Route 66 Association of Missouri’s 23rd Annual Motor Tour

 Daily  Comments Off on Route 66 Association of Missouri’s 23rd Annual Motor Tour
Mar 192013

SO many tours – so little time (and no restored truck!!… YET!)

The Route 66 Association of Missouri will be “Rockin’ to the Devil and Rollin to the Saints” on its 23rd Annual Motor Tour. This Years tour will be held September 6th 7th and 8th. The tour will start in Carthage, MO and will end at Orchard Park in St. Clair, MO.

Tour registration begins on Friday, September 6, at 4:00 p.m. at the Econo Lodge, located at 1441 W. Central Ave. in Carthage, MO, where a block of rooms has been set aside for tour goers. Tour Goers can register on Friday night until 10:00 p.m. There will also be information on activities and things to do in Carthage available at registration.

On Saturday, September 7, tour registration will resume at 8:00 a.m. at the Econo Lodge in Carthage, and the tour will depart at 8:15 a.m. (after the pre-tour meeting) from the Econo Lodge. On Saturday, tour goers will have the opportunity to make stops between Carthage and the midpoint destination outside Devil’s Elbow, MO. A guide detailing places to look for on the way will be provided at registration. Among the places tour goers will be able to visit along the way will include Spencer, MO, Gay Parita, Halltown Mercantile, and the Greene County Museum. There will also be information about other suggested stops provided at registration.

The Saturday night midpoint destination will be the Montis Inn, located at the intersection of CR Z (Route 66) and SR 28 just north of Devil’s Elbow. A block of rooms has been set aside for tour goers at the Montis Inn . Saturday night’s dinner will be held at the Waynesville City Park, where we will be able to enjoy the excellent Bar-B-Que prepared by Sweetwater BBQ. There will be a silent auction and information about Sunday provided at the dinner.

On Sunday after the 8:00 a.m. nondenominational worship service, tour goers will proceed from the Montis Inn eastward to St. Clair. Again, a guide detailing places to look for on the way will be provided at registration. The tour will conclude with a lunch catered by Jim’s Country Catering, at Orchard Park just off Route 66 in St. Clair. Additional information on any planned stops or activities along the way will be made available at registration.

For more information and/or to obtain a registration flyer, contact Debbie Rhew (573)-433-9812;, or Kip Welborn, 314-776-7385,, or visit our website (where you will be able to find a registration form you can download) at Here’s hoping that you can join us on this year’s Motor Tour!

By Carolyn Hasenfratz –

Boots builder’s son returns to old motel

 Daily, Missouri  Comments Off on Boots builder’s son returns to old motel
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.