Author Seeks Information for Route 66 Encyclopedia & Atlas

July 31, 2010

by Jim Hinkley

My goal with this project is to chronicle the first 85 years of Route 66 history, to preserve it for future generations, and to further fuel the resurgent interest in the highway.

To ensure this work is historically correct, provides a comprehensive overview of Route 66, and is as current as possible, I am petitioning historic societies, museums, businesses, and Route 66 organizations for assistance in the form of suggestions for material to be included, contact information, historic information, and information pertaining to the acquisition of material to be used as illustrations.

General topics for inclusion:

1)      Community profile – a profile of each community on all alignments of Route 66.

2)      Biographies – concise biographical sketches of individuals that have played key roles in the roads history. Examples; Bob Waldmire, Cyrus Avery, Michael Wallis, etc.

3)      Notable events that are directly associated with Route 66 or its predecessor auto trails such as the National Old Trails Highway or Ozark Trail. Examples; the Desert Classic automobile races 1908 – 1914, the Bunion Derby, etc.

4)      Predecessor highway history – the National Old Trails Highway, Ozark Trail, etc.

5)      Current businesses and their history – this category would be historic or new businesses such as Pops in Arcadia and Afton Station in Afton.

6)      Historic businesses now closed – examples for this category would include the Painted Desert Trading Post and Coral Court Motel.

7)      Route 66 entertainment – television shows and movies filmed on Route 66 or locations that were used in these films.

8)      Personal stories – short stories of personal experiences on Route 66 that will serve to illustrate its evolution.

Thank you for the assistance.

Contact information:

Jim Hinkley

1308 Stockton Hill Rd.

Suite A, PMB 228

Kingman, AZ 86401-5190


Voyageur Press/Quayside Publishing – publisher

Text and photography by Jim Hinckley, author of Ghost Towns of the Southwest, Backroads of Arizona, Route 66 Backroads, The Big Book of Car Culture, Ghost Towns of Route 66 (fall 2010), and contributor for the compilation Greetings from Route 66 (fall 2010).

New Book About Route 66 in St. Louis Now Available on Friends of the Mother Road Web Site

July 31, 2010

by Kip Welborn

Things to Look for On Route 66 in St. Louis

Things to Look for On Route 66 in St. Louis

Our organization is offering for sale a book I penned called “Things to Look for On Route 66 in St. Louis.” It is a book that I hope will guide you down the many alignments that Route 66 takes through the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County-from the Illinois suburbs on the “Eastside” to the Franklin County Line (and will hopefully compliment the new signs that you will find cruising Route 66 in St. Louis courtesy of the Route 66 Association of Missouri). It also points out various “places to look out for” while you are cruising the different alignments, as well as other tidbits about Route 66 in St. Louis. The Book is divided up into the “Salisbury” alignment (which crossed the McKinley Bridge), the “Chouteau” alignment (which crossed the Municipal/MacArthur Bridge); the “Official/Bypass Route” (which crossed the Chain of Rocks Bridge and went around St. Louis); the “City” Route (which crossed the Chain of Rocks and Municipal/MacArthur Bridges and went through the City of St. Louis.); and the later Routes which crossed the Veterans and Poplar St. Bridges. While not every twist and turn in these alignments is covered, you will hopefully see not only most of Route 66 in St. Louis but also a lot of what this great City has to offer.

The book sells for $10.00. Mailing costs are an additional $2.25. A couple of bucks will go towards putting the book together, and the rest will go to Friends of the Mother Road, Inc. for preservation efforts (including its efforts to preserve the Luna Motel Sign in Mitchell, IL). It is in black and white and bound so that it is easy to flip the pages while you are cruising.

Here’s a chance to figure out Route 66 in St. Louis and how to help icons on our Beloved Mother Road all at once. Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery.

Friends of the Mother Road, Inc., thanks you for your patronage and your contribution to its preservation work….Kip Welborn, Friends of the Mother Road, Inc.

Visit web site to buy

Governor Nixon’s tax credit commission criticized as lacking enough representation of people who know economic benefits of Historic Tax Credits

July 24, 2010

Following is a press release from the Missouri Coalition for Historic Preservation
and Economic Development:

“July 22, 2010 Governor Jay Nixon released his plans for creating a commission to perform a review of the state tax credit programs yesterday. The Missouri Coalition for Historic Preservation and Economic Development (MCHPED) spokesperson Deb Sheals, stated, “We are concerned that the Governor’s commission does not appear to have enough representation from people and organizations that are familiar with the dramatic impact the Historic Tax Credit has had in the production of jobs and economic development across Missouri. There are, for example, no representatives from small main street organizations, community development organizations, or historic preservation organizations, all of whom have firsthand experience in how well the program works for the average citizen. Missouri leads the nation in economic development from the historic tax credit, and any commission that is looking at this issue should include more members that are familiar with how it works.”
It also appears that the members chosen for the commission mirror a previous effort taken midway through the 2010 legislative session to pit education vs. development and redevelopment in communities throughout the state. This is not an either-or situation; economic development through historic preservation creates a stronger tax base and is therefore a benefit to education.
The State Historic Tax Program is a proven economic engine. Historic Tax Credits create jobs, encourage environmentally sensitive redevelopment, and long term revenue sustainability for the state of Missouri. Since 2000, historic tax credits have
generated more than $669 million dollars in revenue for the state and local governments while creating 43,150 new and retained jobs with an average salary of $42,732. The Governor’s attacks are creating industry-wide uncertainty and have crippled the effectiveness of the program as an economic stimulus.
MCHPED looks forward to once again demonstrating the tremendous state and community benefits generated by the Historic Tax Credit Program.”

Fit and Healthy on Route 66: Sunset Greenway

July 19, 2010

Trailhead at Old St. Ferdinand Shrine

The Sunset Greenway in Florissant, Missouri is a biking and walking trail that runs for three miles from Old St. Ferdinand Shrine to Sunset Park on the banks of the Missouri River. No, the trail is not right on Route 66, nor does it cross Route 66, but the trailhead at the Shrine is only a short detour off of the Route 66 Bypass (was Route 66 from 1936-1955) in North St. Louis County.

To get to the trailhead, from either I-270 or Dunn Road, exit onto Hanley/Graham Rd. and head north. After you cross Washington Street, the name of the road you’re on changes to St. Ferdinand. Turn left on St. Francois, and park at the shrine. While you’re there, if you want to tour the shrine, you can contact them in advance and make an appointment. The church building dates to 1821, and St. Rose Phillipine Duschene, cannonized by the Roman Catholic Church in 1988, lived and worked here.

This area is historically significant, but is also special to me personally because I grew up in a neighborhood just to the south and rode my bike countless times to the shrine, Coldwater Commons Park adjacent to it on the north side, and Knights of Columbus Park on the southwest side. Knights of Columbus Park is the site of the Valley of Flowers festival. I can’t begin to tell you how exciting it was hear the noise of the rides from home when I was a kid. The walk up there to the festival seemed to take forever back then!

Ramp Under Lindbergh Blvd.

At the beginning of your ride, you’ll be alongside Coldwater Creek, which eventually empties into the Missouri River at Fort Belle Fontaine Park, a very interesting place in itself with a beautiful hiking trail and imposing and unusual WPA-era architecture. You’ll pass under Lindbergh Blvd. via a neat ramp and enter St. Ferdinand Park, where you’ll cross Coldwater Creek and enter a brief area of suburban backyards. Water is available at St. Ferdinand Park, Sunset Park, and two spots along the trail in between so if you forget your water bottle like I did on one occasion, it need not spoil your ride. After you cross Patterson Road, you’ll follow large power line towers along a wide grassy area on a gently meandering asphalt trail all the way to Sunset Park. There are attractive flowering plantings along the way which do a nice job of softening what could be a fairly stark landscape. Some of the local residents have gardens on both sides of the trail. As you approach Sunset Park, you will be on a long slow uphill climb, which is the only part of this ride that is at all challenging. Just think of how much fun it will be on the way down!

View of the Missouri River from Sunset Park

View of the Missouri River from Sunset Park

This route was a favorite of mine for bike rides when I was in eighth grade and high school, but the trail was not there then and I had to use the road which has no shoulder. The trail makes the route a lot more fun now! Once at Sunset Park, you’ll be rewarded with views of the majestic Missouri River. There is a new section of trail under construction in a area where we used to go as kids, but we had to bushwhack then because there was no trail. It will be interesting to see what that new section is like when it’s done.

When you get back to the shrine, you might consider taking in some of the other historic sites in Old Town Florissant – it’s a great area to explore on foot. There are many beautiful and historic homes here, including Casa Alvarez, circa 1790, which is the only structure in the St. Louis metro area that remains from the days of Spanish rule.

Route 66 Association of Missouri Welcomes New Business Members

July 17, 2010

We welcome the following new business members and thank them for their support:

Rack it Billiards & Pub, LLC – Buffalo

Florissant Valley Historical Society – Florissant

The Chappel House – Florissant

White Auto Body, Inc. – Florissant

News/Talk FM 102.9 / AM 1310 KZRG – Joplin

KC Obsolete Parts LLC – Miller

Gascozark Trading Post & Flea Market – Richland

First Baptist Church, 525 South Avenue – Springfield

Mexican Villa El Taco – Springfield

Schmidt Auto Center – Sullivan

Mason Dixon Flea Market – Union

Sunset Motel – Villa Ridge

Legends of America – Warsaw

Superdawg drive-in – Wheeling, Illinois

Waylan’s Ku-Ku Burger – Miami, Oklahoma

Rt 66 Frame Shoppe and Gallery – Sapulpa, Oklahoma

Please patronize the business members that support what we do. Here is a link to the complete list:
Route 66 Association of Missouri Business Members

Fit and Healthy on Route 66: Kaintuck Hollow Trail

July 13, 2010
Zeno's in Rolla

Impromptu mini Chrysler convention at Zeno's

On Saturday July 10, the Route 66 Association of Missouri held a meeting in Richland at The Cave Restaurant and Resort. Any time we have a meeting that is anywhere near Rolla, several of us end up staying the night at Zeno’s and making a weekend out of it. I was in the mood to actually get my mountain bike dirty for a change, so I consulted my copy of the book Show Me Mountain Biking to see if there were any suitable trails near Rolla. I decided to try the Kaintuck Hollow Trail in Mark Twain National Forest, near Newburg. I printed out a forest service map to take with me since the network of trails looked like it might be challenging to navigate without getting lost.

Breakfast from Cookin' from Scratch

Robert at Cookin' from Scratch. Quinn and Natalie in the background.

On Sunday morning, after mass at St. Patrick’s and a hearty and delicious breakfast at Cookin’ From Scratch in Doolitle, my brother Larry and I headed for the trail. Since Larry does not have a mountain bike, the plan was to park at the second parking area past the Mill Creek Recreation Area and for Larry to walk part of the way while I biked on ahead of him. He had brought a book to read while waiting for my return, and the first parking area looked like a much more pleasant place to rest and read a book, so when he was done walking he moved my Jeep to the first parking area.

Kaintuck Hollow Trail Map

Here is a scan of the forest service map marked in yellow to show the (probable) route I ended up taking. Click on the thumbnail to see a larger image.


Butterflies were abundant on the trail

I encountered water on the trail right away. I’m not afraid to get my mountain bike wet, but some of the water was muddy so I walked the bike through to avoid splashing myself with muddy water. The first segment on the Cedar trail was lovely, a nice easy ride with wildflowers all around. That soon changed when I turned onto the Squirrel trail and started to climb uphill. I don’t mind admitting that this portion was WAY beyond my ability and I walked the bike uphill. I don’t see how anyone could ride a bike up this part – the trail here was mostly washed out ruts with fist sized rocks and loose gravel. But apparently people do – I saw some red paint on a rock from someone wiping out, I presume. Even walking the bike up was not easy.

Pine and Oak forest

Pine and Oak forest

Once on top of the ridge, the trail became quite rideable and lots of fun. The terrain here was mostly hard packed dirt or small gravel with an occasional rock through open glades, oak forest and pine forest.There was occasional sand and mud and frequent fallen branches which for the most part I could ride right over. I had to dismount a few times to get the bike over a log. Occasionally there was a trail marker where two paths met – the trail markers here have little graphical icons indicating what section you’re on, such as an Acorn or a Deer Track – but all the intersections I came across were not marked so for much of the time I was not really sure where I was.

When I started to descend from the ridge, I thought I was on the Redbird trail and I planned to meet the road at the bottom and take it back to the Mill Creek Recreation Area where the Jeep was parked. The long ride down was a highlight of the ride. The trail was not so steep that I feared for life and limb, but steep enough to be challenging and fun. It was necessary to steer very carefully to avoid large rocks and ruts and other hazards, and to avoid building up too much speed. My legs sure appreciated the rest! I was dismayed however when I got to the bottom – there was a trail marker there and it did not look like a Redbird – it looked more like a Grouse! I was on the opposite side of the ridge from where I wanted to be. But at least I knew where I was.

Mill Creek

Mist over Mill Creek

I decided to head for the nearest road and take it back to the parking area even though it was the long way around – ascending that ridge again was too exhausting to contemplate! My dismay soon turned to delight at the interesting scenery around me. There was old silo covered with vines and graffiti and a low water bridge crossing beautiful Mill Creek – this time I rode through the shallow water with no trouble. A mysterious mist hovered over the stream, leading me to believe that Wilkins Spring, which I knew was close from the map, was feeding into the stream nearby.

Artesian Well

Artesian well at Mill Creek Recreation Area

I soon found the road and was back at the parking site much more quickly than I expected. There is an artesian well here with a spigot from which you can get cold, potable water. I got a towel out of the Jeep and made a beeline to the well to wash the sweat, dirt and spiderwebs off of my weary limbs and face. Ahh! I refilled my water bottles and relieved my thirst with the delicious spring water. The three water bottles I brought were barely enough for this trail. What a great way to end a ride! I gave my wrinkled sweat-stained map to a couple who were about to begin their ride since the one they had was not as detailed.

I will be back to this area – there are many interesting features I either missed or want to explore more closely. I highly recommend this trail to anyone who wants a fairly strenuous hike or off-road bike ride and wants to feel like they are in the middle of nowhere and enjoy the beauty of Ozark scenery while only a few miles from the Interstate.

Fit and Healthy on Route 66 – Meramec Greenway Fenton Trail

July 6, 2010

The Meramec Greenway was established in 1975 and follows the Meramec River 108 miles west from it’s confluence with the Mississippi River south of St. Louis. The western portion of the Meramec Greenway roughly follows the path of Route 66. There are plans for 60 miles of trails along the Greenway, and several segments are completed and accessible from Route 66.

Yesterday I rode my bicycle on the Fenton Park Trail portion of the Meramec Greenway. This trail segment passes through three parks – Unger Park north of I-44, and Fenton City Park and George Winter Park south of I-44. The total distance from the Unger Park Trailhead to the George Winter Park Trailhead is about 5 miles. There is parking at all three parks, but Fenton City Park, which is in the middle, is the only one with water and restrooms. For the time being, I don’t recommend parking at George Winter Park because there is a bridge out and that portion of the trail is closed.

I stretched my ride to about 10 miles by taking the following route – I parked at Fenton City Park, then rode to George Winter Park until I encountered a barrier (beyond this the bridge is out, so don’t go back there), at which point I turned back to Fenton City Park, then continued to Unger Park to where the trail ends at a railroad track. There was a sign saying the trail was flooded but I found it to be dry. However there was sand on parts of the trail which could mean it was flooded recently. There was an opportunity to do some exploring past the Unger Trailhead by riding around on the streets in the industrial park area beyond the train track, but I decided to save that for another time because I was so hot I was tempted to fling myself into the river! Then I turned around and rode back through Unger Park and back to Fenton City Park where I concluded my ride.

There are a few rough spots here and there on the paved trail, but road bikes should be able to make it. Be careful if you encounter sand, it’s very slippery. A good portion of the trail is shaded by trees, this is nice but keep an eye out for fallen branches. There are a few places where you have to exit the paved trail and share the road with cars, but these spots I found to be lightly traveled and relatively peaceful. Along the way you will see a forested area, a small lake, the river, a golf course, and the old section of Fenton which gives you a nice small-town feeling. You could make your ride longer by exploring more of the streets and doing some loops around Fenton City Park.

Free Directory for Historic Businesses on Route 66

July 6, 2010

One of the best ways to preserve the heritage of Route 66 for the future is for historic businesses to stay vital and open. Do you own a historic business on Route 66? If so, you are welcome to a free listing in the John’s Modern Cabins News Historic Route 66 Business Directory! How do I define “historic”? The existence of the building or business during the official existence of Route 66 is historic. There is no charge or obligation of any kind to be listed. To take advantage, please fill out the form below the business listings.

Is your favorite Historic Route 66 Business not yet in the directory? You are welcome to invite them by directing them to directory OR presenting them with a printed application form which can be downloaded from the site.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 99 other followers