City Social Magazine

JUL-AUG 2017

City Social Magazine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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Page 39 of 59

40 Story and photos By Cheré Coen Best w estern r oute 66 r ail Haven 40 t he famous r oute 66 crisscrossing America didn't start in s pringfield, m issouri, but in a sense the historic highway began there. After years of automobiles struggling with mud and rock-filled roads at the turn of the 20th century, the American Association of State Highways was formed in 1925 to create solid surfaces now known as the nation's highways. East-west highways were given even numbers and north-south odd numbers. One exception was Chicago to Los Angeles, which was given Route 60. Kentucky and Missouri objected because they wanted that number. Oklahoma Department of Highways Director Cyrus Avery saw that Route 66 was available and loved how that name rolled off the tongue, so he sent a telegram to the feds from the Colonial Hotel in Springfield and the Chicago to Los Angeles highway became Route 66 on November 11, 1926. People drive this historic highway made famous by Bobby Troup's song, "Get Your Kicks on Route 66," and naturally travel through Springfield and other Missouri towns. In the route's early days, before widespread tourism, travelers had to pitch tents besides their cars and cook meals on open fires. As Route 66 became more famous, opening up the nation with its clear shot from the Midwest to California, "tourist homes" and motor courts started appearing along the highway. William Lenz of Lebanon, for instance, opened his home to tourists and called his Front of the Boots Court Motel. Sign for the Boots Court Motel in Carthage, Missouri. r e A d u s o n l i n e A t w w w . C i t y s o C i A l . C o m

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