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Niangua

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Niangua, Missouri

A Junction on Route 66

Niangua has some Route 66 attractions, the classic Oak Vale Park (cafe, cabins and gas station), the 1930s Niangua Filling Station and Rockhaven Restaurant, cafe and filling station. Don't miss the old motel, Abbylee Court and its iconic sign.

Niangua MO

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About Niangua Missouri

Facts, Trivia and useful information

Elevation: 1,440 ft (439 m). Population 405 (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).

Niangua is a small town in northern Webster County, in southwestern Missouri. (Map of Niangua).

Route 66 does not go through the town, instead, it passes 1.2 miles to the west of it through Niangua Junction, this is because the town was platted next to the railroad, while the highway took a shorter route. This is a Map showing Niangua junction, at Main Street and Route 66 (Mo Hwy CC).

Former Rockhaven Restaurant, cafe and filling station in Niangua

View of Route 66 Rockhaven  Restaurant, cafe and filling station Niangua MO
View of Route 66 Rockhaven Restaurant, cafe and filling station in Niangua, Missouri, by
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

History of Niangua

Read about the region's history in our Marshfield page.

The name: Niangua

Niangua (formerly named Miteomah) takes its name from stream which runs close to it which was named after the Osage word for "bear".

The area was surveyed in 1870 by the South Pacific Railroad Co. and shortly after John J. Redmond built the first general store. Shortly after, the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad reached the area and built a station there, 6 miles north of Marshfield. The post office opened that same year and was named Niangua.

Route 66 was created in 1926, and passed just west of the town.

Where to Lodge in Niangua, Missouri

Lodging close to Niangua: in neighboring Marshfield...

>> Book your hotel in Marshfield

More Lodging near Niangua along Route 66

Motels and Hotels close to Niangua

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 Niangua

Weather in Niangua

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

Niangua 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 Niangua receives about 17 in. of snow (43 cm) every year.

Tornado risk

Niangua is located in the "Tornado Alley" and Webster County has around 9 tornado strikes per year.

Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
 

Getting to Niangua

You can reach Niangua 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 Niangua

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 Niangua 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 Niangua

Route 66 logo

Route 66 across Missouri

U.S. Route 66 is a State Historic Scenic Byway in Missouri and 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 Niangua

Sights and Attractions in Niangua, Missouri

What to Do, Places to See

Hubble's birth place

Niangua and its Route 66 attractions

Niangua is a town located near the 1926 to 1953 Route 66 alignment. It has a classic motel, the Abbylee Court with an original sign, and two former cafes with cabins and filling stations: Oak Vale Park and Rockhaven, plus the cottage style 1930s Niangua Filling Station.

Historic context, the classic Route 66 in Niangua

Jack DeVere Rittenhouse published his "A Guide Book to Highway 66" in 1946, and it left us a clear description of the Mother Road during during its heyday. He does not mention Niangua, because he must have driven past it. He did mention some landmarks: "Abbylee Court and Cafe... Oak Vale Court, with gas and cafe", which are still standing.

Tour the route 66 landmarks in Niangua

From Niangua Junction site of the former 1935 Service station and grocery which was remodeled in the early 1990s, head north to visit Abbeylee Court:

Abbylee Court

Abbeylee Motel sign

Abbeylee Motel sign Google Street View.

Highway CC (Old Route 66) and Deerfield Dr. Map with Directions

To your right, 0.6 mi. north of Niangua Jct. are the remains (and sign) of the old Abbylee Motel, also known as Abbylee Court.

The motel or auto court, as they were known at that time, was built in 1940. It had eight cabins each with three rooms, with gabled roofs. The office was located in the center, with the cabins facing a circular gravel drive. There was a cafe which burned down after 1950 (one cabin was lost in the same fire).

This was a "strictly modern" business with "good food". Ritten house mentions the "Abylee Court and Cafe".

Don't miss the original sign proclaiming "ABBYLEE MODERN COURT Among the Trees"

Turn around and head south, pass Niangua Junction and visit the Oak Vale Park a former café, service station and campin spot with cabins:

Oak Vale Park

3652 State Highway CC (Old Route 66), Niangua

About 0.3 mi. sout of Niangua Jct., to your left, on the eastern side of the road you will see what once was a cafe, service station and campground.

Two cabins are still standing (See street view of the cabins).

View of the former Oak Vale Park/p>

View of the former Oak Vale Park
Street View of former Oak Vale Park Niangua, Missouri, by
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

Vintage postcard of the Oak Vale Park

Vintage postcard of the Oak Vale Park
Vintage postcard of the Oak Vale Park Niangua, Missouri, by
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

Built in 1932, it was also known also as Carpenter's Camp the one floor building with a steep pitched gable roof is a typical example of a Craftsman style cabin with local rock foundation wall.

Fred and Margaret Carpenter bought the place in 1936 and opened a Skelley gas station with a café. In 1939 they sold it to Florence Onstott, who renamed it Oak Vale Park and switched to Sinclair gasoline adding cabins. It later changed hads several times until it became a private residence.

Rittenhouse mentioned it as the "Oak Vale Court with gas and cafe".

Continue south to visit yet another Route 66 relic:

Rockhaven Restaurant, cafe and filling station

Highway CC (Old Route 66).Map with Directions.

About 1.4 mi. south of Niangua Jct., to your right, on the eastern side of the road next to a wide bend.

This is private property built around 1925. The one floor wood structure has broad gabled roofs and rubble rock walls. Owned by the Ferriers during the 1920s they leased it as a Conoco Service Station in 1932. In 1938 it was a Texaco. It changed owners many times and opereated not only as a filling station but also as a tavern, restaurant and cafe, with some cabins too. It was open until the mid 1960s. Pictured at the top of this page.

Keep on towards Marshfield and visit a 1930s Service Station:

Niangua Filling Station

Niangua Filling Station Route 66

Niangua Filling Station Google Street View.

Old US 66, Hwy. CC 2.2 mi. southwest of Niangua Jct.

To your right, on the eastern side of the 1924 pony truss style Niangua River bridge you will see a cottage with a steep pitched gable roof, a stone chimney and wood siding. There is a window in the attic too.

Built ca. 1930 when gas stations were designed to blend in with the local neighborhoods, and therefore had a "cottage" look or a rural Picturesque style. Although abandoned it is still standing.

Tours & Itineraries

Old Route 66 in Niangua

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 around Niangua

The original alignment is shown in the Map above in Pale Blue, and was a winding course between Strafford and Lebanon and it passed 1.2 miles from Niangua, linking to it via its Main St. from Niangua Junction.

After 1953

In 1952 the Missouri Highway Department began improving Route 66 to make it safer, and it built a straighter alignment to the west of the original one and further from the old town. It was upgraded it gradually to a four lane highway that coexisted with I-44 until it was finally decertified around 1979.

Detail of a 1957 Missouri DOT Map.

Detail of a 1957 Missouri DOT Map
Detail of a 1957 Missouri DOT Map near Niangua, 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 Niangua which is shown on the map.

> > 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