The Route 66 Association of Missouri originated from the efforts of dedicated volunteers who in the fall of 1989 realized Historic 66 in Missouri deserved the recognition and preservation.
The association became a reality in early 1990 when it began officially with more Charter Members than any other state Route 66 Association. Today, Association members reside in over 30 states plus internationally.
New Movie Premiers Nov. 10th at the Missouri History Museum!
In “Show Me 66: Main Street Through Missouri”, Missouri takes center stage in the story of the nation’s most famous highway. Equal parts travelogue and historical narrative, “Show Me 66” explores the sights and landscapes found along Route 66 in Missouri, as well as bigger stories from across the decades, including its birth in Springfield, the effects of World War II, its relationship to the Ozarks and St. Louis, its decline to the interstates, and the rediscovery still taking place today.
Missouri Route 66 Exhibition to come to the Missouri History Museum in June!
Dates: June 25, 2016 through July 16, 2017
Place: Missouri History Museum, Forest Park, St. Louis 314-746-4599
Known as the “Mother Road” and the “Main Street of America”, Route 66 plays an important role in American history and myth. But the famous road also has a story to tell about the St. Louis area and how it has changed. In Route 66: Main Street Through St. Louis, we explore the local history of this world-famous highway.
Come and get your kicks by learning stories about the motels, custard stands, and tourist traps that could be found along the road as passed through St. Louis.
Vistors will see a number of artifacts ranging from gas pumps to roadside signs and will even get a chance to drive the road themselves.
Group tours available. Visit mohistory.org/route66 for more information.
Route 66 Association of Missouri
Future General Meeting dates and locations
Saturday January 14, 2017 – Hoppers Pub in Waynesville, MO
Saturday April 8, 2017 – Belmont Vineyards in Leasburg, MO
Route 66 Neon Park Planned for St. Robert, MO
The Pulaski County Route 66 Preservation organization is excited to announce its plan to develop “Route 66 Neon Park” within the City of St. Robert George M Reed Roadside Park, which is located in a wide median area between the eastbound and westbound lanes of Route 66. The Route 66 Neon Park will be the first of its kind to be developed along the 2,448 miles of the Mother Road which runs from Chicago, IL to Santa Monica, CA, and will feature restored, orphaned Route 66 neon signs in an outdoor park-like setting with corresponding story boards to inform the public about the history of each sign.
Eligible signs would be those that were originally along the Route between 1926 and 1985, have been abandoned and do not have a home, and would not otherwise return to the Mother Road without a park such as this. Currently the roadside park is home to a US Army M-60 tank which will remain within the park, and be embellished to tell the story of the importance of Route 66 as a thoroughfare for transporting war material during WWII. For additional information on the namesake of the roadside park visit this article. (https://pulaskicountyusa.wordpress.com/2013/12/10/george-m-reed-roadside-park.)
“Pulaski County Route 66 Preservation is excited to offer a prime location to preserve and memorialize this particular element of the Route’s culture,” said Beth Wiles, President of the organization. “Pulaski County has an opportunity to become an anchor destination along the Route with this development. Mother Road enthusiasts from around the world will want to make Pulaski County a preferred stop to see the ‘neon at night’ in this unique park.”
For those wanting to be a part of this new development go to the Kickstarter Campaign – Route 66 Neon Park, (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/702500391/route-66-neon-park) which offers various levels of backing designed to appeal to individuals, associations and corporations. Back this project TODAY, as the campaign runs for a limited time. For more information about the Route 66 Neon Park project visit our website Route66Preservation.org.
The opportunity for this development began in November 2013 during the “The Road Ahead” Strategic Roundtable hosted by the World Monument Fund in Anaheim, CA, where Beth Wiles, Executive Director of the Pulaski County Tourism Bureau, was in attendance. One of the speakers there was Jim Thole, chairman of the Neon Heritage Preservation Committee of the Route 66 Association of Missouri, who described the Association’s vision to establish a neon park in Missouri for orphaned Route 66 neon signs. Ensuing discussions between those two parties then led to St. Robert becoming the proposed home for these former icons of the Mother Road.
The Route 66 Association of Missouri and the City of St. Robert will also be the organization’s partners in this endeavor.
A relighting of the vintage architectural neon on the Boots Court in Carthage, MO took place on Saturday evening, April 9, 2016 – after the quarterly Association meeting at Red Oak II that same day. Everyone is cordially invited to attend this special event to celebrate the restoration of the neon décor around the roofline and the windows of this classic motel on Route 66 in southwestern Missouri.
Since 2008, a relighting ceremony of one of our classic Route 66 neon signs or scenes has become an annual event for the Missouri 66 Association. With each subsequent year, these relighting events grow in interest and attendance as we support the preservation of these wonderful examples of commercial art along America’s Main Street.
The Boots Court is located at 107 S. Garrison Avenue in Carthage, MO, at the corner of Garrison and Central Avenue (Route 66). In 1939 Arthur Boots, the original owner, built his Auto Court here at what he called the “Crossroads of America.” At that time Route 66 (“The Mother Road”) and Route 71 (“The Pines to Palms Highway” – aka the Jefferson Highway) crossed at this intersection.
The relighting (throwing of the switch!) will take place near dusk ……. estimated to be around 8:15pm or so (perhaps a bit sooner if it should be an overcast day). However, you may want to plan to arrive somewhat earlier, in order not to miss the ceremony and presentations leading up to the actual relighting of the neon.
Current owners Debye Harvey & Priscilla Bledsaw (sisters) welcome all who are interested to attend this event. Entertainment, socializing and light refreshments will begin about 6:00pm.
There will be several speakers that evening, including representatives from the local community, as well as music, vintage cars on site, and a limited number of distinctive t-shirts and pins commemorating this special event.
The motel itself has very limited parking on its own property, but additional parking will be available on several other lots in the immediate area.
Why not make it a Route 66 weekend, and join us this special Saturday evening in April to welcome back this historic Route 66 neon scene! Hope to see you at the party!