The Historic Route 66 Bridges of Pulaski County, Missouri

Compiled by Laura Huffman for Pulaski County Tourism Bureau

The recent closing of the Hazelgreen Bridge on Route 66 in Laclede County, between Waynesville and Lebanon has brought massive amounts of attention from across the globe to the historic river crossings of the Mother Road.

This vintage postcard of Hazelgreen Bridge on Route 66 between Waynesville and Lebanon, MO is undated. Image courtesy of 66postcards.com.

This vintage postcard of Hazelgreen Bridge on Route 66 between Waynesville and Lebanon, MO is undated. Image courtesy of 66postcards.com.

The Hazelgreen Ridge on Route 66 over the Gasconade River was closed to traffic indefinitely December 18, 2014. A rally, organized by Route 66 enthusiast “Roamin” Rich Dinkela was held at the bridge December 23, 2014. Those in attendance asked for MODOT to seek out ways to rehabilitate and repair the bridge. Photo courtesy of Pics By Jax.

Pulaski County is a not-so-hidden gem on the crown of Route 66 bridges. Three bridges are distinct ties to the promise and heyday of Route 66- the 1923 Devils Elbow Bridge (which pre-dates Route 66), the 1942 Devils Elbow Arch Bridge, and the 1923 Roubidoux Bridge (also pre-dating Route 66) in Waynesville.

Vintage postcard of the Devils Elbow Bridge over the Big Piney River on Route 66 between Rolla and Waynesville. Image courtesy of 66postcards.com.

Vintage postcard of the Devils Elbow Bridge over the Big Piney River on Route 66 between Rolla and Waynesville. Image courtesy of 66postcards.com.

Vintage postcard of the Devils Elbow Concrete Arch Bridge over the Big Piney River on Route 66 between Rolla and Waynesville. Image courtesy of 66postcards.com.

Vintage postcard of the Devils Elbow Concrete Arch Bridge over the Big Piney River on Route 66 between Rolla and Waynesville. Image courtesy of 66postcards.com.

Vintage postcard of the 1923 Roubidoux Bridge on Route 66 in Waynesville, MO. Image courtesy of 66postcards.com.

Vintage postcard of the 1923 Roubidoux Bridge on Route 66 in Waynesville, MO. Image courtesy of 66postcards.com.

The fate of the 1923 Devils Elbow Bridge was questioned for years. This crossing is unique in the fact that it was bypassed by a new bridge on a later alignment of Route 66 in 1942. Missouri Department of Transportation relinquished control of the bridge to Pulaski County. Drawing mainly local traffic and Route 66 enthusiasts the bridge continued to deteriorate until a solid plan to rehabilitate the bridge was finalized. The 1923 Devils Elbow bridge closed to all traffic October 2013 and re-opened May 2014. Today, the bridge is like new- strong, sturdy, and safe and ready to carry travelers from around the globe across the river. The refurbished bridge has reenergized the village of Devils Elbow.

Residents of Devils Elbow have decorated the recently rehabilitated Devils Elbow Bridge for the holidays. Photo by Pics By Jax.

Residents of Devils Elbow have decorated the recently rehabilitated Devils Elbow Bridge for the holidays. Photo by Pics By Jax.

The 1942 Devils Elbow Arch Bridge, was designed by the Missouri State Highway Commission. Composed of three open spandrel arches and five arched girder approach spans, it was constructed by Maxwell Construction Company. Maxwell Construction Company constructed almost a dozen, if not more, bridges in Kansas, Arkansas, and Missouri between 1912 and 1942. They were also the company that constructed the Pikes Peak through truss bridge between Waynesville and Crocker on Highway 17 in 1932. Pikes Peak Bridge was demolished October, 2009. After completing the 1942 Devils Elbow Arch Bridge the company was paid $47,707.00. Federal financial sources played an important role in the construction of this bridge- money was made available through the Strategic Highway Fund and the Emergency Relief Fund, both byproducts of World War II. The open spandrel design was used frequently by the Missouri State Highway Department between 1920 and the early 1940’s. According to HAER Inventory- Missouri Historic Bridge Inventory, regarding the open spandrel bridges this bridge has “one of the longest spans of those identified by the statewide bridge inventory.” The report also states that that due to the late construction date that the bridge has “no noteworthy technological significance”. However, in a National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation Form prepared by Ruth Keenoy and Terri Foley they state that “concrete open spandrel arch bridges signify one of the great engineering accomplishments of early twentieth century bridge construction” and further states that “the Big Piney River Bridge is an excellent example”. The 1942 Devils Elbow Arch Bridge is unchanged from its original construction.

A rare image of the 1942 Devils Elbow Arch Bridge during construction. MODOT photo.

A rare image of the 1942 Devils Elbow Arch Bridge during construction. MODOT photo.

1942 Devils Elbow Arch Bridge over the Big Piney River on the 4 lane alignment of Route 66 between Rolla and Lebanon as seen in 2014. Photo by David Harbaugh.

1942 Devils Elbow Arch Bridge over the Big Piney River on the 4 lane alignment of Route 66 between Rolla and Lebanon as seen in 2014. Photo by David Harbaugh.

The 1923 Roubidoux Bridge was also designed by the Missouri State Highway Commission in 1922 to carry traffic across the Roubidoux on Missouri State Highway 14. Missouri Highway 14 was later designated as Highway 66. Builder Koss Construction Company of Des Moines, Iowa was paid $44,035.00 for their work after completion. Koss Construction Company constructed almost a dozen, if not more, bridges in Missouri, Iowa, Alabama, Minnesota, and Michigan. At least two of their bridges, Galena Y Bridge in Stone County, Missouri and Mendota Bridge over the Minnesota River in Dakota County, Minnesota have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. This bridge is a closed, or filled concrete spandrel bridge, a variation of the concrete bridge design that was often used by Missouri State Highway Department in the 1920’s, 1930’s, and 1940’s. This bridge, along with the Meramec River Bridge in Crawford County were the only two remaining examples of this bridge type in a five span formation when the Historic American Engineering Record completed its Missouri Historic Bridge Inventory. The Meramec River Bridge on Highway 19 was lost in 2000. The 1923 Roubidoux Bridge was widened in 1939 when the bridge was 16 years old and has had no further alterations in the following 75 years.

Vintage postcard of Roubidoux Bridge in Waynesville on Missouri State Highway 14, later Route 66. Image courtesy of Steve Rider and 66postcards.com.

Vintage postcard of Roubidoux Bridge in Waynesville on Missouri State Highway 14, later Route 66. Image courtesy of Steve Rider and 66postcards.com.

Roubidoux Bridge on Route 66  in Waynesville as seen in 2014. Photo by Pics By Jax.

Roubidoux Bridge on Route 66 in Waynesville as seen in 2014. Photo by Pics By Jax.

The historic bridges on Route 66 in Pulaski County are more than just bridges. These bridges are links, connecting Chicago to Los Angeles and also connecting travelers from around the world to tangible Americana in the largest open air-museum in the United States.

*Thank You to Jim Ross, author of “Route 66 Crossings: Historic Bridges of the Mother Road”; Terry Primas of the Old Stagecoach Stop, and http://www.bridgehunter.com for their contributions to this article.

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Christmas Cheer in Devils Elbow, MO

A taillight flare adds an extra zip to the festive lights on the Devils Elbow Bridge. Photo by Shawn Helgerson.

A taillight flare adds an extra zip to the festive lights on the Devils Elbow Bridge. Photo by Shawn Helgerson.

The Devils Elbow Bridge was dedicated July 4, 1924 and is considered by many to be a Route 66 icon. The bridge has allowed safe passage across the Big Piney River during its 90+ years of service.

The bridge recently had a second life breathed into it when it went under a massive rehabilitation project overseen by Great River Engineering. Today, the bridge is like new- strong, sturdy, and safe and ready to carry travelers from around the globe across the river.

The citizens have celebrated the revitalization of their beloved bridge in a new way this year- a first in the bridge’s history. The bridge has been decorated with Christmas lights and it is fabulous! This is sure to become a tradition in the ‘Bow and we hope that visiting the bridge during the holidays becomes a tradition for you and your family also. Devils Elbow has always been a very special place on the Mother Road- the lights make it magical.

Devils Elbow Bridge, December 2014. Photo by Pics By Jax.

Devils Elbow Bridge, December 2014. Photo by Pics By Jax.

Devils Elbow Bridge, December 2014. Photo by Pics By Jax.

Devils Elbow Bridge, December 2014. Photo by Pics By Jax.

Devils Elbow Bridge, December 2014. Photo by Pics By Jax.

Devils Elbow Bridge, December 2014. Photo by Pics By Jax.

Citizens Security Bank Horizons Club Tours Pulaski County USA

Last week, 36 members of Citizens Security Bank Horizons Club from Bixby, Oklahoma traveled to Pulaski County, Missouri for a “Fun, Fort, & Fall Foliage” tour. The group enjoyed two jam packed days of Ozark adventure.

After officially being welcomed to Pulaski County by the Tourism Bureau staff, with a reception complete with cookies, coffee, and juice at the Visitors Center in Saint Robert, the tour headed to Fort Leonard Wood for a lunch at one of the dining facilities and a guided windshield tour of the installation. Some of the highlights of the windshield tour included the Reception Battalion, the Main Exchange, Brigade Row on Iowa Avenue, Nutter Field House (built in 1942), Sapper Leader Course, and Training Area 244- also known as the “Million Dollar Hole” because of the value of the equipment kept on site that is used for training purposes.

Citizens Security Bank Horizons Club first stop in Pulaski County, Missouri was the Visitors Center in Saint Robert.

Citizens Security Bank Horizons Club first stop in Pulaski County, Missouri was the Visitors Center in Saint Robert.

While on Fort Leonard Wood the participants visited Mahaffey Museum Complex. The museum is unique in that it is the only place in the country where you can visit three U.S. Army Branch museums in a single location. The complex houses the Military Police Museum, The Chemical Corps Museum, and the U.S. Army Engineer Museum. There is also a WWII Company area and a Historic Vehicle Park.

The evening meal was another unique destination and experience- The Cave Restaurant & Resort is the nation’s only restaurant inside a cave! Group members remarked that the view overlooking the Gasconade River was stunning and that dinner was “two thumbs up”.

Host hotel, Baymont Inn & Suites in Saint Robert, exceeded expectations. The complimentary hot breakfast was especially well received. The waffles and biscuits ‘n gravy were just what these adventurers needed to prepare for a busy day!

Baymont Inn & Suites  in Saint Robert, exceeded the expectations of Citizens Security Bank Horizons Club.

Baymont Inn & Suites in Saint Robert, exceeded the expectations of Citizens Security Bank Horizons Club.

The Bank Club’s second day in “Pulaski County USA” kicked off with a guided tour of Route 66 with local historian Terry Primas. Primas described points of interests and told stories of the section of the old Mother Road that runs between Devils Elbow and Waynesville. They were able to see alignments of the road that dated to the 1920’s, 30’s, and 40’s. The tour traveled through an area that has been described as the most scenic section of Missouri’s Route 66. The bluffs above the old steel bridge in Devils Elbow looked like a postcard- and sure enough, they had indeed been the backdrop for many postcards of the area!

A vintage postcard depicts the scene that can be found at Devils Elbow on Route 66 in Pulaski County, Missouri.

A vintage postcard depicts the scene that can be found at Devils Elbow on Route 66 in Pulaski County, Missouri.

Ready to stretch their legs, the tour group headed to a fabulous lunch at Hoppers Pub on the Square in Waynesville. Recharged and refreshed, they were ready to explore the 1903 Courthouse Museum, Old Stagecoach Stop, and downtown area. The Courthouse Museum is housed in what was Pulaski County’s Courthouse from 1903 until 1989. Designed by Missouri State Architect Henry H. Hohenschild, the upstairs courtroom is in its original condition. The craftsmanship has withstood the test of time and some folks have commented that one can almost hear attorneys arguing cases from the past. Denise Seevers, Museum Curator, told the visitors of a murder that took place in the building in the 1930’s. She also told of bullet holes on the exterior of the building that are scars from a bank robbery that occurred in 1917. The citizens tried to fight the bandits off from the courthouse area and the bad guys shot back!

Citizens Security Bank Horizons Club (Bixby, OK.) members chat outside of Pulaski County Museum in downtown Waynesville, MO.

Citizens Security Bank Horizons Club (Bixby, OK.) members chat outside of Pulaski County Museum in downtown Waynesville, MO.

The Old Stagecoach Stop is a fascinating building. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places the Stop has served as a tavern, Civil War hospital, and hotel. It is one of Pulaski County’s oldest buildings and its museum is arranged by time period- each room depicting an era of the buildings history. Old Stagecoach Stop Museum & Foundation President Jan Primas and Jeanie Porter guided the group through the building while explaining its past, significance & importance.

The Old Stagecoach Stop in Waynesville, MO has a lot of stories to tell!

The Old Stagecoach Stop in Waynesville, MO has a lot of stories to tell! Photo by Laura Huffman.

The club enjoyed free time in downtown Waynesville and members wandered to historic sites and shopping opportunities. Several souvenirs were purchased at Lost In The Woods Antiques & Collectibles, Seda’s Gift Shop, Talbot House, Just Because, Eircil’s Jewelry, and at the gift shop inside Paradise Deli– a German restaurant. Tour members also sampled local flavor at Purn’s Thai Kitchen, Sugar Shack, I Love Ice Cream, Route 66 Candy Shoppe, and Cellar 66. Cellar 66 hosted a wine tasting- and it was a hit! The group also discovered Waynesville Gun & Pawn and Odyssey Scuba. A dive shop in landlocked Pulaski County seemed odd to them until they found out that nearby Roubidoux Spring is home to a large underground cave system and that the area is known for its cave diving opportunities.

A member of Citizens Security Bank Horizons Club (Bixby, OK.) browses at Seda's Gift Shoppe on the Square in downtown Waynesville, MO.

A member of Citizens Security Bank Horizons Club (Bixby, OK.) browses at Seda’s Gift Shoppe on the Square in downtown Waynesville, MO.

Participants of Citizens Security Bank Horizons Club

Participants of Citizens Security Bank Horizons Club ” “Fun, Fort, & Fall Foliage” tour enjoy a sweet treat at I Love Ice Cream in downtown Waynesville.

Members of Citizens Security Bank Horizons Club (Bixby, OK) pose at the corner of Historic Route 66 in downtown Waynesville during their

Members of Citizens Security Bank Horizons Club (Bixby, OK) pose at the corner of Historic Route 66 in downtown Waynesville during their “Fun, Fort, & Fall Foliage tour.

The day’s activities concluded with a sumptuous meal at destination restaurant Di Trapani’s Italian Bistro. The drive to the restaurant on Highway 28 treated passengers to a glorious splash of Ozark color, but that was nothing compared to the views from the dinner tables. The food, the view, and the delightful company of tour companions made this the perfect finale to the two days of “Fun, Fort, and Fall Foliage” tour to Pulaski County, Missouri.

Destination restaurant, Di Trapani's Italian Bistro overlooks Portuguese Point of the Gasconade River in the beautiful Ozark Mountains.

Destination restaurant, Di Trapani’s Italian Bistro overlooks Portuguese Point of the Gasconade River in the beautiful Ozark Mountains.

“Everything was perfect. My travel group cannot thank me enough! Thank you for that- I could not have done this tour without you! You help me succeed making my customers happy with our bank, while experiencing a “Class A” tour. My happy customers make me a happy customer!!” —Lisa Beach, Group Travel Planner- Citizens Security Bank Horizons Club

Are you organizing a group travel tour? Pulaski County Tourism Bureau is happy to provide these complimentary services for Receptives and Group Tour Operators:
• Customized Group Itineraries
• Step-on Guide Referrals/Coordination
• Lodging/Dining Bid Assistance
• Meeting Space Assistance
• Museum Tour Coordination
• FREE Welcome Reception/Comfort Stop
Our Certified Travel Industry Specialist will assist with many aspects of the planning process including customized itineraries. Contact Karen Hood today!

Call Karen Hood to arrange your group tour to Pulaski County USA!

Call Karen Hood to arrange your group tour to Pulaski County USA!

Historic 1923 Devils Elbow Route 66 Bridge Reopened

Photo by Pulaski County Tourism Bureau.

Photo by Pulaski County Tourism Bureau.

Without fanfare, a Route 66 icon returned to service May 22, 2014. The 1923 Devils Elbow Bridge reopened to traffic after being closed for rehabilitation since October 24th, 2013. The project was completed 3 months ahead of schedule, just in time for the peak of tourist season. Pulaski County Commissioner Gene Newkirk noted that the first vehicles to cross the bridge were all from out of state, and that the second group, several motorcycles, were international Route 66 enthusiasts.

Photo by Pulaski County Tourism Bureau.

Photo by Pulaski County Tourism Bureau.

During an impromptu chat on the bridge, Devils Elbow resident Cheryl Dalgetty spoke of her excitement that it had reopened and how much the bridge, and the tourists who flock to Devils Elbow to see it, mean to her community. She recalled that since moving to the area in 1978 she has seen motor coaches filled with tourists cross, and even walk across it to take photos of the bridge itself and the beauty of the Big Piney River and her majestic bluffs.

Photo by Pulaski County Tourism Bureau.

Photo by Pulaski County Tourism Bureau.

One excited motorist even honked their horn in celebration as they crossed the bridge that had been closed to traffic for seven months.

Photo by Pulaski County Tourism Bureau.

Photo by Pulaski County Tourism Bureau.

Some of the signage that was removed during the bridge rehabilitation is now located at Pulaski County Visitors Center (137 St. Robert Boulevard, Suite A, Saint Robert) for Route 66 fans to see and photograph.

Photo by Pulaski County Tourism Bureau.

Photo by Pulaski County Tourism Bureau.

Commissioner Newkirk stated that a formal ceremony marking the reopening will be held in approximately 7 to 10 days. Stay tuned to Pulaski County Tourism Bureau on Facebook (www.facebook.com/PulaskiCountyUSA) or Twitter (@PulCoUSA) for details as they are released.

Stay connected with Pulaski County Tourism Bureau on Facebook & Twitter!

Stay connected with Pulaski County Tourism Bureau on Facebook & Twitter!

The Spirit of Pulaski County

Pulaski County, Missouri has a long and proud tradition of patriotism. In remarkable spirit, citizens laid their cash on the barrel head in return for Uncle Sam’s war bonds during several War Loan Drives to support the war efforts of World War II. War Loan Drives were held nationwide and Pulaski County stepped up to the plate. The third War Loan Drive was held from early September through early October in 1943 with a national goal of $15 billion and the county quota was $336,000. With Dru Pippin as the chairman from the county, Pulaski County delivered $341,787, almost $6,000 over goal. Adjusted for inflation the money raised by Pulaski County in 1943 would equal $4,604,621.64 today. $75,000 of the monies raised bought a P-51 Mustang which was named “The Spirit of Pulaski County” by local bond buyers. After purchasing a Series E War Bond the buyer was able to submit a naming suggestion.

North American P-51 Bought with the 3rd War Loan Drive. "The Spirit of Pulaski County". P-1 Mustang. Photo courtesy of Pulaski County Museum & Historical Society.

North American P-51 Bought with the 3rd War Loan Drive. “The Spirit of Pulaski County”. P-1 Mustang. Photo courtesy of Pulaski County Museum & Historical Society.

Pulaski County, always patriotic and dutiful, had seen many of her citizens march off to war, but part of the rallying cry for the War Loan Drives was the memory of Wayne Lynn “Buck” Bandy. A graduate of Waynesville High School, Buck played trumpet for Navy Band Number 22, and was one of the many sailors lost on board the U.S.S. Arizona December 7, 1941.

Dru Pippin said of the successful War Loan Drives:

“This magnificent response to put idle dollars to work for victory is our message to our fighting men wherever they might be, that Pulaski County has gone to War too.”

This Third War Loan poster featured Superman.

This Third War Loan poster featured Superman.

Many businesses were advertisement sponsors for the War Loan Drives including Long’s Drug Store Sundries, United Army Store, Rigsby Service Station, Baker Hotel, Dr. C.A. Talbot, Owl Cafe, Clark’s Cafe, Chicago Military Store, Prewett Liquor Store, Bell Hotel, Bursons Cafe, Ford Cafe, Copeland Military Store, Sinclair Service Station, Blue Line Bus Service, Tut’s Cafe, Fort Wood Hotel, Ft. Wood Military Supply, 5% Beer Parlor, Safety Service Station and Bell Garage.

Today, over 70 years later, Pulaski County still fervently supports those who put their life on the line to fight for our freedoms. Pulaski County was the first Purple Heart County in the State of Missouri, and several of our cities have received the Purple Heart City designation as well.

Special Thank You to Steven M. Beattie and Pulaski County Museum & Historical Society for their contributions and images.

To plan your trip to Pulaski County, Missouri, home of Fort Leonard Wood, visit http://www.PulaskiCountyUSA, like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/PulaskiCountyUSA, or order your FREE Official Visitors Guide at email@pulaskicountyusa.com or 877-858-8687.

This Week Around Pulaski County USA!

Events for the week of December 9, 2013-December 15, 2013

December 13, 14, & 15- PFAA Presents “The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus”
Where: Theater On The Square, Waynesville
When: Friday & Saturday Curtain at 7:30 pm, Sunday Matinee Curtain at 2:30pm
Cost: Adults: $10, Children 12 & Under: $5
Contact: Tracy Moran- 573.855.6625

Pulaski Fine Arts Association presents "The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus" at Theater On The Square in Waynesville.

Pulaski Fine Arts Association presents “The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus” at Theater On The Square in Waynesville.

December 13 & 14- Journey To Bethlehem
What: Live nativity scene
Where: Crocker Christian Church
When: 5:00-9:00 pm
Cost: FREE
Contact: Carol Ringer- 573.736.5335

Journey To Bethlehem, a live nativity, features over 100 different characters and live animals.

Journey To Bethlehem, a live nativity, features over 100 different characters and live animals.

December 14- Pulaski County Farmer’s Market
What: Farmer’s Market
Where: Downtown Waynesville
When: 8 am until Noon
Cost: FREE admission
Contact: Bruce Main- 573.842.9079

Pulaski County Farmers Market is held year round in Waynesville.

Pulaski County Farmers Market is held year round in Waynesville.

December 14- Richland Christmas Parade
Where: Steps off at Richland Square, Richland
When: Steps off at 11:00 am
Cost: FREE
Contact: DawnElyn Schneider- 573.765.3986

Richland Christmas Parade flyer

Richland Christmas Parade flyer

December 14- Lighted Christmas Parade & Christmas In The Park
Where: Steps off at Dixon High School, ends at Lions Club Park
When: Steps off at 6 pm
Cost: FREE
Contact: Betty McPherson- 573.433.1517

Dixon's Lighted Christmas Parade and Christmas in the Park is the only parade held after dark in Pulaski County, Missouri. The extravaganza of Christmas lights is sure to delight!

Dixon’s Lighted Christmas Parade and Christmas in the Park is the only parade held after dark in Pulaski County, Missouri. The extravaganza of Christmas lights is sure to delight!

December 15- Holiday Tour of Homes
What: Tour of six homes in Richland, including the historical Market Basket residence.
Where: Tour begins at Market Basket, 204 East McClurg Street, Richland
When: Starts at 12 Noon
Cost: $15
Contact: Barb Bolan- 573.855.0221

Richland Holiday Tour of Homes flyer

Richland Holiday Tour of Homes flyer

Looking Forward:

December 18: 399th Army Band Holiday Classic
December 20 & 21: Route 66 Basketball Shootout

For more event listings in Pulaski County USA please visit our online calendar at: http://tinyurl.com/PulaskiCountyUSAEvents or “Like” us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PulaskiCountyUSA

#PulaskiCountyUSA

Hitchhikers Guide To Pulaski County

As Interstate 44 runs through the heart of Pulaski County in central Missouri, many motorists travel to our area. Pulaski County is I-44’s midway point between the Illinois State Line and the Oklahoma State Line. Many travelers look forward to seeing the Pulaski County signs on the roadway because they know when they need to top off their tank, grab a bite, are in need of a “sit down” meal or a clean, comfortable bed, that Pulaski County has plenty of options to meet their needs.

Pulaski County has much to offer to the traveler who departs from the Interstate; the traveler who has a case of wanderlust; the traveler who knows that the best parts of America are not found on the bland ribbons of pavement that criss cross the country. Put some color in your travels by taking Pulaski County’s “back roads”- they will take you to some of our hidden gems.

Ironically, Pulaski County’s most famous back road was once the crown jewel of the transportation system in the United States. Entrepreneurs from the past called it the “Main Street of America”, the highway departments called it Route 66, and those who seek it out today lovingly call it the “Mother Road”. Pulaski County has 33 original miles of the Mother Road that roughly parallels today’s Interstate. Travelers from all over the world seek out Devils Elbow. Devils Elbow, once a popular fishing and resort community, is a throwback to a simpler time. Tip- Stop in at the Elbow Inn & BBQ and have an ice cold beer and a fiery Tater Burger in an original Route 66 Missouri roadhouse. The nearby bluffs overlooking the gentle (and very floatable!) Big Piney River were once listed as one of Missouri’s Eight Scenic Wonders.

The Elbow Inn Bar & BBQ, an internationally known roadhouse on Route 66 in Devils Elbow, Missouri. The building is original to Route 66 and was once the home of Munger-Moss Sandwich Shop which was well known all along Route 66 for their barbecue.

The Elbow Inn Bar & BBQ, an internationally known roadhouse on Route 66 in Devils Elbow, Missouri. The building is original to Route 66 and was once the home of Munger-Moss Sandwich Shop which was well known all along Route 66 for their barbecue.

The original 1923 Route 66 Bridge crossing the Big Piney River at Devils Elbow in Pulaski County, Missouri.

The original 1923 Route 66 Bridge crossing the Big Piney River at Devils Elbow in Pulaski County, Missouri.

A quick two mile hop on a spur of Route 66, Missouri Avenue in Saint Robert, will lead you to Fort Leonard Wood. Fort Leonard Wood is one of the largest military training installations in the United States and millions of Army careers have started here. All branches of the United States military are represented here- Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, even Coast Guard. One of Fort Leonard Wood’s hidden gems, actually in plain sight, is the Mahaffey Museum Complex. This is the only location in the country where you can visit three U.S. Army Branch (Military Police, Engineer, Chemical Corps) museums in a single location. Tip- The museum complex is open to the public and there is no charge for admission. Leaving Fort Leonard Wood to the west, via Polla Road, you can pay your respects to our nation’s veterans at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery- Fort Leonard Wood. The cemetery is home to the newly dedicated Korean War Memorial monument. Pulaski County is very appreciative and supportive of our military and those who have served and you will see examples of our patriotism in many places throughout the county.

Korean War Memorial monument at Missouri Veterans Cemetery- Fort Leonard Wood is a gift to Korean War Veterans from Pulaski County Korean Association.

Korean War Memorial monument at Missouri Veterans Cemetery- Fort Leonard Wood is a gift to Korean War Veterans from Pulaski County Korean Association.

When exiting Missouri Veterans Cemetery, motor west on Route 66 to Missouri Route 7. This two lane highway heads northwest to the Frisco Railroad town of Richland. The road itself has been referred to as one of the best drives in the United States by driving enthusiasts. This road snakes its way through the Ozark hills and bluffs that were cut by the meandering (and very floatable!) Gasconade River. Once in Richland, make sure to visit H.E. Warren Store. This family owned department store first opened its doors to the public in 1869 and has been serving the public ever since. Tip- Folks travel from many miles away to purchase Levi’s jeans and quilting supplies at H.E. Warren.

For more information about Pulaski County USA, including more unique things to see and do (including our Antique & Sweet Treat Trail, Veterans Memorial Tour, & an audio tour of Route 66), outdoor activities, lodging and dining options call 573.336.6355 to order your complimentary Visitors Guide, log on to http://www.PulaskiCountyUSA.com, or visit our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/PulaskiCountyUSA. Our Visitors Center is located at 137 St. Robert Boulevard, Suite A in Saint Robert, Missouri and can easily be reached from Interstate 44 Exit 161. Ask us about our Veteran Thanks program!