Lebanon's Route 66 is steeped in history. Today we want to take you on a trip down memory lane by sharing a story from
Experience Route 66 History in Lebanon, MO
- By: Pat McGrath Avery
Whether you like the outdoors, nature, history, shopping or special dining experiences, Lebanon, Missouri, gives you plenty of reasons to spend a day or a weekend.
Nostalgia buffs, plan a trip along the famous Route 66 highway. Even if you’re not old enough to remember the “Route 66” TV series, you’ll enjoy this corner of Americana.
Stay at the Munger-Moss Motel which has served guests since 1946. Owned by the same couple for 41 years, they have safeguarded the original look and themes in all their efforts to modernize the rooms. The sign out front boasts “free TV” and “refrigerated” units, but visitors today expect more. The wifi-equipped rooms have retained the design of earlier years right down to the bathroom tile. Today visitors enjoy the comfort of a modern unit with the thrill of reliving a piece of history.
Take time to visit the Lebanon and Laclede County Route 66 Museum and Research Center housed in the city library. Open to the public whenever the library is open, the museum includes one-of-a-kind artifacts and period re-creations. One of the first attention-getters when you enter the museum is an old gravity-fed gas pump from the early days of automobiles used through the 1940s. The $ .13 gas price shows a time long gone by. Today Route 66 boasts of being the only American highway that attracts many international visitors each year.
Learn about famous people who stayed in Lebanon from Bonnie and Clyde to Paul McCartney. Be sure to ask about Bob Hope’s visit to Camp Joy.
Plan a stop at Mr. C’s Route Post. Owner Scott Cameron has acquired many Route 66 collectibles and souvenirs for sale. His special passion is the acquisition of the Route 66 soda bottling company. Scott has transitioned the soda from a high-fructose corn syrup product to one made with pure cane sugar. With five flavors - black cherry, root beer, cream soda, lime and orange - it’s easy to find one to suit your taste.
If you’re lucky enough to find Scott working, he’ll be happy to tell you about his collectibles, his bottling company and his previous career as manager to famous musicians including Stan Kenton and Muddy Waters.
Want more Route 66? Stop by the Wrink’s Market (close to the Munger-Moss Motel), have a fried pie, check out the western art museum and have a chat with owner Don Decker. If you stay awhile, you’ll hear much Route 66 folklore.
There are still remnants of old buildings that lined the highway. To check them out, all you need to do is ask at any of the above places. (Please note that since this story was published the western art museum in the old Wrink's Market has closed.)