Friends of the Mother Road

Friends of the Mother Road - a
volunteer organization dedicated to preservation and education along Route 66 in Missouri

Is your favorite Route 66 landmark in danger?

As anyone who has traveled America's Main Street knows, Route 66 is a road of memories and adventures, many of which begin at one of the hundreds of roadside attractions that dot the landscape between Chicago and Los Angeles.

From the busy, carnival-like atmosphere at Ted Drewes' Frozen Custard in St. Louis to the bittersweet solitude of John's Modern Cabins near Newburg or the soft glow of pink and green neon at the Boots Motel in Carthage, Missouri's share of the Mother Road is well blessed with the flavors, images and experiences that wonderful vacations are made of.


Unfortunately, as Route 66 ages, her treasures disappear. Gone forever are the stately oaks and seductive Streamline Moderne curves of St. Louis' famed Coral Court Motel. The Ozark Court's bright red deer declined to the point that it could no longer watch over the crumbling remnants of the old motel in St. Clair. Careless people turned the Oak Grove roadside park in Leasburg into a landfill, prompting the state to close it.

A reason to hope

All is not lost. Efforts to preserve the Mother Road's history have been successful in other states -- the Round Barn in Arcadia, OK, and the Standard Oil station in Odell, IL, come to mind -- and we believe similar success stories are possible in Missouri. All we need are a few volunteers willing to donate a few hours a year to letter-writing, fund-raising and hands-on restoration efforts. If you're interested in helping to save a part of America's history, click here for a printable membership form.

Latest Projects

Luna Cafe Neon Sign Re-lighting Party on October 22nd, 2011

The Route 66 Associations of Illinois & Missouri, and the Friends of the Mother Road, are proud to announce that the official re-lighting date has been set for Saturday, October 22, 2011, at approximately 6:30 PM, depending on the timing of dusk that evening. Larry Wofford, owner of the Luna Café, is anxiously awaiting this exciting day when his historic Route 66 beacon will again shine like it did during the hey-day of the Mother Road.

He is delighted to welcome all Route 66 roadies to join in the fun and celebrate this exciting event with him. This would not only be a great celebration of the sign but a great way to join fellow road friends …… and make new ones -- and it will also constitute a big thank you to Larry for his contribution to the preservation of the Mother Road with the rebirth of this classic sign.

Refreshments will be served, and it is anticipated that a representative from the Illinois State Historic Preservation Agency will be there for this special event, as well local media and community leaders.

Don't miss the party at the Luna Cafe in Mitchell, Illinois on October 22nd!

Joplin Tornado Relief

If you own a Route 66 business that was affected by the Joplin tornado of May 22, 2011, and you would like assistance from Friends of the Mother Road's volunteer work crew, please email Emily Priddy with your contact information. If you would like to join us as a volunteer, please post a comment and your e-mail address, and we'll send you details as soon as we've scheduled a work day.

Book: Things to Look for On Route 66 in St. Louis
by Kip Welborn

The book sells for $10.00. Mailing costs are an additional $2.25. A couple of bucks will go towards putting the book together, and the rest will go to Friends of the Mother Road, Inc. for preservation efforts. It is in black and white and bound so that it is easy to flip the pages while you are cruising.

Things to Look for On Route 66 in St. Louis

Site Index
    Stanley Cour-Tel and Lin-Air Motel Signs
    The Coral Court
    Vernelle's Motel Sign Restoration
    Vega Motel Sign Restoration
    Meadow Gold Sign

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Domain name registration and hosting fees for this site donated by Carolyn's Stamp Store