This summer of 2016, SCHS and the Sappington-Concord area are experiencing a mother lode of the Mother Road, Route 66. The Missouri History Museum opened its exhibit, “Route 66: Main Street Through St. Louis.” The South County Times did a front page article featuring the exhibit on July 1st. In adition, SCHS is having two events on Route 66 this summer; the July 27 meeting with Joe Sonderman presenting to us on Route 66 in St Louis, and in August the SCHS summer Meet-at-the-Site tour to the Missouri History Museum to see the Route 66 exhibit.
The South County Times
If you get the South County Times newspaper delivered to your house on Fridays in the red wrapper, you saw their feature article in the July 1, 2016 issue. It reported on the Missouri History Museum exhibit, “Route 66: Main Street Through St. Louis.” It’s a good overview of the exhibit and has several photos showing various displays in the exhibit. If you are not in the delivery area for the South County Times, you can read the article on-line. See article on South County Times newspaper web site.
Missouri History Museum Route 66 exhibit
The famous Route 66 cross-country road will turn 90 years old on November 11. Just in time for the anniversary, the Missouri History Museum has opened an exhibit showcasing the St Louis section of the route. The exhibit has everything from vehicles of the era, including an Airstream camper. to original neon signs, functioning jukebox, mechanic’s tools and a telephone booth.
In case you are not familiar with the last item, it was a large box, usually placed on a sidewalk or in some public space. You could try to squeeze in as many of your friends as possible while still being able to close the door. Making an actual phone call with the wired, dial phone was an optional part of the exercise. Attempting this fun antic at the museum is not recommended. But you might ask a docent about the record number of kids to get into a phone booth and living to tell the tale.
There are a number of videos included in the exhibit. Near the entrance to the exhibit is a video that clearly shows the “alignments” or routes of Route 66 traveling through St Louis over the years. If the actual routing of Route 66 is unclear to you, this video may help. Near the end of the exhibit is a video of local Route 66 historian, collector and author, Joe Sonderman. Joe talks in the video about the important place of Route 66 in the life of the USA and in his life personally.
See more about the exhibit on the Missouri History Museum web site. The exhibit runs more than a year, from June 25, 2016 to July 16, 2017.
Joe Sonderman to present to SCHS on Route 66 in St Louis
That brings us to the two events SCHS will sponsor this summer which relate to Route 66. The first is Wednesday, July 27, 2016, at 7:00 pm, the summer SCHS general meeting with presentation featuring Joe Sonderman speaking on “Route 66 in St. Louis.” The presentation will explain the different alignments (routes), landmarks, and businesses along the way on Louis in Route 66. Joe is a Route 66 historian, author and collector. He is the editor of the magazine, “Show Me Route 66” which is published by the Route 66 Association of Missouri. The meeting will be at St. Johns Evangelical United Church of Christ. Bring your own memorabilia and photos for the Route 66 member display table. Wear your Route 66 garb. Share your Route 66 stories and memories. All memorabilia and photos will be returned to their owners at end of meeting.
See directions to St Johns 11333 St. Johns Church Rd, Mehlville, MO 63123
The doors open at 6:30 pm, so come early to see the other attractions at the meeting. See list of attractions below.
See “Joe Sonderman’s on-line Route 66 Archive.” Joe has an amazing collection of post cards on his web site. Be prepared to wade in deep and watch out for the undertow!
See some of Joe’s books on Joe Sonderman’s Amazon.com book page
See below on this page a short list of books by Joe Sonderman.
Other attractions at the meeting:
• SCHS members Route 66 memorabilia and photos table. Bring your own memorabilia and photos for the Route 66 member display table. Wear your Route 66 garb. Share your Route 66 stories and memories. All memorabilia and photos will be returned to their owners at end of meeting.
• Book sale table featuring a few of Joe Sonderman’s books, especially those relating to Route 66
• Don Cortne of the local Battle of the Bulge group, St. Louis Gateway Chapter, Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge gatewayvbob.org, will have its book on display and for sale:
Victory Through Valor: A Collection of World War II Memoirs
• Dan Gonzales, St Louis County Preservation Historian, will be at the meeting to represent the effort to save the bridge which crosses the Meramec River in Route 66 State Park. See more on web page appeal.
• Display about the archaeological dig at Sappington House. See more on page The dig at Sappington House
• Johnny’s Market history table
• For SCHS members – get your photo taken for the “SCHS Membership Snapshot,” if you did not get it taken at the April meeting.
Meet-at-the-Site tour to Mo History Museum Route 66 exhibit
The second Route 66 event is on Wednesday, August 3, 2016, at 10:00 am. The Summer SCHS Meet-at-the-Site Tour will go see the Route 66 exhibit at Missouri History Museum, “Route 66: Main Street Through St. Louis.” Meet at the Missouri History Museum in front of the Thomas Jefferson statue at 10:00 am. If you want to find a friend to ride with, meet at St Lucas UCC church at 9:00 am, departure from St Lucas church at 9:15 am. Park on the church’s east parking lot at the north end away from the other cars. Entry to Missouri History Museum and the exhibit is free of charge. Please sign up for this Meet-at-the-Site Tour at the July 27 general meeting at St Johns church. The tour is free and open to the public.
See page about Meet-at-the-Site Tours.
See map to St Lucas UCC church for people riding together to the museum.o
The photos below show some of the items featured in the exhibit.
The 66 Park in Theatre in Crestwood, Missouri.
Full size vehicles are a prominent part of the exhibit.
The Airstream trailer is set up for camping as can be seen through the windows.
A few of the famous signs along the Route 66.
Joe Sonderman video with shots of some of the scenes featured in the video.
The open road – Photos from the Joe Sonderman video in the Route 66 exhibit at Missouri History Museum.
The jukebox playing 16 covers of Bobby Troup’s Anthem to the Mother Road “Route 66.” See more about the song on Wikipedia. See the Troup song in Wiipedia article on history of Rock and Roll. See Bobby Troup.
Past SCHS events related to Route 66
• October 2013 – SCHS general meeting presentation, Kip Welburn spoke on Route 66 in St Louis
• November 2013 – Route 66 collection in the Oak Bend library display case
• July 2014 – Meet-at-the-Site Tour to Route 66 State Park museum
A short list of books relating to Route 66 by Joe Sonderman:
Route 66 in St. Louis (Images of America)
Route 66 Missouri
Route 66 in Illinois (Images of America)
Get Your Pics on Route 66: Postcards from America’s Mother Road
Route 66 in the Missouri Ozarks (Postcards of America)
Route 66 Roadside Signs and Advertisements
Travel Route 66: A Guide to the History, Sights, and Destinations Along the Main Street of America
See more books by Joe on Amazon. He has books on the 1904 World’s Fair in St Louis, more post card books and books on other mid-western cities.
Joe’s latest book is Route 66 in Kansas, released on July 4, 2016. He wrote it with Cheryl Eichar Jett.
Review of Joe and Cheryl’s presentation at Madison County Historical Society Archival Library in Edwardsville in 2014. See Route 66 Association of Illinois web site.
Joe and Route 66 postcards
Joe and Route 66 postcards
See what Joe has to say about postcards, Route 66 and us. That is “us” as in everyday people, not the history of our school days. It’s the highway, the cars, the people, the sites and the sights.