Aug 222012
 





A Route 66 photo contest at this year’s Cuba Fest could land kids some cold, hard cash.

The photo competition, sponsored by the Viva Cuba organization, has cash prizes for first, second, and third places in two separate categories. The awards will be $75, $50, and $25, respectively.

The contest is open to young photographers living in the Crawford County (Cuba) R-2 School District. Category 1 is for kids ages 9-13 and Category 2 is open to older kids in the 14-18 age range. Three local judges will choose the winners at Cuba Fest, to be held October 20-21 on Smith Street in the Historic Business District.

According to the rules of the “Picture This on Route 66” contest, photographs must be taken along Route 66 in the area in or around Cuba. Photos may be taken anywhere on Route 66 from Skippy’s Restaurant in Leasburg to the Route 66 Outpost in Fanning.

Photographers are to use standard 4H guidelines for mounting: Use a single photo print no smaller than 4×6 inches and no larger than 8×10 inches mounted on an 8×10 white poster board or matte board. Alternatively, students can create a photo story or collage with no more than four photos mounted to a single 8×10 matte board.

Only one official entry may be submitted per contestant.

Photos are not to be altered in any way to change their contents through Photoshop or other photo manipulation programs. Special filters or High Definition Range photo treatments are prohibited. The idea is to put emphasis on the quality of the photo composition, printing, and subject matter, not digital manipulation or gimmicks.

Submissions may be either in color or black and white. Permitted enhancements include cropping, sharpening, adjusting brightness and contrast levels, and making red eye corrections.

Entries will be on display at Cuba Fest and must be turned in by October 1 at the Highway 19 branch of Peoples Bank. For more information, contact Judy Workman at 573-885-2775.

Deadline for entries is October 1

Written by Chris Case – Three Rivers Publishing

Jun 162012
 


This week, the vintage Route 66 restaurant opened with new owners, revamped menu and a fresh approach.

The prized buffalo head still graces Big Chief Roadhouse restaurant’s main dining area in Wildwood, but customers will find many new touches and a remodeled ambiance at 17352 Manchester Road. Big Chief owner Stephanie Mulholland said even the buffalo head was retouched and fixed up.

Big Chief’s owners recently received their liquor license from Wildwood officials, and as planned, officially reopened the doors June 11. This week, the new staff has been working through the ordering and “soft-opening” operational process.

Located across from Wildwood Middle School, customers have been frequenting this historic Route 66 restaurant since 1929. The present owners took possession of the building March 4, and it has been closed since for remodeling.

Big Chief Roadhouse originally was built in what was at the time Pond, MO, as part of the Big Chief Highway hotel to serve transcontinental travelers on the now famed Route 66. Local historians and tourists guides from the period indicate Big Chief was one of the largest tourist cottage courts in Missouri. It differed from average spots of time in that it offered relatively elaborate and elegant dining. It is one of the last remaining full-service restaurants on the Route 66 today.

Big Chief’s kitchen hours are Monday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The tavern portion is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to midnight, and on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.

Mulholland, a Wildwood resident, said she has two partners who both are chefs. One has 25 years of experience; the other 31 years. One interesting note is that Big Chief’s staff smoke their own meats. They expect to soon be able to move their smoker onto the restaurant’s property.

Indoor seating capacity at Big Chief is about 150, and outdoor is nearly 80. Starting in July, an upstairs room will be available for private parties of up to 40 people.

Mulholland knows the local area well because her children are or were part of Pond Elementary and Lafayette High School.

About two weeks ago, Floyd Gilmore and his family traveled from Show Low, AZ, to see Big Chief, where Floyd was born April 9, 1944. Mulholland said the Gilmore family showed up on the restaurant’s doorstep, before the restaurant was open.

“We were still moving things around and didn’t have the kitchen open or anything, but we welcomed the Gilmores in,” she said. “It was absolutely amazing to hear the stories he shared about the area. His aunts and uncles went to the Old Pond School and are buried at Bethel Cemetery one block away. They just stopped by in two full RVs and four cars!”

Mulholland said it was an incredible experience to meet the Gilmores. “Floyd was so proud to show his family, four generations, his birthplace after he had shared stories with them for years.”

Gilmore walked away with a new Big Chief T-shirt, photos and new memories of one of his favorite restaurants in the United States.

Jan 242012
 



Rolla, Mo. — CUBA — Race director Brad Austin promises the Route 66 Race to the Rocker on March 31 will be bigger and better this year.

This is the fourth year for the 4-mile race that starts at the Mizell Funeral Home and continues on Route 66 to the Outpost US 66 General Store’s Guinness Book of World Records Largest Rocking Chair.

The Cuba 4-H groups will be offering a spaghetti dinner fundraiser from 5-8 p.m. March 30 at the Business and Fitness Expo so runners can get their carbs in before the big race the next day.

The race begins at 9 a.m., rain or shine. Participants can pick up race packets and t-shirts at the Business and Fitness Expo or the day of the race. Participants are asked to bring a canned food item for the food bank or personal hygiene items for the Friday Backpack for Kids program.

On race day, the Cuba High School parking lot will be available for parking before the race, with shuttle buses taking runners to the race registration area starting at 7:30 a.m. More buses will be available this year for both pre- and post-race shuttles. Bag drops are available at the beginning of the race with pickup at the rocker finish area.

This year there are plans for music and other events along the course to inspire runners. As well as an orange Race to the Rocker t-shirt, runners will all receive Cuba’s signature treat of two baby cakes from the Route 66 Fudge Shop, and Route 66 Race to the Rocker candy bars will go to the race division winners.

Big River Running from St. Louis will provide race numbers with chip timing and will post times and results online. Both lanes of Route 66 will be closed from Kinder Cemetery to the rocker from 8:45-11 a.m. The Missouri Highway Patrol as well as local fire, EMT, and police officials will help with the course management.

Almost $35,000 for kids’ fitness/health projects was raised over the last three years. This year’s funds will go to the Friday Backpacks for Kids Program, two scholarships for track and cross country students, to purchase or rehabilitation of weight room equipment, and for ongoing investigation of the Rails to Trails program.

Jessica Harrison of Captured by Jessica will be available to take individual and team photos with the Rocker in the background. Race director Brad Austin said, “We are signing up volunteers and sponsors to make it all happen and run smoothly. This race is a community event and effort, and Cuba’s wonderful support has allowed the race to grow each year and raise so much for our kids and their health and fitness.”

Race organizers have set a goal of 1,000 run/walkers to make it the largest race to date. The race is open to all ability levels and age groups.

Faster runners will be placed in the front of the pack to insure the safety of all. Feel free to costume up to make it a colorful race. Bring your cameras and spend some time in the “Route 66 Mural City” after the race.

The Rolla Daily News

Dec 162011
 



The ‘birthday’ of the historic Wagon Wheel Motel…


It’s one thing for a motel to celebrate a birthday – but it is another thing to go under remodeling, welcome more guests, AND have been continuously open since 1936!

Anyone who knows anything on the route knows: When you are in Missouri – you must stay at the Wagon Wheel Motel! This truly is a gem along the route and the one thing I love about this place… they are ‘networking’ with other motels along the route to make sure you have the best possible stay where ever you lay your head down for the night while driving Route 66!

Below is the article I posted about the 75th Anniversary of the Wagon Wheel Motel:

With rooms rented to Route 66ers for the1930’s price of $3.50 a night and 30’s food prices, the Historic Landmark Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba, Missouri is celebrating its 75th Anniversary on August 20-21 in style. As the oldest motel on Route 66, the Wagon Wheel Café building, gas station, and motel earned its placement on the National Register of Historic Places.

Connie Echols, who bought the old motel in 2009, finished a “hands-on” restoration this spring by redoing all the rooms, adding two decks, and a bike shelter/pavilion. Each room has an authentic feel of a Route 66 motel but with updates of WiFi and flat screen TVs.

Now Echols is ready to celebrate the history of the Wagon Wheel with an Open House and Celebration with a 1930s Bonnie and Clyde theme. Car Clubs have been invited to bring cars of the era to the two-day event that begins with lunch on Saturday, August 20. Vintage dress is encouraged if you would like to get with the spirit of the event.

During the two-day Open House Celebration there will be room tours, games, food, music, book signings by Route 66 enthusiast Joe Sonderman and Wagon Wheel historian Riva Echols, and an explanation of the Route 66 GPS program by its creator River Pilot. Employees of the Wagon Wheel and families associated with the Wagon Wheel are invited to meet and reminisce on Sunday afternoon. There may be a few other surprises in store for attendees.

“It’s been a long journey getting the Wagon Wheel Motel and Connie’s Shoppe to this point,” stated Echols. “Now it’s time to share the results with friends, family, and the Route 66 community. I’m anxious to show off all the progress that we have made and to have a good time.”

Events & Times:
Saturday: 1-3 pm Room Tours
Saturday: 2-6 pm Wine tasting
Saturday: All day Croquet /Horseshoes
Saturday evening: Chipping contest
Saturday: 8pm Band

River Pilot, the creator of the Route 66 GPS program is available all weekend to explain his GPS system

Sunday: 11:00 am Joe Sonderman, Route 66 author book signing
Sunday: 1-3 pm Room Tours
Sunday: 1:00 pm Riva Echols: The Wagon Wheel Motel on Route 66 History book signing

Riva will also host a social gathering for employees, families connected to the Wagon Wheel history, and anyone else who might be interested in Wagon Wheel history

Sunday: 2-4 pm Wine tasting
Sunday: 2:00 pm Croquet Tournament

Visit the Wagon Wheel Motel’s 75th anniversary celebration on Saturday or Sunday. Bring your cameras to record another historic event at this Historic Landmark on Route 66.

You can visit their website by clicking HERE, or join them on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Oct 202011
 



Note: We stopped in Joplin literally 10 days after the tornado hit, and as I mentioned before – it looked like an atomic bomb hit the south-west part of the town. I could never have imagined the destuction and one could not stand there and feel sorrow and helplessness. Even though this does not directly effect Route 66 (which was literally saved without too much if any damage) it helps a town which is a major town on the route – and one which needs to be rebuilt and proper for future generations as well as future traverlers.

JOPLIN, MO – Today, executives with ABC’s Emmy-award winning reality TV show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition announced that the show’s upcoming build in Joplin will be preceded by a community-wide pep rally on October 4. The event was held on Tuesday, October 4, at Calvary Baptist Church (600 E. 50th Street in Joplin).

The pep rally provided an opportunity for thousands in the community to come together and share in the excitement surrounding the program’s upcoming build and shoot in Joplin. The Joplin build will be one of the largest in the history of the wildly popular program. Led by Southwest Missouri home builder Sam Clifton, president of Millstone Custom Homes, the October Joplin project will build seven homes in seven days for families who suffered losses in the May tornado that destroyed much of the city. The weeklong Extreme build will begin in Joplin on October 19.

“Thousands of people in Joplin and from across the country have contacted us to donate, volunteer and support this massive effort to help rebuild Joplin,” Clifton said. “We are so grateful to Pastor Brad Gray and the generous members of Calvary Baptist Church, for their generous support so we can all get together and share in the excitement leading up to the actual build.”

Organizers also recently announced that the episode featuring the Joplin build will be featured, as the show’s historic 200th episode. Reaching 200 episodes is a major milestone in television, achieved by only those programs that stand the test of time. The emmy-award winning Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is now entering its ninth season on ABC.

To volunteer, donate, or learn more about the project, visit: http://www.joplinextrememakeover.com or http://www.joinextreme.com/joplin.

So far, more than fifty area businesses already have committed to supporting the Joplin EMHE project. A list of these companies and links to more information can be found at: http://www.joinextreme.com/supporters/joplinsponsors

Clifton is the 2010 Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield Builder Member of the Year. Millstone Custom Homes is also a member of the Home Builders Association of Southwest Missouri in Joplin. This is Clifton’s second time to lead a build for the popular ABC television program. In 2009, Millstone Custom Homes successfully led a southwest Missouri build project for that provided a new home for the Hampton family in Ash Grove, Missouri.

Oct 162011
 



People from all over the world come to Lebanon to visit a one-of-a-kind museum that focuses on the historic Mother Road.

Lebanon’s Route 66 Museum curator Mark Spangler told the Lebanon Kiwanis Club at its Tuesday meeting the love for the road is about much more than the 2,400 miles of winding concrete, asphalt and gravel that went from Chicago to Santa Monica, Calif. It’s about a different time and attitude in American culture, he said.

Route 66 was a special time in American history and just makes us think about slowing down,” Spangler said. He added it was a time when people enjoyed going on road trips, seeing new pieces of country and visiting with one another. Now, instead of winding through the countryside, people hop onto the interstate and get to Springfield in less than an hour.

He added that although most Route 66 fans don’t like I-44, the interstate wouldn’t be here had it not been for the Mother Road, which he said gave America an idea of how important automobile travel and transport could be for the country. Culture has changed to wanting things faster, Spangler said.

“Have you noticed our speed and our want to get there in a hurry? And, we’ve become ruder in the process. …We cannot stand to slow down and take it easy anymore,” Spangler said.

Not everything about the road was good though, Spangler said, adding that many people died on the road. The road gained the infamous nickname “Bloody 66.”

According to Spangler, the museum averages 1,000 to 1,200 visitors per month, and a look at the guest book would surprise most people. The museum attracts many out-of-state and even out-of-country visitors, including people from Europe, where traveling Route 66 has become a popular vacation destination.

“People from all corners of the world find their ways to us,” Spangler said.

© 2011 Lebanon Daily Record . All rights reserved

Sep 272011
 





I will say this: ‘Good things DO happen to good people who try to do a good thing for other good people!’



CARTHAGE, Mo. — When Deborah Harvey, the new owner of the Boots Motel, got a phone call on Sept. 13 she was on her way to Columbia, Mo., for a meeting, but she turned around immediately when she saw who was calling. It was, Bob Boots, the son of Boots Motel founder and builder Arthur Boots and the one person still around who might remember the most about what Harvey’s new project looked like when it was opened in 1939. This is the first of two stories about his visit.

Bob Boots, 85, Tulsa, returned last Tuesday to the motel his father built when Bob was a student at Hawthorn Elementary School and stepped inside for the first time in years.

“It was kind of like a door opened to some old memories,” Bob Boots said as he stood in the old front office. “This whole corner brings back memories. The courthouse is the most obvious landmark, the Boots Drive In, I spent years there, but this is special. I was a teenager here, oh, I must have been 14 whenever we first moved over here and dad started building it.”

And it was those memories that Harvey and her sister, Pricilla Bledsaw, hope to tap as they make plans to renovate the iconic motel.

“What we plan to do is restore this to a 1940s appearance and that’s what I need you for, I need someone who was actually here in the 1940s and old enough to remember,” Harvey told Bob Boots during the visit. “I really wanted to talk to you in depth about the construction of the building.”

Boots said he hadn’t spent any time in the motel since his father sold it in 1942. He left for service in the U.S. Army Air Forces in 1945 and returned in 1946 when Arthur Boots was building the Boots Drive In, a restaurant across Garrison Street that now serves as the Great Plains Credit Union.

“I’ve been up here a couple of times and I’ve driven by a few times but I haven’t stopped in,” Bob Boots said. “This is part of my life and it always will be, but it’s something in the past. It’s kind of like the door in time. There are old, vivid memories here. I sat here and smooched up my girlfriend and watch the traffic go by. That’s part of the teenage routine.”

Bob Boots said he remembers that his father came to Carthage searching for the ideal place to build a motel. In Carthage he found what people had long called the “Crossroads of America,” where U.S. Highway 66 and U.S. Highway 71 crossed.

At that time, Route 66 was a major highway link from Chicago to LA and Route 71 was a major highway from the Canadian border to New Orleans.

“He knew what he wanted, and his brother had a Boots Court in Eldon, Mo., and it’s now called the Randall’s Court,” Bob Boots said. “It’s been there for 70 years or so. His brother had a motel and dad decided he wanted one too. We lived over in Independence, Kan., where he and a partner had a John Deere franchise. They sold out and he started looking over the map. He wanted a place where two highways met and came together. He came to the Crossroads of America. We lived in this house that we bought next door. Dad had all of his money tied up here and he wanted to stay close to it.”

Copyright 2011 Carthage Press.

Aug 162011
 



In 2006, two sisters, Deborah Harvey from Decatur, Ga. and Pricilla Bledsaw from Decatur, Ill. Took a vehicle tour of Route 66 in 2006 and decided it would be neat one day to own an old motel on the Mother Road.

Well that someday is today and that motel is the historic Boots Motel in Carthage.

Harvey and Bledsaw made the announcement in an email released by Carthage Realtor Jim Hunter, who had been marketing the property for the Hometown Bank since that bank foreclosed on it in June.

“After cruising Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles in 2006, they began talking about buying a motel on Route 66 to operate when they retire,” the release said. Although not ready to retire yet, Pricilla and Deborah felt that the Boots Motel was too good an opportunity to miss. They plan to restore the Boots Court buildings to their late 1940s appearance.

Bledsaw has retail experience and formerly owned a jewelry store in Decatur, Ill., where she lives.

Harvey lives in Decatur, Ga., and is the sole proprietor of a consulting firm offering expertise in historic preservation and historic research.

Hunter said Harvey has prepared a feasibility study for herself and her sister to determine whether the Boots can be profitable and viable as a historic motel.
“I feel fortunate to have found two ladies who recognize the opportunity that exists in the purchase and restoration of the Boot’s Motel,” Hunter said.
The pending sale should transact this month. The property was marketed locally and nationally via the many Websites that promote Route 66.

“The buyer’s plans to turn Boot’s Motel into a viable tourist attraction/motel will help the city of Carthage in attracting the many tourists that travel Route 66 and seek out these historic structures. It will become a great addition to the area in terms of economic development. I applaud them in being willing to put the capital up to improve our community.”

Lonnie Heckmaster, president of Hometown Bank, said the new owners have good ideas that will be good for Carthage.

“I’m just glad to see it go to individuals that will keep it as the Boots Motel,” Heckmaster said. “We wanted it to continue to draw folks to Carthage and I’m sure glad to see someone come in to further that cause.”

Aug 092011
 



Below is a liting of the (10) properties / businesses who were awarded Preservation Grants. PLEASE keep in mind these places do not get this money upfront – it is a ‘cost share program’ which means they need to spend a dollar to get a dollar. So, they still need help!! Either you can donate your dollars and/or time. They get a ‘cost per hour’ charge for every hour of work from volunteers – which turn into dollars they get from these grants. Check with the local proerty to see how you can help!!

ARIZONA

Project: Route 66 Motel Sign and Roof Rehabilitation
Recipient: Private Owner
Amount: $10,319 NPS, $10,319 match

The Route 66 Motel has been a welcoming stop on Route 66 in Kingman, Arizona for more than 50 years. Its towering red and yellow neon sign remains a beacon in the night for travelers stopping to photograph the sign, stay the night, or visit the Route 66 gift shop. Built in 1963 as the “Pony Soldier”, the motel is a two-story, brick building with decorative, extruded mortar joints.
An aging electrical system has caused many portions of the sign to stop working, and the flat roof on the motel building needs repair. Grant funds will assist with these priority preservation needs, so it can continue to serve as an important Route 66 landmark in Kingman.

ILLINOIS

Project: Ariston Cafe Rehabilitation
Recipient: Private Owner
Amount: $10,000 NPS, $10,000 match

The Ariston Cafe in Litchfield, Illinois opened in 1935 and has been continuously operated by the Adam family ever since. A standing tradition for locals and travelers alike, the cafe offers favorites such as toasted ravioli and homemade red velvet cake. With its distinctive curved parapet, finely crafted brickwork, and its original Art Deco-style dining booths, this beloved Litchfield landmark was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. In 2008, a preservation plan was prepared for the cafe, and rehabilitation work has been ongoing since. Grant funds will assist with the current phase of the project, which will focus on structural repairs to the exterior brickwork.


Project: Dell Rhea Chicken Basket Rehabilitation
Recipient: Private Owner
Amount: $7,000 NPS, $7,000 match

Dell Rhea Chicken Basket has its origins in the 1930’s as a lunch counter attached to a service station in Hinsdale, Illinois. Oral tradition has it that two local farm women offered to reveal their excellent fried chicken recipe to the owner if he would promise to buy their chickens. The recipe was so good, that by 1946, the service station was closed and the new Chicken Basket was born. Built adjacent to the lunch counter site, the building reflects the nononsense,
utilitarian, commercial style of the post-war years. After being bypassed by the Interstate in 1962, the business fell on hard times. The Dell Rhea family purchased the Chicken Basket in 1963, and through savvy marketing and its famous fried chicken recipe, the business flourishes today. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. Grant funds will assist with much needed structural repairs to the exterior brick walls.


Project: Luna Cafe Neon Sign Restoration
Recipient: Private Owner
Amount: $11,000 NPS, $11,000 match

The Luna Cafe in Mitchell, Illinois was built in 1926, the same year Route 66 was commissioned as a highway. With over 85 years of continuous service, the Luna has reportedly had many famous visitors including Al Capone, Elvis Presley, Hank
Williams Sr., and Ike & Tina Turner. Local memory recalls it serving variously as a Route 66 cafe, piano bar, boarding house, brothel, upscale restaurant, and meeting spot for gangsters. The neon sign with its iconic ruby red cherries lit up the night for over 40 years before going dark in the 1990s.The Missouri and Illinois Route 66 Associations are partnering with the owner of the Luna to oversee the restoration of the sign. Grant funds will assist with this effort.


Project: Sprague Super Service Window Rehabilitation
Recipient: Private Owner
Amount: $10,000 NPS, $10,000 match

In 1931, William W. Sprague built a two-story, Tudor Revival style building on Route 66 in Normal, Illinois to meet the
burgeoning demands of automobilists. Although Sprague opened the business during the Great Depression, he could count on travelers and local residents who needed food, gasoline, and car repair to stay in business. By providing on-site housing in the upstairs portion of the building for himself and a gas station attendant, he could readily meet the needs of his customers while lowering his housing costs. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008, the current owner is restoring the building for use as a visitor center. Following a preservation plan prepared in 2009, a new roof and ADA accessible bathrooms have been installed. Grant funds will now assist with rehabilitation of the historic, wood frame windows.

MISSOURI

Project: Meramec River Bridge Historic Structures Report
Recipient: Landmarks Association of St. Louis
Amount: $15,000 NPS, $30,000 match
Constructed in 1931-1932, the Meramec River Bridge is a 1,009’-long, three-span, steel deck truss and girder structure located near Eureka in the Missouri Route 66 State Park. The bridge carried Route 66 traffic until it was bypassed by I-44 in the 1960’s. Today it serves as a centerpiece of the Route 66 State
Park, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009. Now closed to traffic and under threat of demolition due to its deteriorated condition, it has been listed on Missouri Preservation’s Most Endangered Historic Places list for two years in a row. As part of a larger master planning effort, grant funds will assist with the preparation of a Historic Structures Report to evaluate preservation options and rehabilitation costs for the bridge.


Project: Sunset Motel Entrance and Exit Signs Restoration
Recipient: Private Owner
Amount: $7,100 NPS, $7,100 match

The Sunset Motel was built just after World War II in the “Hi-Way Hills Subdivision” of Villa Ridge, Missouri. Built in a distinctive Vshape, it had a twin-sister property known as the Pin Oak Motel just two miles west on Route 66. The motel featured a spacious lawn and central garden, a circular driveway around the rear of the property, and front and back entrances to each room. Since 1971, the property has been owned by the same family, and is currently operating on a weekly rental basis. Restoration was begun in 2009 to replace the roof, repoint exterior brick work, restore the interior floors, and return the neon sign to operating condition. Grant funds will assist with restoration of the damaged
and missing neon Entrance and Exit signs.


Project: Wagon Wheel Motel Roof Replacement
Recipient: Private Owner
Amount: $17,500 NPS, $17,500 match
Built in 1935 in Cuba, Missouri, the Wagon Wheel Motel, known originally as the Wagon Wheel Cabins, is a rare example of the transition in roadside lodging from individual tourist cabins to attached units. A well known local mason built the motel using local stone that farmers brought to him. While stone was a common building material for motels in Missouri, the Tudor Revival styling was not. Today, the motel is still locally owned and operated, and is the earliest tourist court on Route 66 in Missouri that still accommodates nightly travelers. Ongoing restoration work has included porch and soffit repairs, window repair, floor refinishing, and heating/cooling improvements. Grant funds will assist with roof replacement on two of the motel units.

OKLAHOMA

Project: Arcadia Round Barn Siding Restoration
Recipient: Arcadia Historical and Preservation Society
Amount: $21,000 NPS, $21,000 match
The Round Barn has stood sentinel in Arcadia, Oklahoma, since 1898. During construction, boards were soaked in water to make them pliable enough to bend into the round shape of the barn.
The barn was used variously to house stock and hay, but it is the dances on the second floor of the barn that people remember most. In 1914, Oklahoma County obtained a right-of-way and built a crude dirt road between the barn and the railroad tracks. In 1926, this unpaved road was designated U.S. Highway 66, part of the new national highway system. The barn has been a landmark on the route ever since and today serves as Route 66 and local history museum. The barn was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. Grant funds will assist with much needed repair of rotted siding boards and trim.


Project: Firestone Station Restoration
Recipient: Private Owner
Amount: $25,000 NPS, $25,000 match
In July, 1929, the Bristow, Oklahoma Daily Record reported that
Firestone had purchased lots on Route 66 for the purpose of constructing a building that “will be one of the most modern in the state”. The store opened in May, 1930, and included an Art Deco design with six large service bays, a wash bay, an office and sales area with large display windows. The station prospered through the 1950’s, relying on its premier location and national brand recognition, as well as is distinctiveness as a full service station. Now under extensive and meticulous restoration for use as an auto body shop, grant funds will assist with site improvements including the exterior lights, sign, and concrete driveway repairs.

Aug 072011
 



With rooms rented to Route 66ers for the1930’s price of $3.50 a night and 30’s food prices, the Historic Landmark Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba, Missouri is celebrating its 75th Anniversary on August 20-21 in style. As the oldest motel on Route 66, the Wagon Wheel Café building, gas station, and motel earned its placement on the National Register of Historic Places.

Connie Echols, who bought the old motel in 2009, finished a “hands-on” restoration this spring by redoing all the rooms, adding two decks, and a bike shelter/pavilion. Each room has an authentic feel of a Route 66 motel but with updates of WiFi and flat screen TVs. Rooms are of various sizes and amenities with details on the Wagon Wheel website (www.wagonwheel66cuba.com).

Now Echols is ready to celebrate the history of the Wagon Wheel with an Open House and Celebration with a 1930s Bonnie and Clyde theme. Car Clubs have been invited to bring cars of the era to the two-day event that begins with lunch on Saturday, August 20. Vintage dress is encouraged if you would like to get with the spirit of the event.

During the two-day Open House Celebration there will be room tours, games, food, music, book signings by Route 66 enthusiast Joe Sonderman and Wagon Wheel historian Riva Echols, and an explanation of the Route 66 GPS program by its creator River Pilot. Employees of the Wagon Wheel and families associated with the Wagon Wheel are invited to meet and reminisce on Sunday afternoon. There may be a few other surprises in store for attendees.

“It’s been a long journey getting the Wagon Wheel Motel and Connie’s Shoppe to this point,” stated Echols. “Now it’s time to share the results with friends, family, and the Route 66 community. I’m anxious to show off all the progress that we have made and to have a good time.”

Events & Times:
Saturday: 1-3 pm Room Tours
Saturday: 2-6 pm Wine tasting
Saturday: All day Croquet /Horseshoes
Saturday evening: Chipping contest
Saturday: 8pm Band

River Pilot, the creator of the Route 66 GPS program is available all weekend to explain his GPS system

Sunday: 11:00 am Joe Sonderman, Route 66 author book signing
Sunday: 1-3 pm Room Tours
Sunday: 1:00 pm Riva Echols: The Wagon Wheel Motel on Route 66 History book signing

Riva will also host a social gathering for employees, families connected to the Wagon Wheel history, and anyone else who might be interested in Wagon Wheel history

Sunday: 2-4 pm Wine tasting
Sunday: 2:00 pm Croquet Tournament

Visit the Wagon Wheel Motel’s 75th anniversary celebration on Saturday or Sunday. Bring your cameras to record another historic event at this Historic Landmark on Route 66.

BY writeronthego – stltoday.com