One week from now, travelers on Route 66 just west of Phillipsburg should be able to see the original front of the Twin Oaks station for the first time in years.
Volunteers from the Lebanon-Laclede County Route 66 Society and owner Kelly Hackler removed most of the enclosure Saturday that blocked the view from the highway. A previous owner had enclosed the area beneath the canopy – from the pump island back – to create a storage room.
“We hope to finish getting it totally open next Saturday,” Route 66 Society board member Bill Jones said, adding that Hackler is “very excited” by the progress. Jones championed Twin Oaks restoration while he was Route 66 Society president.
Hackler, who bought the 7.75-acre Twin Oaks property four years ago, hopes to save several of the surviving buildings from further deterioration. Workers replaced the badly damaged roof of the gas station a week ago, and Jones said Hackler will use plywood salvaged from Saturday’s project to repair the roofs of other structures.
Total restoration will be a long process depending on money and volunteer labor, but Jones said the important thing is that “it’s started – that’s great.”
Helping Hackler on Saturday were Jones, Route 66 Society Vice President Leland Townsend and member Steve Long.
Jones said volunteers are needed for another workday at 10:30 a.m. next Saturday (Oct. 31) to finish removing the enclosure.