Route 66 State Park
97 North Outer Rd., Suite 1, Eureka, MO 63025 - United States
Travel through history on The Mother Road at Route 66 State Park. Route 66 captured Americans’ imagination and exposed millions of citizens to small towns across the country. Sample a slice of that at Route 66 State Park’s visitor center, which has displays showcasing the road. The visitor center is the former Bridgehead Inn, a 1935 roadhouse that sat on the original Route 66. The park’s location, close to metro St. Louis, provides visitors with a quick getaway to nature. More than 40 types of birds have been identified in the park and picnic sites and trails are sprinkled throughout the park.
Route 66 State Park strives to keep some of the memories alive through its displays and memorabilia. The visitor center has a historical display area complete with Route 66 memorabilia. Wandering among the display items, visitors will see the rich architecture of the buildings and towns that graced the roadways of Missouri from the 1930s to the 1960s, and souvenirs that long ago travelers bought on their journey across Missouri on Route 66. A gift shop, specializing in hundreds of Route 66 items, is open seven days a week from March through November in the visitor center.
Included in the historical Route 66 display area are articles and information about the former town of Times Beach. Exhibits highlight the history of Times Beach, both as a summer resort area on the Meramec River and as one of the nation's environmental success stories. In 1926, land lots in the resort area of Times Beach were offered to the public with a six-month subscription to the St. Louis Times newspaper and an additional $67.50. The area eventually developed into a small town. In the early 1980s, it was discovered that waste oil that had been sprayed on the streets of Times Beach to reduce dust was contaminated with high levels of dioxin. The homes were purchased, and a massive cleanup followed. Once the cleanup was complete, the land was turned over to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Division of State Parks, and now, as Route 66 State Park, is once again used for recreation.
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