Route 66 Association of Missouri Welcomes New Business Members

November 20, 2008

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

S.O.S. Graphic Products – Cuba
Viva Cuba Mural Project – Cuba
Murphysburg Residential Historic District – Joplin
Powersports of Joplin – Joplin
Residence Inn by Marriott – Joplin
Route 66 Maid-Rite – Lebanon
Fall Creek Rock Shop – Rolla
Pappy’s Place Café – Springfield
Rockwood Court Café – Springfield
Strafford Branch Library – Strafford
Wild Animal Safari – Strafford
Witmor Farms – Waynesville

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

Mayor Gottman of Vandalia Illinois Makes Appeal to Keep Vandalia State House Open

November 17, 2008

The Mayor issued a press release urging concerned citizens to call or write state legislators to keep the Vandalia State House, located on old U.S. 40, and other historic sites open. You can read the entire press release and get contact information for letter-writing on the American Road Magzine forum.

It is interesting that Mayor Gottman mentioned the 2009 Bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth and the additional tourism that it is expected to bring to Illinois, because another city in Illinois that contains major Abraham Lincoln tourist sites (and is on Route 66 as well) has a historic site that is also threatened with closure by the budget cuts – the Dana-Thomas House in Springfield. The web site states that the home is due to close on December 1, 2008. It is sad to think that tourists who come to Springfield next year will not be able to see this wonder designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. I personally know one of the volunteers who gives tours at this site, and when I think of all the hours that she and others have dedicated over the years, free of charge, it’s even sadder that the state can’t keep up it’s part of the bargain. Please make your views known if you object to the closure.

Here is more information and commentary on the budget cuts and their effect on historic sites:

A Good Introduction to Route 66

November 12, 2008

If you know anyone who is curious about Route 66 and thinking about taking their first Mother Road trip, the recent Associated Press article “You can still Get your kicks on Route 66” by Roger Petterson is a decent place to send them for an introduction. The article gathers together many good links that will help greatly in trip planning, including a couple that were around when my brother and I planned our first Route 66 trip in 1999.

One thing I want to comment on, the first sentence “Much of the route has been taken over by four-lane interstates, but scattered sections of U.S. 66 can still be driven between the Midwest and the Pacific Coast…” makes it sound as though most of the Route can no longer be driven. I estimate that between 80-90% is still there and drivable. It’s true that the interstates have taken over in the sense that they get most of the traffic, but most of the time Route 66 and the Interstates both exist side by side, and Route 66 functions as an outer road, a business loop through a town, a state highway, or as something else. In many places you can choose from more than one historic routing of Route 66 in an area. You do need help from specialty maps and guides to find all the parts, for although there is some signage to guide you along the historic route, it is not enough to navigate by alone. The Here it Is Map Series and the EZ 66 Guide are two of the best in my opinion, and there are many more to choose from, inlcuding our own Route 66 Association Map of Route 66 in Missouri.

Enjoy the Architectural Heritage of St. Louis

November 8, 2008

The season for the Metropolis St. Louis Architecture tours has just recently ended, but if you are planning to be in the St. Louis area on any Saturday between April and October next year, I hope you’ll consider joining one of the tours. You will be treated to an educational and inspiring experience where you will walk in the footsteps of history, see buildings from many different eras, and learn about the stories behind them.

Detail of Missouri Pacific Building

Detail of Missouri Pacific Building

On a walking tour, one notices details that are missed while riding in a motorized vehicle. The role that St. Louis, The Gateway to the West, has played in our nation’s history as a transportation hub for water, train, road, and air is evident in all kinds of plaques, tiles, windows, markers, sculptures, and more. Enjoy those details along with the monumental shapes of the large buildings and you’ll get extra enjoyment and appreciation out of your Route 66 journey as you approach the American West.

Here are links to some photos that my Mom and I have taken on the tours:
Carolyn’s photos of the East and West Tours
Lois’s photos of the West Tour

For tour information, please see the Metropolis St. Louis web site:
Downtown Architectural Walking Tours

Donut Drive-In

November 4, 2008

On Saturday, November 1, 2008, members of the Route 66 Association of Missouri gathered at the Donut Drive In on Route 66 in St. Louis to witness the lighting of the newly restored neon sign. Before this night it had been dark for 25 years. Photo by Robert Schulz.

Donut Drive-In on Route 66 in St. Louis

Donut Drive-In on Route 66 in St. Louis