Historic U.S. Route 66 in St. Clair
"The Mother Road" was established on November 11, 1926, and ultimately stretched 2,448 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles. Starting in Chicago, westbound travelers traversed a series of towns in Illinois before arriving in St. Louis.
Heading westbound in Missouri, the route traveled through these cites and towns:
- St. Louis
- St. Clair
- Brooklyn Heights
Historic U.S. Route 66 Byway in Missouri
Route 66 across Missouri stretched 317 miles and connected a variety of large cities and small towns, traversing rolling hills and valleys.
The Mother Road followed much of the Kickapoo, or Osage, Trail, an Indian trail that later became the Old Wire Road.
Like other Route 66 segments, the actual alignment varied over the years as engineering improvements were constructed.
We've driven much of Route 66, including multiple segments across Missouri, and visits to St. Clair.
St. Clair Missouri Background
A popular stop on Route 66 today is the town of St. Clair, situated about 50 miles west of St. Louis. It features a rich Route 66 history, attractions and other things to do.
St. Clair was established in 1843 as Traveler’s Repose, a stagecoach way station from St. Louis to Springfield. It had a hotel and a post office. In 1859, the Southwest Branch of the Pacific Railroad arrived. The name was changed to St. Clair in honor of a civil engineer from the railroad. The arrival of the railroad caused the town to grow as it provided a means for shipping products to St. Louis.
Transportation to St. Louis grew with the opening of Highways 30 and upgrading of U.S. Route 66 (now I-44). St. Clair soon became a resort for residents in St. Louis.
St. Clair Missouri Today
Today, St. Clair today is a thriving community with over 15 major industries and 200 retail establishments. The population of the city is about 4,700, with 15,000 people living in the school district.
In addition to Route 66 attractions, a number of other places are popular with residents and visitors, including these:
- St. Clair Historical Museum
- The Wishing Well
- Old Cove Canoe and Kayak
- Henderson's Antiques
- Shady Beach
- The city's "hot" and "cold" water towers
- The old Skylark Motel
Map showing the approximate location of St. Clair on Historic Route 66 in Missouri
More Information about St. Clair & Route 66
Interactive Map of St. Clair, Missouri
Earlier Times on Historic U.S. Route 66 in St. Clair
On U. S. Highway 66, 50 Miles SW of St. Louis
Playgrounds, free TV, carports, air-conditioned
R. Chas. Johnson, owner - Phone 777
AMHA Affiliate Motel
To the East of St. Clair: Route 66 State Park
Travel through history on The Mother Road at Route 66 State Park, near metro St. Louis. Sample a slice of Route 66 history at the 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. Picnic sites and trails are sprinkled throughout the park.
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 as a summer resort area on the Meramec River.
Efforts are now underway to fund the restoration of the park's historic 1,000 foot long Route 66 Meramec River Bridge completed in 1932. For more information, visit the SaveThisBridge.org website.
To the West of St. Clair: Meramec Caverns
Beneath the fertile rolling hills of the Meramec Valley near Stanton and Sullivan, Missouri, lies a complex of mineral formations and color as rare and unique as they are beautiful. These jewels of nature which took thousands of years to grow, are preserved in the spectacular sights of Meramec Caverns. Guided tours by trained rangers are conducted along well-lighted walkways. Take Exit 230 on Interstate I-44 ... GPS address 1135 MO-W, Sullivan, MO 63080
|Classic barn advertising along Historic Route 66 in Missouri for Meramec Caverns|