About Marlborough Missouri
Facts, Trivia and useful information
Elevation: 538 ft (164 m). Population 2,179 (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).
The "Village of Marlborough" is a small town located on the 1932-1977 Route 66 alignment in St. Louis County, central-eastern Missouri just west of St. Louis city. (Map of Marlborough).
Street view of the former La Casa Grande Motel in Marlbrough, Missouri
History of Marlborough
This part of Missouri was peopled some 10,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age. There are some earth mounds in the region (at Fenton and in Illinois), built by Native Americans around AD 1050 - 1400. In historic times, the French exporers from Canada reached the region in 1683 and met natives of the Algonquin nation who called themselves "Illiniwek" or "men" in their own language. These hunter-gatherers grew corn, squash and beans. The French corrupted their name to "Illinois".
The French named the land after their King, Louis IV: "Louisiana" and in 1764, Laclede and Chouteau founded St. Louis; settlers arrived shortly after. The French sold Louisiana to the United States in 1803 and shortly after, in 1805, Thomas Sappington settled there and built his home here in Marlborough (see Sappington House), and their Sappington Cemetery dates back to 1811, probably the oldest cemetery on Route 66.
St.Louis incorporated and became a municipality in 1809. The Territory of Missouri was created in 1812, and it became a state of the Union in 1821. In the 1830s the Native Americans were relocated to reservations in Oklahoma. This was a rural community with farms. After the Civil War, it grew slowly. Watson Road dating back to the late 1800s was named after Wesley Watson who owned a sand and gravel pit used in construction. Route 66 was aligned along it in 1932. Urban development in the post-war years converted it into a commuter suburb of St. Louis.
The Name: Marlborough
The name is that of the Norman family that lived at Marbury manor in Cheshire after 1066 AD. The manor's name was deformed to Marlborough. The town is probably named after the famous General, Duke of Marlborough or other towns named after him.
Hotels and Motels: Marlborough, Missouri
Accommodation and hotels near Marlborough
>> Book your accommodation in neighboring Sunset Hills
More Lodging near Marlborough along Route 66
More motels and Hotels close to Marlborough and Route 66
Hotels, Westwards in Missouri
- 4 mile Hotels in Sunset Hills
- 7 miles Hotels in Fenton
- 6 miles Kirkwood (north along Bypass 66)
- 19 miles Eureka
- 26 miles Pacific
- 45 miles Saint Clair
- 60 miles Sullivan
- 79 miles Cuba
- 92 miles Saint James
- 102 miles Rolla
- 130 miles St. Robert
- 131 miles Waynesville
- 165 miles Lebanon
- 195 miles Marshfield
- 207 miles Strafford
- 217 miles Springfield MO
- 278 miles Carthage
- 296 miles Joplin
Heading East in Missouri, more accommodation
- 7 miles St. Louis
Hotels further East, in Illinois
- 9 miles East St. Louis
- 15 miles Granite City
- 19 miles Pontoon Beach
- 25 miles Glen Carbon
- 26 miles Troy
- 35 miles Edwardsville
- 36 miles Hamel
- 46 miles Williamson
- 48 miles Staunton
- 63 miles Litchfield
- 78 miles Raymond
- 139 miles Springfield IL
- 150 miles Lincoln
- 160 miles Atlanta
- 182 miles Bloomington
- 184 miles Normal
- 207 miles Chenoa
- 218 miles Pontiac
- 275 miles Joliet
- 315 miles Chicago
>> Check out the RV campground in neighboring Fenton
Weather in Marlborough
Weather widget for St. Louis, the city beside Marlborough
Marlborough has four well marked seasons. It is located in the area where humid continental climate shifts towards a humid subtropical climate, so summers are hot and humid while winters are cold. It gets cold Arctic air and hot damp tropical air from the Gulf of Mexico. Spring is wet and may have extreme weather (tornados, thunderstorms and even winter storms). Fall is sunny and less humid, with mild weather.
The average high in winter (Jan) is a cool 39.9°F (4.4°C) while the average low is a chilly 23.7°F (-4.6°C). The summer (Jul) average high is 89.1°F (31.7°C) and the average low is 71°F (21.7°C).
Rain is on average 41 in. (1.041 mm) with the rainiest months being May through July with over 4.1 in monthly (104 mm). Snow falls between Nov. and Apr., with a total snowfall of 17.8 in. (45 cm). Relative humitiy ranges averages 69.7% and is fairly stable year round.
The town is located in Missouri's "Tornado Alley" and St. Louis County is struck by some 7 tornados every year.
Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along U.S. 66.
Getting to Marlborough
You can reach Marlborough along historic Route 66 and also via Interstate I-44. I-270 is west of the Marlborough; US 50 and US 61 also run just to the west. Further east is I-55.
Map of Route 66 in Marlborough
Map of Marlborough on US Highway 66 in Missouri.
Display MapClick for Map to appear below
Orange marks the 1926 to 1932 alignment of Route 66 from St. Louis to Gray Summit, to the north of Marlborough.
Pale Blue, west up to Gray Summit, is the 1932 to 1953 Route 66 that bypassed the previous Orange alignment located north of it. To the east, it also marks the 1932 - 1977 Route 66 into St. Louis.
Red shows where you must drive on the Interstate as the old segments of Route 66 are under its roadbed.
Blue shows the original parts of Route 66's 1932 to 1977 roadbed that can still be driven but are not located on the Pale Blue road, they end in dead ends and the Black segments show the orginal but now gone parts of the old road.
See Route 66's alignment in Missouri Map
Remove or restore State shading
Alignment of Route 66 in Missouri: Historic U.S. 66 through former Marlborough
Route 66 across Missouri
U.S. Route 66 in Missouri is a State Historic Scenic Byway in Missouri and this also includes the old alignment in Marlborough and in Saint Louis County, however it is still pending Federal designation as a Byway.
Click on the following link and see our overview of Route 66 across the state of Missouri.
Below you will find full details on Old Route 66 in Marlborough
Sights and Attractions in Marlborough, Missouri
What to Do, Places to See
Historic sites on Route 66
Marlborough and its Route 66 attractions
Marlborough on the 1932-77 alignment of US 66 known as City 66. The famous Coral Court Motel stood here (now only its gate wall remains); but many icons survive: Rischbeiter’s Garage and some Classic motels: the Wayside Motel , the Chippewa Motel, the Duplex Tourist and La Casa GrandeMotel.
Historic context, the classic Route 66 in Marlborough
Neither the WPA travel guide "Missouri, a guide to the "Show Me" state" published in 1941 or Jack DeVere Rittenhouse's 1946 classic "A Guide Book to Highway 66" mention Marlborough. But, Rittenhouse does mention a motel in Marlbrough: "Other courts on west side of town are Wayside ..." and the now gone Bluebonnet.
The Marlborough Route 66 Tour
A 0.8 mile drive. See this Map with directions. Start at the eastern end of town and drive west. There, to your left is a 1940s icon:
7750 Watson, Marlborough (Location map).
A one story concrete block building with a 3-bay garage and office. It was built around 1941. The Crystal Motel (now gone) was built next to it in 1946 and the famous Coral Court Motel (now Gone) once stood across the road. This area had many motels west towards Bypass 66, but now only a few remain.
Coral Court Motel
Demolished, but it was Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
7755 Watson Road
John Carr built it in 1941 with 10 cabins, another 23 were added in 1948 after WWII. It had yellow honey-colored glazed ceramic bricks and glass block windows with curved lines in an Art Deco style.
The rebuilt cottage from Coral Court Motel, Jon Roanhaus
Carl Austin and Bonnie Headly kidnapped a six-year old boy, Bobby Greanlease Jr. in Kansas, in 1953. They cashed the $300,000 ransom and killed the child. They hid at this motel and were captured here. Convicted and executed, the ransom money was never found.
In 1993 the motel was forced to close due to structural deficiencies. Though funds were raised to save it, it was bought by Conrad Properties to develop the real estate as "Oak Knoll Manor Drive and Court". The motel was torn down in 1995. And the Museum of Transportation dismantled one complete bungalow which is now partially rebuilt and displayed at the museum: a curved glass block wall and part of its garage.
At the original site the only physical remains are the two stone entrance gate walls:
The stone gates of Coral Court Motel in a vintage postcard. www.66postcards.com
Click on image for larger view.
The stone gates of Coral Court Motel in nowadays. Google
Click on image for larger view.
St. Louis Museum of Transportation
3015 Barrett Station Rd. Location map.
Owned by the St. Louis County Parks Dept. it has exhibits of all kinds related to transport: trains, cars, and, the remains of one cabin of the Coral Court Motel. Check the Museum’s website.
Ahead, to your left, on the hillside is the classic Wayside Motel:
3015 Barrett Station Rd, Location map).
It dates back to 1938 and was located opposite the Coral Court Motel. Well preserved as it is was built in bricks, it had 33 brick cottages. It was named in Jack Rittenhouse's 1946 guide book and is still open.
Just beyond it, also on your left is the Chippewa Motel:
7880 Watson, Marlborough
Originally known as Chippewa Tourist Cottages this motel (pictured below), built in 1937, has a U-shaped layout with three wings. The porch overhang on the wings is supported by iron posts. When built it had 13 individual cottages as was the standard in those days, with motor courts consisting on separate cabins. But by the late 1940s they had been linked and the place had acquired its current appearance. Nowadays it is an apartment complex. Further west is the Duplex Motel:
Duplex Motel at Marlborough Google
Click on image for Google Street View
Chippewa Motel at Marlborough Google
Click on image for Google Street View
The former Duplex Tourist Cottages, and later Duplex Motel which is pictured above, has two linear wings with 15 units and was built in 1936. Originally it was a "motor camp" with 11 cottages but evolved into a modern motel style in the 1940s after WWII.
And at the end of your tour is what used to be the La Casa Grande Tourist Camp:
La Casa Grande Tourist Camp
8208 Watson, Marlborough
The "La Casa Grande Tourist Camp" was built ca. 1940 as a Tourist Camp, with 8 individual units and modelled after the old Alamo Motel chain: a combination of Spanishi, Mediterranean and Mission styles. It now has 16 units located in a "U-shaped" layout with covered garages linking the cabins, with an arched opening. There is a creek behind it and the office faces the highway on the northern side of the property. It is Pictured above at the top of this page.
Your trip ends here.
Tours & Itineraries
Shrewsbury is located to the east of Marlborough, on the city limits of St. Louis. It has no Route 66 attractions other than the Frisco Railroad underpass. Route 66 passes under the railroad tracks. Street View of the underpass.
The post office operated in Shrewsbury from 1893 to 1904, and it is named after the town in England.
Old Route 66 in Marlborough
From Marlborough to Crestwood
Crestwood is next to Marlborough, heading west along Old Route 66 - Watson Road, it is a short 2.7 mile drive , and this is the Map with Directions.
Route 66: created in 1926
US highway 66's original alignment from 1926 to 1932 ran to the north of Marlborough it had an east-west course through Kirkwood along Manchester Rd. and therefore avoided having to cross the Meramec River between St. Louis and Villa Ridge. It is shown in Orange in the Map above; linking St. Louis & Maplewood in the east with Gray Summit in the west.
1933-1977 alignment Route 66
In 1932 a shorter and straighter alignment was built routing the highway along Watson Rd. This paved highway required two bridges to cross the Meramec, one at Sylvan Beach, to the west of Marlborough and another at Times Beach. As you can see in the map above this road is now partly overlaid by I-44 west of S. Geyer Rd. and Watson, in Sunset Hills (shown in Red). Eastwards, into St. Louis, the original road is shown in Pale Blue and was known as the US City 66 alignment.
There were many Route 66 alignments in St. Louis, including the Bypass US 66, that went around the city along its north and western sides and met the City 66 just four miles west of Marlborough, in Sunset Hills. This alignment is shown in Brown in the map above (click on "St. Louis US 66" button first).
1950s: Four Lane Freeway
By the early 1940s Route 66 was becoming congested and the heavy traffic made it unsafe. After WWII it was gradually improved: Rittenhouse mentions in 1946 that between St. Louis and Gray Summit "US 66 has three or more lanes". The interstate system was implemented in the late 1950s and I-44 was aligned close to US-66's course this led the state to petition in 1962 to have the Interstate renamed as I-66 instead of I-44, but this was denied by the AASHTO because the number "66" had already been used elsewhere.
1965 New roadbed
The old four lane US-66 ⁄ I-44 Freeway was improved again in Missouri after 1965, and the old US 66 was upgraded to Interstate standards. By 1972 the whole of Route 66 had been replaced by the Interstate system. In 1974 it was decided that US Hwy 66 between Joplin and Chicago be eliminated, but his was delayed until I-55 in Illinois was completely brought up to Interstate standards. In 1977 the US 66 shields and signs were removed. Marlborough was bypassed.
> > See the previous segment St. Louis to Marlborough (east)
> > See the next segment Crestwood to Sunset Hills (west)
> > See the Bypass 66 segment Sunset Hills to Kirkwood (north)
Image Used as per Google Street View Image Api Updated Dec. 31, 2014.
Jack DeVere Rittenhouse, (1946). A Guide Book to Highway 66.