Rt. 66 – Eureka to Cuba

Weather: Sunny, high 60s

IMG_3166It was such a nice day, with guidebook in hand, we drove the ~60 miles of Rt. 66 from Eureka to Cuba to see the famous murals. (Cuba’s nickname is Mural City)

Our first Rt 66 attraction was the Gardenway Motel in Villa Ridge. Continuing t’s been closed for quite some time and in disrepair, but the glass block details in the sign is still intact.

Gardenway Motel Villa Ridge MO

Continuing west Rt 66 follows alongside either the railroad tracks, or US 44. There are portions of that cross over US 44, but there are plenty of signs, so following the historic route is very easy.

In Stanton, there is the Jesse James Wax Museum. Next door to the wax museum is the now closed Antique Toy and Truck Museum.

Jesse James Wax Museum, Stanton MO
Antique Toy & Truck Museum (closed) Stanton, MO

I think the wax museum was open (there was a truck parked in front) but we didn’t go in. Evidently the museum focuses on the theory that Jessie James didn’t die in 1881 as we’ve been told. He actually lived in the area under another named and died in 1952.  a few miles away there is the Merrimec Caverns, which have an area called Jesse James Hideout.  Could it be true?

Further down the road is the town of Bourbon. You know I had to stop. We did find the tiny Bourbon Lodge (actually Debbie did). The lodge is a former tourist complex.

Bourbon Lodge, Bourbon MO

and the water tower is a popular photo op. My kind of place.

Bourbon water tower

Arriving in Cuba is the Wagon Wheel Motel, which has been restored and open for business.

Wagon Wheel Motel, Cuba MO


Wagon Wheel Motel, Cuba MO
Wagon Wheel Motel, Cuba MO

But the murals was what we came to see and they did not disappoint us. Our first stop was the Fourway. Originally built as a Pontiac dealership, it was then a Phillips 66 gas station, mobil station, and oil company office. It’s now a local restaurant that we planned on stopping for lunch at, but it’s closed on Sundays.

The Fourway , Cuba MO
The River mural

The River mural depicts the use of the river as a source of recreation, beauty and transportation. Missouri is a form of the Indian word Missou-ly meaning canoe.

Amelia mural

The Amelia mural depicts the event of September 4, 1928 when Amelia Earhart was in route to Los Angeles and was forced down outside of Cuba. no damages was reported and she continued on with her journey.

Cuba’s Gold Star Boys mural

The mural of The Gold Star Boys of Cuba aboard the Blue Bonnet Frisco Train honors  the brave men who gave their lives for our freedom.

Peoples Bank mural

The peoples bank mural depicts A.J. Barnett, the first chair, and President of Peoples Bank who was also the mayor of Cuba for ten years.

Civil War murals
Civil War murals

Many of the businesses throughout the town have murals painted on them. One was even “under construction”

Leaving Cuba, we travelled about four miles west to the town of Fanning to check out the famous rocking chair and outpost.

World famous rocking chair, Fanning MO
US 66 Outpost and General Store, Fanning MO

Unfortunately the outpost is closed on Sundays, and we couldn’t look for any souvenirs. So we turned around and headed back to the campground. We could have driven US 44 back, but decided to keep with the adventure and stay on Rt.66.

It was a great day, and we’re looking forward to our next stop on the Rt. 66 tour in Carthage next week.

Stay tuned, the guidebook says there’s a lot of cool places to see in Carthage.

Until next time,