More Route 66 features are planned for Route 66-themed Boswell Park, President Bruce Owen told the Lebanon-Laclede County Route 66 Society board at its monthly meeting Tuesday.
Owen said parks director John Shelton has suggested that six kiosks be installed along the new sidewalk to the restored Camp Joy cabin. The kiosks would tell stories about Laclede County’s Route 66 history.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Owen said.
Discussions continue on erecting an arch over the new Camp Joy sidewalk that would be a smaller version of the arch that once graced the entrance of Camp Joy, Owen said.
He said Shelton also has suggested that a piece of original Route 66 curbing be displayed next to a new section of concrete to demonstrate how Route 66 actually looked. The curbing, which the parks department obtained several years ago, is from a now-gone curve on the south side of Route 66 where Harry “Shorty” Jones opened a Shell station in the late 1920s just east of where Laclede Electric Cooperative is today.
A tree, paid for by the Route 66 Society and selected by charter member Ramona Lehman, has been planted at Boswell Park in memory of the late Bill Wheeler, the first president of the Route 66 Society and the visionary for Boswell Park taking on a Route 66 theme. A plaque honoring Wheeler also has been created. The board discussed whether the tree and plaque could be dedicated when the Route 66 Association of Missouri Motor Tour visits the park on Oct. 18, since Wheeler also was a former board member of the state association. Owen will check with Shelton whether the base for the plaque will be ready by then.
The motor tour also was discussed. The three-day tour will arrive in Laclede County at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, with a stop at the endangered Route 66 Gasconade River Bridge. The tour will visit the Lebanon-Laclede County Route 66 Museum about 3 p.m., then have an outdoor social event with an Elvis tribute artist at 7 p.m. at the Munger Moss Motel.
Sunday’s activities start with the Route 66 Society serving a light breakfast to the motor tour at the Boswell Park murals starting at 8 a.m., followed at 9 a.m. with the Route 66 Society answering questions about the Route 66 Mural Project and giving tours of the Camp Joy cabin. The state association board will hold its quarterly business meeting afterward at the Wallace Center.
Derek Gean, communications manager for the City of Lebanon, attended Tuesday’s meeting to express the city’s support for the motor tour’s visit.
Route 66 Society Secretary Cathy Dame stressed the importance of making a good impression on the motor-tour participants so they return to Lebanon in the future.
In other business, the board informally agreed to move the 2021 annual membership meeting back to a Monday night because of lower-than-usual attendance when this year’s meeting was held on a Saturday morning. A tentative date is Jan. 25.
Instead of a featured speaker at the meeting, the board discussed having a panel of local residents who have Route 66 stories to tell. “Everyone likes a story,” Dame said.
The board also discussed a possible project to paint the exterior of a privately owned Route 66 landmark, but the project depends on the approval of the owners.
And Owen reported that a meeting room at the Cowan Civic Center, now being renovated, will be renamed the Route 66 Meeting Room.
Also, Jessica Fox was appointed to fill the board seat vacated by Nicole McGinnis. See separate story.