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Conway

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Conway, Missouri

Route 66 in the Ozarks

Conway a small Route 66 town, has an old Ford Auto dealership, and a Ghost Sign, the Conway Service Station and close by, the Route 66 Commemorative Rest Area with a modern Solar Road project. Don't miss the classic Meramec Caves Barn Sign.

Conway MO

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About Conway Missouri

Facts, Trivia and useful information

Elevation: 1,407 ft (429 m). Population 788 (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).

Conway is small town in the southwestern corner of Laclede County, in south central Missouri. (Map of Conway).

There are Two Conway's on Route 66

The second one is located in Texas: Conway.

View of Old Service Station in Conway

View of an old filling station in Conway
Street View of old Gas station inConway, Missouri, by
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

History of Conway

Read about the region's history in our Lebanon page (County seat, 15 mi. north of Conway).

The name: Conway

Named after the first store keeper back in the 1870s. It is an Irish surname which was converted from different gaelic names into this English variant "Conway": such as Mac Connbhuidhe (Mac: "son" of Connbhuidhe: "Yellow Hound") or Mac Connmhaigh (son of "Conmhaigh" which meant "Head Smasher").

Laclede County was established in 1849 and was named after Pierre Laclède, the Frenchman who founded St. Louis. The town was platted in 1869 just before the arrival of the South Pacific Railroad. That same year the railroad built its station half a mail away, naming it "New Conway". The two towns merged into one. The post office opened in 1871.

There were canning factories in the area which processed tomatoes. They went out of business in the 1940s.

Route 66 was created in 1926, and passed throught the western part of the town and brought a flow of tourists which were served by the locals. When The highway was aligned to the west and widened into a four lane expressway, Marshfield focused on it and kept on making a living from travellers, as it does today with I-44.

Where to Lodge in Conway, Missouri

Lodging close to Conway: in neighboring Marshfield...

>> Book your hotel in Marshfield

More Lodging near Conway along Route 66

Motels and Hotels close to Conway

Hotels, Westwards in Missouri

Heading West... Hotels & Motels in Kansas...

Further West... Hotels & Motels on Route 66 in Oklahoma...

Heading East in Missouri, more accommodation

Book your Route 66 hotel now
Book your Hotel along Route 66

>> Check out the RV campgrounds in Marshfield close to Conway

Weather in Conway

Route 66 and Conway, MO
Location of Conway on the Old Route 66 in Missouri

Conway has clearly defined seasons. Its position on the northern limit of U.S.'s humid subtropical climate gives it very humid weather during late summer.

The July average temperatures (summer) temperatures are: (high) 89°F (31.6°C); (low) 68° (19.8°C). The aerage January (winter) high temperature is 43°F (6.1°C) while the average low is below freezing: 22°F (-5.3°C).

Annual rainfall averages 45.6 in. (1.160 mm), and Conway receives about 17 in. of snow (43 cm) every year.

Tornado risk

Conway is located in the "Tornado Alley" and Laclede County has around 8 tornado strikes per year.

Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
 

Getting to Conway

You can reach Conway along historic Route 66 and Interstate I-44 that links it with Springfield, Tulsa and Oklahoma City in the west and with Lebanon and St. Louis in the east. US 160, 60 and 65 run to the west, through Springfield.

Map of Route 66 in Conway

in Missouri.

Pale Blue: The 1926 to 1953 and later alignments of Route 66
The alignments after 1953 became part of what is now I-44.

See Route 66's alignment in Missouri Map

  Click to See the Conway alignment (Western MO: the road from "Phillipsburg to the Kansas state line")

Remove or restore State shading
 

Google Maps. Terms. Icons.

Alignment of Route 66 in Missouri: Historic U.S. 66 through Conway

Route 66 logo

Route 66 across Missouri

U.S. Route 66 is a State Historic Scenic Byway in Missouri; it is pending Federal designation as a Byway.

Click on the following link for an overview of Route 66 across the state of Missouri.

Below you will find detailed information on Old Route 66 in Conway

Sights and Attractions in Conway, Missouri

What to Do, Places to See

Small town in the Route 66 Ozarks

Conway and its Route 66 attractions

Conway is a ghost town located on the 1926 to 1953 Route 66 alignment; visit the old Conway Service Station and Ghost Sign in downtown and further afield, the Route 66 Commemorative Rest Area site of the US 66 Solar Road project. Just north of town is the famous Meramec Caves Barn Sign

Historic context, the classic Route 66 in Conway

In 1946, Jack DeVere Rittenhouse published his "A Guide Book to Highway 66" in which he mentions Conway during Route 66's heyday: "Conway. (Pop. 516)... gas; garage; cafe; few cabins). A small business district is off US 66".

He added that there was a Gas station and cafe 2 mi. west and another gas station one mile further ahead. But these have gone.

Tour the route 66 landmarks in Conway

Begin your tour at the Railroad crossing in the downtown district of Conway. At 105 W Jefferson Ave. is the Conway Senior Center, in a brick building formerly Wilkerson Bros. auto dealership with the words "Ford", "Lincoln" and "Fordson" in stained glass on its facade ( See view

The two story brick building on the left dates back to 1880.

Conway I-44 Route 66 rest area

Route 66 commemorative Rest Area, www.modot.org

Ghost Sign

Just south, along S. Main St. is the City Hall building. Notice the "ghost sign" (A ghost sign is an old hand-painted advertisment that has survived on a building for a long time and not been removed or painted over) on the wall, proclaiming "King of them all - Magnetic Soda Water in bottles 5 cents. 'Its in the water". Lebanon", Lebanon was famous for its magnetic water and even had a spa hotel in the 1890s. See view.

Head west and stop at the SE corner of Jefferson and Myrtle St.:

Vintage Gas Station

Myrtle and Jefferson St. Conway

An old unbranded service station with two old fashioned 1970s pumps, an office next to a one-bay garage. The flat canopy covers both pumps. A relic. See its Photo at the top of this page.

Tours & Itineraries near Conway

Route 66 memorial Rest Area

3.3 mi. drive. SW of town on I-44.

Drive from Conway's Downtown, west along Jefferson (State Hwy. J) to the freeway, get onto it, westbound at Exit 113 and head west, leave it at the rest area (Map with directions.

The rest stop is dedicated to historic Route 66, as you can see in this Street View, the picnic tables are place in buildings resembling classic Route 66 motels, garages, gas stations and stores. The sign in front of the main building is a virtual copy of Lebanon's Munger Moss Motel neon sign.

Solar Road

solar panel road paving

Solar Road, www.solarroadways.com

The Missouri Department of Transportation is implementing a pilot solar project here: they will use solar panels from Idaho based Solar Roadways that are strong enough to be used as a road surface and driven on. They are hexagonal panels which will be used on the footpaths and sidewalks during a first stage.

The power will feed the rest area and also keep the ice and snow off the walkways.

Meramec Caves Barn Sign

12555 Martingale Dr. Conway

Turn around and head north it is a 11 mi. drive Map with directions. From Conway's Exit 113 it is much closer: only 1.5 mi, along the west side frontage road (Map with directions).

barn with Meramec Caverns advertisment

Barn with the Meramec Caverns advert, Google
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

To your left, on the NW side of the highway is a barn which is painted with an advertisment promoting the "Meramec Caverns". It is the last one in Missouri, and there is a similar one far to the west on Route 66 in Chandler, Oklahoma.

Meramec Caverns

Meramec Caverns were actively promoted by Lester B. Dill, who actually invented the bumper sticker as a means of advertising them. He erected billboards along Route 66, and also, the painted barns on a grand scale.

The 4.6 mi (7.4 km) of the cavern system are located near Stanton, Missouri; read all about the Meramec Caverns. It began to be promoted to the public as a tourist attraction in 1935 and became one of the main attractions along the old US Highway 66. Today it is visited by over 150,000 tourists every year.

Old Route 66 in Conway

Missouri State Highway 14 was built through the area in the 1910s and in 1926 it became Route 66's alignment.

Old Route 66: 1926-1953 Alignment in Conway

The original alignment is shown in the Map above in Pale Blue, and was a winding course between Strafford and Lebanon, just west of Conway's downtown area.

After 1953

In 1952 the Missouri Highway Department started work to improve Route 66 to make it safer and shorter. It built a completely new road to the west of the original one that was upgraded into a four lane highway with overpasses, after 1958 it coexisted with I-44 until it was finally decertified around 1979. There was an exit close to Conway which saved it from the fate of neighboring Sampson, now a ghost town.

Detail of a 1957 Missouri DOT Map.

Detail of a 1957 Missouri DOT Map
Detail of a 1957 Missouri DOT Map near Conway, Missouri, by

The map above shows Route 66 between Lebanon and Springfield in 1957. I-44 had not yet been built and US 66 was a divided highway that almost reached Strafford. The older alignment of Route 66 had been redsignated as MO-CC between Conway and Marshfield, passing by Conway.

> > See this segment Lebanon to Springfield (east)

> > See the next segment Springfield to Halltown (west)

Sources

The Ramsay Place Names File

Image Used as per Google Street View Image Api Updated Dec. 31, 2014.

Maura Johnson and John F. Bradbury, Route 66 Association of Missouri. 1993, Architectural ⁄ Historical Inventory Survey. Route 66 in Missouri

Jack DeVere Rittenhouse, (1946). A Guide Book to Highway 66.

Image by Vítězslav Válka adapted under its CC BY-SA 3.0 CZ License

Map Icons by Nicolas Mollet under its CC BY SA 3.0 License