial Center at Lacquey (PU022)


Recommended for future study/designation. 


The buildings that make up the Hillcrest Groceries and Filling Station are an excellent and highly creative example of the region’s rock construction used in travel related architecture.   Tightly nestled at the corner on Route 66 and Shrine Road, the grouping is situated around a central courtyard.  The structure to the west (PU 022) has a pedimented porch with rocks placed as sculptural elements along the roofline.  Carefully selected rocks of various shape and size are used as ornamental features (note a sunburst motif in the pediment) with rocks of diminishing size (a nod to Greek perspective) as porch "columns."  Construction techniques appear to vary from building to building, creating a variety of character.  For example, in the building to the east, rocks are placed "straight in" (perpendicular to the facade plane and similar to using the header end of a brick rather than the stretcher side) to create a pattern of pointed ends on the facade.  Remnant plantings of red bud trees, lilacs and iris edge the side road; much of the front yard planting is too overgrown to identify.  Although vacant, this grouping deserves further study and consideration as part of a cultural landscape beginning at Buckhorn, or separate, on its own merit.



Route 66 in Western Missouri: In Laclede County:  South Service Road from Hazelgreen to Lebanon (LC001-LC007)


Not  recommended for future study/designation. 


This stretch of Route 66 has little to merit further consideration as a historic landscape, although there are passages of scenery that evoke the kinesthetic experience of Route 66.  For example, crossing the Gasconade River, a 180-degree view of farmland presents itself, and at Bear  Creek, one sees mature trees as windbreaks that frame fields and remnants of the grass shoulders of the original Route 66.  The closer one gets to Lebanon, there are mini-bluffs (where 66 crosses to the north over I-44) and one experiences hills in quick succession.  Between Hazelgreen and Lebanon there are a very few examples of rock architecture (presumably used as garages), but the only real reason to consider the stretch as a cultural landscape might be the cluster of buildings at the east edge of Lebanon, the Munger Moss Motel (the motor court "Here Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow"), across from what is now Starlight Lanes, Forest Manor Motel and Wrink's Food Market, although all have lost any reference to their original context, surrounded by a sea of concrete.



Route 66 in Western Missouri: In Greene, Lawrence, and Jasper Counties: Highway 266 west of intersection with AB, and Highway 96 to Carthage. (GR037 and GR038, LA001-LA015, and JP001-JP009.)


Recommended for future study/designation.  


This stretch of roadway may be a good candidate for Scenic Highway designation, and/or  National Register designation as a rural historic landscape with specific cultural landscape districts located along the route.  Field checked May, 2002, and reevaluated October, 2002.


This nearly 50-mile stretch of highway runs from the west edge of Springfield to the east edge of Carthage.  It was bypassed when Interstate 44 (south of this road) replaced Route 66 in this part of the state.  The largely rural area along this stretch of roadway does not appear to have seen significant development since the days of Route 66. 


However, some segments of this stretch (just past Spencer to Phelps, for example)  have lost integrity due to improvement of the highway (widening, gravel shoulders, considerable clearing along the road side; note also the roadside picnic area near Albatross that is “stranded” north of the highway).  As a result, the Spencer to Phelps segment retains little of the original sense of place or kinesthetic experience of Route 66.  However, several small communities, or clusters, along the route are satisfactory as cultural landscape districts within the wider context of the rural historic landscape along Route 66 from Springfield to Joplin.  For example, Paris Springs Junction, Spencer and Avilla, retain their integrity and represent commerce and community as it developed along the corridor.  One of the longest intact landscapes left along 66 in Missouri, it gains further significance from a number of individual buildings and small architectural districts along the route which appear to be eligible for listing in the National Register.  Those resources are described in the following sections.



Halltown (LA.001-010)


Not recommended for listing under the Route 66 context, although it may be a contributing element of the scenic byway described above.  Field checked May 2002, reevaluated October 2002.


Not highly intact, and many resources are in fair to poor condition.  Although this is a townscape through which Route 66 passed, the general level of integrity is not high, and it contains many buildings which pre-date the highway.



Crossroads Community at Paris Springs Junction (LA012-014)


Recommended for future study/designation.  Field checked July 2002, reevaluated October 2002.


Dating to 1855 as a manufacturing center, Paris Springs Junction (known at one time as Chalybeate Springs) also attracted visitors interested in the healing power of its local waters.   This small crossroads community includes a minimum of three intact traveler related resources from the period of significance.  Their current condition is favorable and nearly identical to that as reported in Phase I of the survey.  The surviving commercial buildings are: LA012, Paris Springs Junction Garage #1 (now a  business), ca. 1926, LA013, Gay Parita Store (now a residence) ca. 1930, and LA014, Paris Springs Junction Garage #2, (now being used for farm equipment and storage), ca. 1944.  The design and construction of the garages represent two generations of the category as it evolved over the period of significance.   The yards and interlinking spaces surrounding the properties in Paris Springs Junction (entryways, connecting fields, side roads) tie   the cluster together, including non-contributing properties (for example, the residence next to LA012).  This larger landscape, incorporating plantings from successive owners along with the properties listed in this survey, represents a typical cultural landscape of the survey period.   As a group, these properties provide an intact example of a roadside community that developed as a result of the highway’s construction, and may be eligible under National Register Criteria A and C.



Commercial District at Spencer (LA.015)


Recommended for future study/designation.  Field checked July 2002, reevaluated October 2002.


A highly intact setting!  This area is located on a bypass of Highway 96, which was part of the original Route 66 roadway.  The potential district contains a small row of three commercial buildings (LA015a-c), a ca. 1930s Craftsman style house which was classified as non-contributing in Phase I of the survey but which should be recorded and reevaluated, and a modern, non-contributing mobile home.  Potentially contributing structures and other resources include an early highway bridge (on Johnson Creek), and a stretch of pavement in front of the property which is an original, unchanged, section of Route 66.  The entire area is owned by Carl Casey and is very well maintained.  All of the resources are in good to very good condition.   On the segment of road between Paris Springs Junction and Spencer there are picturesque views, for example, near the Johnson Creek steel truss bridge, where herons can be seen standing in the shallow creekbed.  It retains the sense of place and kinesthetic experience unique to Route 66 in the narrowness of the roadbed (sections of which appear to still be extant), the sensation of enclosure created by vegetation that frames the view, and alternating curves and straightaways typical of the route. These properties combined with the wider setting have potential as a cultural landscape listing.



Tourist Court between Rescue and Plew (LA027)


Recommended for listing as part of a cultural landscape.  Evaluated October 2002.


Located on Highway 96 just before Route BB, Shadyside Camp originally operated as a cabin court with gas station and cafe.  Currently being used as a residence, it consists of five rock buildings (and one or two smaller structures used as outhouses or wellhouses).  Arranged in the typical semi-circular configuration, the establishment appears to have had single and double cabins facing the road, with a view to nature off the back of the property.  Dating from the period of significance, it is representative of the travel related amenities that sprung up along Route 66 (and near little else) to accommodate travelers.   It contributes to the cultural landscape of the section of Route 66 from Springfield to Carthage in its architecture, location and function, enhancing the experience of the route.



Commercial Center at Avilla (JP004-006)


Recommended for listing as a cultural landscape.   Field checked May 2002, reevaluated October 2002.


Avilla is located in cattle and horse breeding country, made apparent  by huge barns and signage that denote Arabian saddle horse and Charolais cattle ranches.   These, coupled with farming, appear to have been the predominant way of life in Jasper County in the early twentieth century.  A group of three resources which combine to form a typical small-town commercial streetscape exist along Route 66.  Two of the buildings are of native rock construction.  The first, originally a store or bar, incorporates quartz and possibly mica on the facade, which give the building a glittering “frosted” look in contrast to the red rock used for the side walls.  It also has irregular rock cresting ornamenting the roofline.   The second rock building, several yards to the west, is a 2-part garage with a vaulted roof on the western half.   All three buildings are relatively intact, but in poor condition, and largely vacant. The town of Avilla as it existed prior to Route 66 is represented by JP004, a ca. 1885 IOOF hall, and the nearby Methodist Church and Doric-columned post office in the block just north.  Little else has been added to this commercial district since.  More importantly, the combination of the two sets of buildings, along with the street configuration (side streets, Lamar and Short Streets and Greenfield Street parallel to Highway 96/historic Route 66) are a good example of how communities grow and adapt to circumstances that affect their cultural and financial base, in this case, the addition of a new, interstate highway.   This example of the organic growth of a town, although physically and chronologically outside of the survey limits, directly addresses the issue of what constitutes a cultural landscape.  As a consequence, Avilla should be considered a contributing element in a cultural landscape that exists along Route 66.



In Jasper County, Old 66 Bypass through Central City (JP030-JP033)


Recommended for future study/designation.  Field checked May 2002.


Another highly intact setting which includes a stretch of original roadbed.  The area contains a row of three intact historic commercial buildings, plus one small residence.  All date to the period of significance and all are visually and thematically associated with the highway.  (A fourth commercial building recorded in 1992, JP030, appears to have since been demolished.)  The surviving commercial buildings are:  JP031, Gray and Archer Filling Station, now (Paddock Liquors) ca. 1925; JP.032, Harry’s Super Station (vacant) ca. 1940, and JP.033, State Line Restaurant (now State Line Bar), ca. 1935.  A small house near the State Line Restaurant may be historically associated with one or more of the businesses.  It appears to date to the first half of the twentieth century.


This area was listed as a potential cultural landscape in Phase I of the survey.  A field check in the late spring of 2002 showed that it also contains a significant grouping of intact architectural resources, which as a group, appear to justify designation as an architectural historic district.  The setting for the district is greatly enhanced by the stretch of original roadway which runs in front of the historic buildings.  The roadway is an early segment of Route 66 which was bypassed in the 1960s.  The district is adjacent to the Kansas state line, and was in its heyday a thriving service area for travelers on the highway, especially those from Kansas, which was at the time a dry state.  This area retains a solid association with the middle part of the twentieth century and strongly evokes the period of significance.



Potential Rural Historic Landscapes


Route 66 in Western Missouri: In Phelps County: Martin Springs/Eisenhower Drive between Rolla and Doolittle. (Ph010-Ph015)


Recommended for future study, with potential as a candidate for Scenic Byway nomination, and/or National Register designation as a rural historic landscape. 


Portions of this roadway retain a strong sense of place and experience, particularly from the beginning at Martin Springs for a five mile stretch prior to the intersection at Route T and Route C (just past Grant Street).  This first half of the roadway from Rolla to Doolittle runs south of Interstate 44, and much of it is out of sight and earshot from the interstate.  Segments of this stretch are tucked into the hillside and meander past Route 66 related businesses.  The narrow roadbed tightly framed by trees and vegetation, alternating with open fields, evokes the nostalgia of an “original” Route 66 road trip.



Route 66 in Western Missouri: In Laclede and Webster Counties: Highway CC from Phillipsburg to Marshfield (WB001-WB006)


Recommended for future study/designation. 


Only the second half of this stretch of Route 66 has potential as a candidate for nomination as a historic landscape.  The segment of road in Laclede County from Phillipsburg to the Webster county line is not recommended for listing.  Although there are several examples of broad views and stretches of road representative of the Route 66 experience, they are not consistent enough to merit consideration.  Only a few buildings that suggest possible contributions to a cultural landscape category appear to fit within the period of significance of the survey (one rock garage near Phillipsburg with red beaded mortar, for example, which is in the process of being demolished).  


However, the stretch of Route 66 (County Road CC) near Niangua, starting at the Abbylee Court Motel ("among the trees") to Marshfield should be further considered as rural historic landscape.  As there are few buildings and other contributors to a cultural landscape category within that stretch of the route, the Abbylee Court Motel  should be assessed on its own merit as a historic property. (Interestingly, as a sign of changing patterns of use, the Abbylee Court Motel is located directly across from Deerfield "a restricted community ideally representing community values and standards of living"). 


The route from Niangua to Marshfield is representative of a rural historic landscape in its scenic beauty (bluffs, farmland, picturesque views and the Niangua River) combined with the experience of the roadway which is specific to Route 66.  The kinesthetic experience of the narrow roadbed and gentle curves alternating with straightaways and the strong sense of place are suggestive of many stretches of the route that make it unique.



Potential Cultural Landscapes


Route 66 in Western Missouri: In Pulaski County: Highway Z. (PU001-P.008, PU130-132.)


Recommended for future study/designation. 


This stretch of Route 66 is a certain candidate for nomination as a cultural landscape for its combination of scenic Ozark beauty with architecture and material culture indicative of the region. This short, approximately 10 mile, stretch of road travels through the hills near Hooker, east of Devil's Elbow on the Big Piney River, before continuing west to St. Robert.  The road has had two configurations. From 1926-41, the single-lane Teardrop Road traveled through Devil’s Elbow.  In 1941, the Hooker Cut was constructed which created a four-lane bypass.  This segment of road represents a historic chapter in Missouri highway construction.  Relocation of Route 66 in Pulaski County in 1941 called for a 90-foot cut through the limestone cliffs of Hooker Hill, representing the deepest single cut ever attempted on the state highway system.[143]   The cut process provided 67,000 tons of crushed aggregate used for proposed construction along the route.  Traversing this heavily traveled section of the state, this scenic route is also important as a national defense highway due to its proximity to Fort Leonard Wood. 


The bluffs of Hooker Cut reveal indigenous rock and native plants such as trumpet vine and plantain that thrive in the rocky soil. Currently, much of the wooded area along the route is covered by an invasive plant (possibly Kudzu, or grape vine), a threat to native species (and to highway departments that maintain the right-of-way) but travelers might consider this green draping of the landscape an unusual and interesting effect not often seen.  This portion of the road has a considerable length of straightaway with gentle curves that provide the opportunity for the viewer to safely enjoy the surrounding scenery.  When taking the loop through the town of Devil's Elbow, the topography dictates a change in the nature of the road, which becomes narrower, with sharp curves to accommodate the steel truss bridge over the Big Piney River and the surrounding bluffs. In general, there is an even greater sense of enclosure that reminds the visitor of the remote nature of the location.


The tiny town of Devil's Elbow is located on the river.  As a result, the twin interests of the river (fishing, float trips, canoeing) and touring by automobile merge.  The town's architecture reflects these related activities as well as housing typical community needs: cabins for fisherman and hikers, a restaurant/bar (now the Elbow Inn that provides food, darts, and canoe rental) and Shelden's Market (also the post office).  The properties of permanent residents of  Devil's Elbow have been improved and planted to reflect domesticity in contrast to the surrounding landscape of wooded, rocky terrain.  Today, as in the early years of Route 66, visitors driving through town experience the interface of culture and nature that defines a cultural landscape--both a sense of community (PU200; note frame houses with mowed lawns, drives edged with simple pole-and-concrete block edging on one side, mature trees lining the other) and a sense of Ozark wilderness (looking down the Big Piney and out over woods to bluffs in the background).  Plants in the area reflect this dual nature as well: multiflora rose, chicory and wild perilla grow near the Big Piney bridge at the junction of Tidal Road and Timber Road.  In contrast, lilacs and groupings of spirea ornament the front yards of houses in town.  After leaving the Big Piney River valley and  heading toward Hooker is a highway turnaround with a stone parapet wall constructed to facilitate  scenic viewing.


Few, if any, of the buildings in Devil's Elbow would qualify for National Register nomination on their own.  However, as a group within the context of the surrounding Ozark riverscape, they are representative of a type and define a cultural landscape typical of a small Ozark river town that can be experienced by water or by automobile via Route 66 and should be acknowledged accordingly.



Route 66 in Western Missouri: In Pulaski County: Highway 17 Buckhorn to Lacquey (PU017-PU026)


Recommended for future study/designation.  


This segment of road has potential for consideration as a cultural landscape in connection with Route 66 for its number of businesses (often housed in historic slab rock structures or barns) that evoke and promote the nostalgia associated with the route and the earlier era of automobile travel.  Examples include Buckhorn’s gambrel-roofed Whitmore Farms Restaurant (and its Ozark menu of catfish), the Hillybilly Store (junction of Highway 17) and Grandma Grizzley's Flea Market.  Historic structures dating from the heyday of Route 66 dot the route, as in the tiny shingle-sided structure and Bell Haven Court, the gas station and tourist court-turned-residence (PU02) just over a mile from Buckhorn.  This segment is bordered with stands of mature pines and oak trees, rolling hills, and a sense of enclosure (in contrast to four-lane I-44 to the north) appropriate to Route 66.  The highlight of the drive is an important cluster of rock buildings on the south side of 66 (Highway 17) at Shrine Road before Laquey.




Potential Designed Historic Landscapes


Route 66 in Eastern Missouri: In St. Louis and Franklin Counties;Henry Shaw Gardenway


Recommended for future study/designation. 


The Henry Shaw Gardenway, an approximately 35-mile stretch running from the western St. Louis city limits at Chippewa Street to the Shaw Nature Reserve (previously known as the Missouri Botanical Garden Arboretum) in Gray Summit, Franklin County, represents the ideal candidate for nomination as a designed historic landscape.  Designated in May 1933, just as this new stretch of Route 66 was nearing completion, and under the authority of  the Watson-Antire Regionway Improvement Association (a name that reflected two major roads in south St. Louis County that the route followed and later renamed the Henry Shaw Gardenway Association),  the goals of the gardenway association included roadside beautification, regulating signage, encouraging appropriate businesses and adjacent recreational facilities along the route and promoting tourism.   Headed by president Lars Peter Jensen (superintendent of the Arboretum), its members included representatives of the St. Louis County Planning Association, the Missouri State Highway Department, area mayors and representatives from the Missouri Botanical Garden.[144]  Named for  Henry Shaw, benefactor responsible for the gift of the Missouri Botanical Garden (1859) and Tower Grove Park (1872) to the citizens of St. Louis, the designation, and the subsequent improvements, were intended to honor his memory.


Landscape architect John Noyes (responsible for the redesigning of the Missouri Botanical Garden circa 1915), in collaboration with Arboretum supervisor Jensen, transformed near virgin countryside into a designed linear landscape beginning in 1934. The planting of 10,000 trees and shrubs, raised at the Arboretum nursery, represented one of the most extensive planting projects along any Missouri highway to date.  The initial labor force consisted of employees from the Missouri State Highway Department and workers from the Bureau of Homeless Men, supervised by the highway department’s landscape engineer, F. W. Sayers.  In 1935 additional landscaping, within an expanded corridor width of 200 feet, was implemented by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), under the supervision of the National Park Service.   The CCC was responsible for extensive engineering related to the landscape project, such as assessing  soil erosion, constructing dams, rechanneling streambeds, as well as additional planting of 5,000 trees in 1937.


Over time, additional enhancements have been incorporated into the natural beauty and design of the Henry Shaw Gardenway.  In particular are the Jensen Point Overlook and the Allenton Bus Stop (recently moved), both dating to 1939,  each of which should be considered for further study as candidates for National Register designation.   Jensen Point, a rustic stone and timber pavilion situated atop a bluff east of the town of Pacific and overlooking the Meramec Valley, was named in honor of the Arboretum’s supervisor (and for his work in the Gardenway Association).  The scenic overlook was the site of “Garden Day along the Garden Way,” annual parades that celebrated the examples of nature and landscape architecture at each end of the route, the Missouri Botanical Garden at one end and Jensen Point at the other. ( It was appropriately the site of Jensen’s memorial service after his death in April 1941.)  The Allenton Bus Stop, near Allenton-Six Flags Road in southwest St. Louis County, a rustic structure of rough-cut native stone, exposed wooden beams and iron-hinged shutters, is another example of function and design fit within the context of a designed linear landscape. 


Besides its contribution as a designed landscape corridor , the gardenway is important as a successful collaboration between multiple agencies and institutions: the association that guided it, the Missouri Highway Department, the CCC, National Park Service and the Missouri Botanical Garden and Arboretum.  In 1994,  a similar organization, the Henry Shaw Ozark Corridor Foundation, was formed to oversee development and protect the natural environment of Interstate 44, the highway which follows much of the original Route 66.  Like its predecessor, the Henry Shaw Ozark Corridor partnership’s mission is to protect and enhance the corridor’s natural heritage while promoting sustainable economic and community activity.[145]



Recommendations for Future Work


The Phase I and Phase II surveys have yielded a great deal of information about the number and types of resources extant on Route 66 in Missouri.  Although there are still additional resources on Route 66 in Missouri that have been identified, but not evaluated, the next phase of Route 66-related projects should focus on designation and preservation.  With that goal in mind, a Multiple Property Submission Cover Document should be prepared along with a group of individual, district or cultural landscape nominations.  National Register listing will not only recognize the significance of these properties, but also it may facilitate their preservation.  Once listed on the National Register, the property owners may apply for state and, in the case of income-producing properties, federal tax credits for rehabilitation.  In addition, scenic byways designation should be sought for the portions of the old highway mentioned in the previous section.


If additional survey is possible, the Phase III survey should focus on the evaluation of the resources that have been identified by Skip Curtis, but were not evaluated in Phase I or Phase II.  A database of these properties is being submitted along with the Phase I/Phase II survey database, and a list of these properties is included as Appendix F.  Although it is likely that future study of Route 66 in Missouri will yield additional transportation-related resources, a more in-depth evaluation of the various alignments of Route 66 in St. Louis would also undoubtedly increase the inventory of Route 66-related resources.  In addition, the extensive number of extant rock buildings along Route 66 could be used to study and delineate the various types of rock construction found throughout the Ozarks.  Although limited study of this subject has been completed, no definitive typology has been developed. 






"8000 Attend Highway 66 Celebration Sunday Completion of Concrete Slab on Highway 66 across Missouri." Rolla Herald. 1931.


American Automobile Association,  Directory of Accommodations. Washington D.C.: AAA, 1946.


Bardou, Jean-Pierre, et. al., The Automobile Revolution: The Impact of an Industry. Chapel Hill:

University of North Carolina Press, 1982.


Becker, Charles U. State of Missouri Official Manual for Years Nineteen Twenty-One and Nineteen Twenty-Two. Jefferson City: Charles U. Becker, Secretary of State, 1922.


________. State of Missouri Official Manual for the Years Nineteen Twenty-Seven and Nineteen Twenty-Eight. Jefferson City: Charles U. Becker, Secretary of State, 1928.


Belasco, Warren James. Americans on the Road: From Autocamp to Motel, 1910-1945. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: The MIT Press, 1979.


Bell, Wilson, Secretary of State.  Official Manual of the State of Missouri. Jefferson City: Mid-

State Printing Co., 1946.


________.  Official Manual of the State of Missouri for Years 1947-1948. Jefferson City: Mid State Printing Co., 1947.


Birnbaum, Charles A. and Robin Karson, eds. Pioneers of American Landscape Design. New

York: McGraw-Hill, 2000.


"Boosting Highway No. 66." Rolla Herald. 1927.


Bourne, Russell. Americans on the Move: A History of Waterways, Railways and Highways. Golden, Colorado: Fulcrum Publishing, 1995.


Bradbury, Alfred, Jr. "The Early Years of Route 66."  Newsletter of the Phelps County Historical Society., 1993.


National Map Company.  Auto Trails and Commercial Survey of the United States. Indianapolis: National Map Company, 1926.


Conoco Travel Bureau.  Conoco Travel Bureau Hotel and Cottage Camp Directory. Conoco:

USA, 1935.


Conoco Travel Bureau. Conoco Travel Bureau Denver Colorado.  Conoco: USA, 1936.


Curtis, C.H. (Skip). "Greatest Show under the Earth." Show Me Route 66 Magazine. Summer 1997.


Curtis, C.H. (Skip).  The Missouri US 66 Tour Book.  Lake St. Louis: Curtis Enterprises, 1994.


Curtis, Skip. “Just Call me Wrink.” Show Me Route 66 Magazine. Spring 1999.


Curtis, Skip. "Tucker Hill Cut." Show Me Route 66 Magazine. Summer 1997.


"Curves Will Be Straightened on U.S. Highway 66." Marshfield Mail, August 1 1935.


"Directory of Motor Courts and Cottages." Washington, D.C.: American Automobile Association, 1939.


“Drive-In theater’s Steel Tower.” Carthage Evening Press. September 3, 1949.


Goetcheus, Cari.  "Cultural Landscapes and the National Register." Cultural Resources

Management. No. 1, 2002.


“The Great American Roadside.” Fortune, September, 1954.


E-Z-Way Travel Guide: Highway 66: Chicago to Santa Monica.  Tulsa, OK: Mainstreet

Publications, 1947.


Jakle, John. A and Keith A. Sculle. Fast Food: Roadside Restaurants in the Automobile Age.

Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.


_________. The Gas Station in America. Baltimore and London: The

Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.


Jakle et al. The Motel in America.  Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996.


James, Edwin W. "Making and Unmaking a System of Marked Routes." American Highways. 1933.


Johnson, Maura. Architectural/Historic Survey of Route 66 in Missouri. St. Louis: Route 66 Association of Missouri, 1993. Summary Report.


Johnson, Maura. Architectural/Historic Inventory Form, JP.014 “66 Drive-In Theater.” 1993 

(Copy on file with the State Historic Preservation Office, Jefferson City, MO)


Johnson, Maura. Architectural/Historic Inventory Form, SL.019 “Red Cedar Inn.” 1993  (Copy on

file with the State Historic Preservation Office, Jefferson City, MO)


Kelly, Quinta Scott and Susan Croce. Route 66 - the Highway and Its People. Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press, 1988.


Lehman, Ramona. "The Munger Moss." Show Me Route 66 Magazine. Spring 1999.


Liebs, Chester H. Main Street to Miracle Mile:  American Roadside Architecture. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985.


Logan, Irv, Jr. "...Money Couldn't Buy." In The Birthplace of Route 66: Springfield, MO. ed. C.H. (Skip) Curtis, Springfield, MO: Curtis Enterprises, 2001.


Margolies, John.  Home Away From Home: Motels in America. Boston: Bulfinch Press, 1995.


Melnick, Robert Z. "Preserving Cultural and Historic Landscapes: Developing Standards." CRM

Bulletin. Vol. 3, no.1, March 1980.


The Men and the Early Years. 1962 Annual Report. Jefferson City: Missouri State Highway Commission, 1962.


Missouri Highways - the First 200 Years, 1966 Annual Report. Jefferson City: Missouri State Highway Commission, 1966.


Missouri Highways - the Years Between. 1967 Annual Report. Jefferson City: Missouri State Highway Commission, 1967.


Missouri State Highway Commission. Roads & Their Builders. Jefferson City, MO: Missouri State Highway Commission, n.d.


Murphy, M. J. "Ten Week-End Tours from St. Louis: Week End Trip No. 5." Apropos, July 1921.


Paxson, Frederic L. "The Highway Movement, 1916-1935." The American Historical Review. Vol. 51, no. 2, 1946.


Powell, James R. "The History of U.S. Highway 66 in St. Louis." Show Me Route 66 Magazine. Winter 1996.


________. "Birthplace of Route 66." Show Me Route 66 Magazine. Fall 2001.


________. "Route 66 Timeline - with an Emphasis on Missouri." Show Me Route 66 Magazine. Fall 2001.


________. "The U.S. Numbered Highway System." Show Me Route 66 Magazine. Fall 2001.


Rae, John B. The Road and the Car in Amercian Life. Cambridge, MA and London, England: The MIT Press, 1971.


“Red Cedar Inn Restaurant, Proudly Serving Travelers Since 1934,” (Historical Pamphlet

produced by the Red Cedar Inn, Pacific, MO) 2002.


“Restaurant.” Encyclopedia Britannica CD Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. 1999.


Rittenhouse, Jack D.  A Guide Book to Highway 66.  Albuquerque: University of New Mexico

Press, 1946.


Rolla Herald, September 18, 1941.


Rose, Albert C. Historic American Roads: From Frontier Trails to Superhighways. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1976.


"Route 66 Bridges of St. Louis." Show Me Route 66 Magazine. Winter 1996.


Scott, Quinta.  Along Route 66.  Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2000.


Shell Tourist Accommodation Directory.  Shell Petroleum Corporation, 1938.


Shell Tourist Accommodation Directory.  Shell Petroleum Corporation, 1939.


Spears-Stewart, Reta.  Route 66 Rail Haven: An Offspring of the “Mother Road."  Springfield,

MO: Barnabas Publishing Services, 1999.


Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. New York: Penguin Books, 1981.


U. S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. America's Highways 1776-1976. Washington, D.C.: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1976.


Wallis, Michael.  Route 66: The Mother Road.  New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990.


Walmsley, H. R., ed. The State of Missouri Book. Kansas City: Lewis Printing Co., 1932.


Weingroff, Richard F. "For the Common Good: The 85th Anniversary of a Historic Partnership." Public Roads. March/April 2001.


Williams, Walter, ed. The State of Missouri:  An Autobiography. Columbia: Press of E.W. Stephens, 1904.


Williams, Walter, and Floyd Calvin Shoemaker. Missouri Mother of the West. Vol. 2. 5 vols. Chicago and New York: The American Historical Society, Inc., 1930.


Wood, Martha May. "Early Roads in Missouri." M.A., University of Missouri, 1936.


Workers of the Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration. Missouri:  The WPA Guide to the "Show Me" State. St. Louis: Missouri Historical Society Press, 1986.





Appendix A


Sample Inventory Form




Appendix B


Chronology of Route 66 with an Emphasis on Missouri





Appendix C


Master List of Surveyed Properties


Sorted by Inventory Number




Appendix D


Master List of Surveyed Properties


Sorted by Property Type




Appendix E


Master List of Surveyed Properties


Sorted by Integrity and Current Condition





Appendix F


Inventory of Properties Identified for Future Study


"Skip Curtis List"





Appendix G



Glossary of Landscape Terminology





·        Cultural Landscape: The interface of nature and culture; evidence of human activity within the context of landscape.  An evolving entity, changing (fluid) rather than stationary (static), which may be from various periods in history.  May include cities, towns or spaces linked along an axis (such as a road like Route 66) that incorporate clusters of buildings (and evidence of other human processes) within the wider setting.


·        Designed Historic Landscape: A site or area that dates to an earlier period in history which has been designed by an architect, landscape architect or other professional based on plans that combine design aesthetics and function as dual concerns.   Examples include parks, gardens, public spaces, civic designs, parkways, grounds designed for outdoor recreation such as country clubs and stadiums.


·        Kinesthetic Experience: The experience and sensation of moving into and through the landscape.


·        Linear Landscape: A combination of the roadbed, the land it covers, and the edges where they meet combined with the buildings, structures, objects along the road.  A rural or cultural landscape organized along a road.


·        Rural Historic Landscape: Primarily countryside including woods, rivers, fields, bluffs, etc., with a low incidence of human process, that dates to an earlier period in history.  


·        Straightaway: A straight segment of road that gives the traveler the sensation of freedom associated with speed; often bracketed by road segments of a different nature, for example sharp curves that enhance the experience.


·        View (or Viewshed): The vista, scenery or panorama seen from a fixed point, or from along an axis such as road or path, as perceived by an observer.   


[1] Maura Johnson, Architectural/Historic Survey of Route 66 in Missouri. (St. Louis: Route 66 Association of Missouri, 1993), Summary Report., p. 1.

[2] Workers of the Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration, Missouri:  The WPA Guide to the "Show Me" State. (St. Louis: Missouri Historical Society Press, 1986), p. 98.

[3] Missouri State Highway Commission, Roads & Their Builders. (Jefferson City, MO: Missouri State Highway Commission, n.d.) p. 9.

[4] Martha May Wood, “Early Roads in Missouri.” (M.A., University of Missouri, 1936), Map No. II.

[5] Missouri Highways - the First 200 Years, 1966 Annual Report. (Jefferson City: Missouri State Highway Commission, 1966).

[6] Missouri State Highway Commission, p. 12.

[7] Wood, p. 47.

[8] Missouri State Highway Commission, p. 14-15.

[9] Ibid, p. 21.

[10] Missouri Highways - the First 200 Years, 1966 Annual Report. (Jefferson City: Missouri State Highway Commission, 1966), p. 23.

[11] Wood, p. 75-76.

[12] U. S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, America's Highways 1776-1976. (Washington, D.C.: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1976), p. 17.

[13] Ibid, pp. 19-23.

[14] Walter Williams and Floyd Calvin Shoemaker, Missouri: Mother of the West. 5 vol., vol. 2, (Chicago and New York: The American Historical Society, Inc., 1930), p. 601-602.

[15] Wood, p. 84.

[16] Missouri State Highway Commission, p. 32.

[17] Workers of the Writers' Program of the Work Projects Administration, Missouri:  The WPA Guide to the "Show Me" State. (St. Louis: Missouri Historical Society Press, 1986), p. 100.

[18] Williams and Floyd Calvin Shoemaker, p. 367.

[19] U. S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, p. 32.

[20] Williams and Floyd Calvin Shoemaker, p. 367.

[21] Walter Williams, ed., The State of Missouri:  An Autobiography. (Columbia: Press of E.W. Stephens, 1904), p. 195.

[22] John B. Rae, The Road and the Car in Amercian Life. (Cambridge, MA and London, England: The MIT Press, 1971), p. 26.

[23] U. S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, p. 37.

[24] Rae, p. 27.

[25] U. S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, p. 42.

[26] Russell Bourne, Americans on the Move: A History of Waterways, Railways and Highways. (Golden, Colorado: Fulcrum Publishing, 1995), p. 112.

[27] U. S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, p. 42.

[28] H. R. Walmsley, ed., The State of Missouri Book. (Kansas City: Lewis Printing Co., 1932), p. 205.

[29] Missouri State Highway Commission, p. 47.

[30] U. S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, p. 43, 48.

[31] Ibid, p. 49.

[32] Richard F. Weingroff, "For the Common Good: The 85th Anniversary of a Historic Partnership," Public Roads. March/April 2001, from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration website,

[33] Albert C. Rose, Historic American Roads: From Frontier Trails to Superhighways. (New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1976), p. 98.

[34] Ibid, p. 44.

[35] Quinta Scott and Susan Croce Kelly, Route 66 - the Highway and Its People. (Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press, 1988), p. 8.

[36] Ibid, p. 9.

[37] Ibid, p. 108.

[38] "Missouri Highways - the Years Between," (Jefferson City: Missouri State Highway Commission, 1967), Annual Report. p. 5.

[39] "The Men and the Early Years," (Jefferson City: Missouri State Highway Commission, 1962), Annual Report. p. 38.

[40] Ibid, p. 39.

[41] "Missouri Highways - the Years Between," p. 42.

[42] "The Men and the Early Years," p. 39.

[43] Charles U. Becker, State of Missouri Official Manual for Years Nineteen Twenty-One and Nineteen Twenty-Two. (Jefferson City: Charles U. Becker, Secretary of State, 1922), p. 845.

[44] U. S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, p. 113.

[45] John L. Sullivan, Official Manual of the State of Missouri for Years 1919-1920. (Jefferson City: John L. Sullivan, Secretary of State, 1920), p. 193.

[46] Edwin W. James, "Making and Unmaking a System of Marked Routes," American Highways. (1933), p. 16.

[47] James R. Powell, "Route 66 Timeline - with an Emphasis on Missouri," Show Me Route 66 Magazine. Fall 2001, p. 4.

[48] National Map Company, Auto Trails and Commercial Survey of the United States. (Indianapolis: National Map Company, 1926), p. 114.

[49] M. J. Murphy, "Ten Week-End Tours from St. Louis: Week End Trip No. 5," Apropos. July 1921, p. 61.

[50] Kelly, p. 25.

[51] Ibid, p. 5.

[52] Kelly, p. 7.

[53] James R. Powell, "The U.S. Numbered Highway System," Show Me Route 66 Magazine Vol. 12, No. 4, Fall 2001, p. 19.

[54] Ibid, p. 14.

[55] James R. Powell, "Birthplace of Route 66," Show Me Route 66 Magazine. Vol. 12, No. 4, Fall 2001, p. 25.

[56] Kelly, p. 15.

[57] Powell, "Birthplace of Route 66," p. 26.

[58] Powell, "Route 66 Timeline - with an Emphasis on Missouri," p. 8.

[59] Charles U. Becker, State of Missouri Official Manual for the Years Nineteen Twenty-Seven and Nineteen Twenty-Eight. (Jefferson City: Charles U. Becker, Secretary of State, 1928), p. 608.

[60] "Commence Paving 66," Rolla Herald. June 13 1929, p. 1.

[61] Skip Curtis, "Tucker Hill Cut," Show Me Route 66 Magazine. Summer 1997, p. 17.

[62] HAER Inventory No. STL018 by Clayton B. Fraser, 1994 and "Route 66 Bridges of St. Louis," Show Me Route 66 Magazine. Winter 1996.

[63] Powell, "Route 66 Timeline - with an Emphasis on Missouri," p. 9.

[64] Kelly, p. 32.

[65] Ibid., p. 24.

[66] "Boosting Highway No. 66," Rolla Herald. May 19, 1927, p. 1.

[67] "8000 Attend Highway 66 Celebration Sunday Completion of Concrete Slab on Highway 66 across Missouri," Rolla Herald. March 19, 1931, pp. 1,4.

[68] Kelly, p. 163.

[69] Michael Wallis, Route 66: The Mother Road. (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990), p. 13.

[70] Alfred Bradbury, Jr., "The Early Years of Route 66," Newsletter of the Phelps County Historical Society. (1993), p. 6.

[71] Chester H. Liebs, Main Street to Miracle Mile:  American Roadside Architecture. (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985), p. 5.

[72] Ibid, p. 99.

[73] Directory of Motor Courts and Cottages, (Washington, D.C.: American Automobile Association, 1939), p. 88.

[74] John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath. (New York: Penguin Books, 1981), p. 128.

[75] Interview with Glenn Johnson in Kelly, p. 62.

[76] Warren James Belasco, Americans on the Road: From Autocamp to Motel, 1910-1945. (Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: The MIT Press, 1979), p. 155.

[77] Frederic L. Paxson, "The Highway Movement, 1916-1935," The American Historical Review. 51, no. 2 (1946), p. 248.

[78] Wilson Bell, Official Manual of the State of Missouri for Years 1947-1948. (Jefferson City: Mid State Printing Co., 1947), p. 827.

[79] U. S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, p. 142-143.

[80] This section of Route 66, now known as County Route Z, is one of the most intact sections of Route 66 in Missouri and appears to be eligible for listing on the National Register.

[81] Rolla Herald. September 18, 1941, p. 1.

[82] Powell, "Route 66 Timeline - with an Emphasis on Missouri," p. 11.

[83] "Curves Will Be Straightened on U.S. Highway 66," Marshfield Mail. August 1, 1935.

[84] James R. Powell, "The History of U.S. Highway 66 in St. Louis," Show Me Route 66 Magazine. Winter 1996, p. 19.

[85] This description appeared with a photo of the interchange on the back cover of Show Me Route 66 Magazine, Vol. 8, No. 4, Winter 1996.

[86] U. S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, p. 152.

[87] Liebs, p. 105.

[88] Ibid., p. 179.

[89] Belasco, p. 152.

[90] Irv Logan, Jr., "...Money Couldn't Buy," in The Birthplace of Route 66: Springfield, MO. ed. C.H. (Skip) Curtis (Springfield, MO: Curtis Enterprises, 2001), p. 31.

[91] Ibid.

[92] Liebs, p. 208.

[93] Kelly, p. 65.

[94] C.H. (Skip) Curtis, "Greatest Show under the Earth," Show Me Route 66 Magazine. Summer 1997, p. 11.

[95] Kelly, p. 168.

[96] Ramona Lehman, "The Munger Moss," Show Me Route 66 Magazine. Spring 1999 and Kelly, p. 150-153.

[97] Michael Wallis, Route 66 - The Mother Road.  (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990), p. 9-15.

[98] Powell, "Route 66 Timeline - with an Emphasis on Missouri," p. 13.

[99] The seven property types identified the Phase I Survey Report were: Garage/Filling Station, Cottage Courts, Tourist Homes, Hotels and Motels, Restaurants, Cafes and Roadside Stands, Stores and Curio Shops, Landscape Resources, Other, and Historic and Cultural Landscape Districts.

[100] The Edwin Long building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.

[101] Chester H. Liebs, Main Street to Miracle Mile: American Roadside Architecture. (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995), p. 182.

[102] John A Jakle et al., The Motel in America. (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 79 and 150.

[103] Henry End, Interiors Book of Hotels & Motor Hotels. (New York: Whitney Library of Design, 1963), p. 3.

[104] Arthur White, Palaces of the People: A Social History of Commercial Hospitality. (New York: Taplinger Publishing Company, 1968), p. 129.

[105] End, p. 2.

[106] End, p. 5.

[107] Liebs, p. 170.

[108] John A Jakle et al., The Motel in America. (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 33-36.

[109] John Margolies, Home Away From Home: Motels in America. (Boston: Bulfinch Press, 1995), pp. 32-36.

[110] Conoco Travel Bureau, Conoco Travel Bureau Hotel and Cottage Camp Directory. (Conoco: USA, 1935), pp. 42-49.

[111] Margolies, p. 68.

[112] Liebs, p. 183.

[113] Quoted in Liebs, p. 184.

[114] Liebs, p. 184.

[115] Daniel L. Vieyra, “Gas Stations,” in Built in the U.S.A. (Washington, D.C.: Preservation Press, 1985) pp. 86-89.

[116] Wilson Bell, Secretary of State, Official Manual of the State of Missouri. (Jefferson City: Mid-State Printing Co., 1946), p. 827.

[117] Jean-Pierre Bardou et. al., The Automobile Revolution: The Impact of an Industry. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1982), pp. 112-113.

[118] Vieyra, p. 86.

[119] John A. Jakle and Keith A. Sculle, The Gas Station in America. (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994), pp. 134-137.

[120] Jakle and Sculle, p. 39.

[121] Jakle and Sculle, p. 131.

[122] This evolution is nicely summarized by Jakle and Sculle in The Gas Station in America.

[123] Jakle and Sculle, p. 144.

[124] Jakle and Sculle, p. 146.

[125] John. A Jakle and Keith A. Sculle, Fast Food: Roadside Restaurants in the Automobile Age. (Baltimore:  The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), p. 19.

[126] “Restaurant,” Encyclopedia Britannica CD. (Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. 1999.)

[127] Liebs, p. 193.

[128] Jakle and Sculle, Fast Food, p. 42.

[129] Jakle and Sculle, Fast Food, p. 54.

[130] Jakle and Sculle, Fast Food, p. 49.

[131] Ibid.

[132] “The Great American Roadside,” Fortune. September 1954, p. 54.

[133] H. R. Walmsley, ed., The State of Missouri. (Kansas City: Lewis Printing Co., 1932), p. 206

[134] Liebs, pp. 118-121.

[135] Skip Curtis, “Just Call me Wrink,” Show Me Route 66. Spring 1999, p. 8.

[136] Walmsley, p. 206.

[137] Liebs, pp. 152-155.