Weather: Cloudy, high 40s
Location: LAT 37.127327, LONG -94.304840
Today we stayed local and saw most of the sites in and around Carthage.
Our first stop was for breakfast at Iggy’s Diner
The diner was built in 1999 but has the feel of a true Rt. 66 attraction. The food was fantastic, as well as the service. If you’re in the area make sure you stop by, you won’t be disappointed.
After breakfast we drove over to Red Oak II, a tribute to the hometown of an artist named Lowell Davis.
After being out of the area for several years, Davis returned to his home town in the 70’s only to find it a ghost town. In the late 80’s Davis was living on a farm outside of Carthage, when he began buying homes and businesses from the original town, and other towns, and moving the buildings to the farm site to begin restoration.
Today, all of the buildings are privately owned, and Davis lives in the house that the infamous outlaw Belle Starr grew up. Starr was a very interesting character and there is a detailed website that tells her story. https://www.legendsofamerica.com/we-bellestarr/.
Visiting Red Oak II is like stepping back in time. Except for the cars parked in front of the church, you would not know it was 2018. Make sure you visit this place if you’re in the area.
On our way back into town we spotted a funny advertising sign for a local tire shop.
We then stopped by the Boots Court, a motel built in 1939 by Arthur Boots. The motel was saved from demolition by two sisters who are restoring it back to the way it was in 1949. The rear annex is open for business and the rooms are rented out. If you plan on staying, just know that there’s no TVs. However, they do offer radios in every room.
Our final stop in Carthage was to the historic Rt. 66 Drive In, which opened in 1949, four years before the first television station began operating in Joplin. The cinema closed in 1985 but was renovated and reopened in 1998. It was closed for the season when we stopped by but when open they show two movies every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
We had a fun day and really enjoyed checking out the local area. Unfortunately, it’s back to work next week, and then we move on to Oklahoma City. I’m sure we’ll be able to find some cool things to check out there.