Route 66 in the News
Route 66 in the Ozarks
CARTHAGE, Mo. - Jasper County, including Carthage and the surrounding area, is prominently included in a new book “Route 66 in the Missouri Ozarks.”
Written by Joe Sonderman, a St. Louis radio personality and traffic reporter, the book picks up the journey of the Mother Road west where its companion book, “Route 66 in St. Louis,” leaves off.
The book is a compilation of photos and postcards of points of interest on Route 66 that runs through eight counties -- Crawford, Phelps, Pulaski, Laclede, Webster, Green, Lawrence and Jasper. Some of the points of interest are still standing or operating, while some are only memories.
According to his bio, Sonderman “fell in love with the Ozarks and with Route 66 during childhood vacations to Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks." His Web site includes more than 5,000 vintage images of Route 66. Sonderman has assembled hundreds of postcard views from his collection and archival images, some never before published. Together, they show what a journey through the heartland was like when getting there was half the fun.
Highlights of “Route66 in the Missouri Ozarks” include:
- Detailed descriptions of most places, including ownership, history and often what is located on the site today;
- Many of the photos are from the author’s private collection of postcards and images from the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) archives, many of which have never been published;
- Instructions on driving Route 66 today.
According to the book's description, “this book will take the traveler from Crawford County to the Kansas line. Along the way, there are small towns and urban centers, hotels and motels, cafes and souvenir stands. Take the time to explore Missouri’s Route 66 -- it is waiting at the next exit.”
Some of the Carthage photos included in the book are:
- White’s Court at the east junction of U.S. Highways 66 and 71. It started out as a café and gas station in 1927. It is now the Red Rock Apartments.
- The Buster Brown Inn. The building still stands across from the Red Rock Apartments on the east side of Kellogg Lake.
- The Lake Shore Motel advertised excellent fishing on Kellogg Lake. It is now the Best Budget Inn.
- The Kel-Lake Motel, across from Kellogg Lake, was a recommended motel by AAA. It is still in business today.
- The C&W Café opened in 1935 on the north side of the square and later moved to the east side.
- Of course, the Jasper County Courthouse is mentioned in the book.
- Red’s Café was opened at the corner of Central and Garrison in 1941. Whatever kind of meat customers left on their plate would be mashed together and served again as the house special meatloaf.
- One of the most famous landmarks on Route 66 was the Boots Court Motel. It was built at the intersection of 66 and 71 (Garrison and Central) in 1930. Clark Gable once stayed in room number six. The motel has been converted to apartments.
- The Boots Drive-In and Gift Shop opened in 1946 across the Street from the Boots Court. It is now the Great Plains Credit Union.
- The 66 Drive-in opened in 1949 then closed in 1985 to become a salvage yard. It reopened in 1997 and is the only survivor of six drive-ins that once bore the 66 name.
Several Joplin and Webb City points of interest also are in the book, including, The Ozark Motel, The Twin Oaks Court at Range Line and 4th Street; The Keystone Hotel at Fourth and Main streets; Bob Miller’s Restaurant, The Elms Motel at the corner of Range Line and 7th Street; and the Little Kings Hotel Court where one could pick up information about the famous “Spook Light.”
The book is published by Arcadia Publishing.
~Buzz Ball, Carthage Press