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Paris Springs

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Paris Springs Junction, Missouri

Site of Gay Parita Service Station

Paris Springs Junction is a very tiny community, not even a village, located on U.S. 66 has the re-created 1930s Sinclair Gay Parita Service station and the Route 66 Gay Parita Store and Cafe.
There are also two vintage garages: the Cobblestone Garage and the Paris Springs Garage.

Paris Springs MO

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About Paris Springs Missouri

Facts, Trivia and useful information

Elevation: 1,178 ft (359 m). Population n⁄A (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).

Paris Springs is a small village located about half a mile north of Old Route 66 in Lawrence County, in southwestern Missouri. (Map of Paris Springs).

Real Name: Paris Springs Junction

The community located on the alignment of Route 66 is actually named Paris Springs Junction, and began as a bus stop for the village that was located off the Mother Road.

As almost everyone calls the place Paris Springs, dropping the "Junction" part of the town's name, we will refer to it here using that name.

Gary's Gay Parita Sinclair Gas Station in Paris Springs Junction, Missouri

Gary's Gay Parita Sinclair Gas Station in Paris Springs Junction, Missouri
Gary's Gay Parita Sinclair Gas Station in Paris Springs, Missouri, by
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

History of Paris Springs

Learn more about the history of Paris Springs in our Carthage Missouri page.

The county created in 1845 was named after James Lawrence a seaman from the English-American War of 1812.

Water powered flour mills were established here in the mid 1850s. Johnson's Mills was located upstream (at present Spencer). Then water powered saw mill and wool mill owned by O. P. Johnson. After the Civil War, more settlers arrived, and it is said that in 1872 Eli Paris had opened a "spa hotel" which used the spring waters in the area, considered to have healing powers.

The first post office from 1872 to 1874 was named Chlybeate Springs, named after the mineral with a high iron content found in the water. And then changed to Paris Springs.

The name: Paris Springs

Probably derived from the surname of hotelier Eli Paris, but may also derive from "Parish" Springs.

In 1926 Route 66 was aligned along the Ozark Trail built in the 1910s which in turn used the older Springfield to Carthage road. The road passed 0.25 miles south of Paris Springs, and at the crossroads leading to the village, a small community formed: Paris Springs Junction or Gay Parita. Travel along the U.S. 66 provided income to the town and helped it through the Depression in the 1930s. However the new alignment of Route 66 in 1961 moved the road just beyond its former alignment, and then in the early 1960s, the whole area was bypassed by I-44, which ran along what used to be US-166, south of Paris Springs towards Springfield.

Where to Lodge in Paris Springs, Missouri

Lodging close to Paris Springs: in neighboring Carthage...

>> Book your hotel in neighboring Springfield

More Lodging near Paris Springs along Route 66

Motels and Hotels close to Paris Springs

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 nearby Carthage

Weather in Paris Springs

Weather widget for Halltown, the town nearest Paris Springs, to the east

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

Tornado risk

Paris Springs is located within the infamous "Tornado Alley" and Lawrence County has an average of 8 tornado strikes per year.

Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
 

Getting to Paris Springs

You can reach Paris Springs along historic Route 66 and Interstate I-44 that links it with Tulsa and Oklahoma City in the west and with Springfield and St. Louis in the east. U.S. Route 71 (overlapping I-49) links it with Fort Smith, Arkansas and Kansas City.

Map of Route 66 in Paris Springs

in Missouri.

The map below shows the alignment of Route 66 through Paris Springs and the color key which is for Paris Springs only is the following:
(for the other parts of the map, check the color key of the map of the corresponding city)

Red: where you must drive along the Interstate I-44 as Route 66 is no longer open to traffic.
Black: The 1926 to 1961 alignment from Paris Springs through Spencer.
Pale Blue: The 1926 and later alignments of Route 66 in other parts east and west of Spencer
Blue the 1961 alignment that bypassed Paris Springs.

See Route 66's alignment in Missouri Map

  Click to See the Paris Springs 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 Paris Springs

Route 66 logo

Route 66 across Missouri

U.S. Route 66 is a State Historic Scenic Byway in Missouri and this includes Lawrence County; 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 Paris Springs

Sights and Attractions in Paris Springs, Missouri

What to Do, Places to See

Gay Parita's Service Station is here

Paris Springs and its Route 66 attractions

Paris Springs is best knonw for its 1930s re-creation of a Sinclair gas station: Gay Parita Service station, and its two Route 66 garages: the Cobblestone Garage and the Garage plus a 1930s Gay Parita Store and Cafe.

Historic context, the classic Route 66 in Paris Springs

In his 1946 book "A Guide Book to Highway 66" Jack DeVere Rittenhouse gives us a clear picture of Route 66 was like during that time.

Rittenhouse mentions the town as follows: "Paris Springs Junction .... A small crossroads, providing two gas stations and a grocery.".

Tour the route 66 landmarks in Paris Springs

Begin your tour at the famous landmark service station: Gay Parita Sinclair.

Gay Parita Service station

21118 Old 66, Paris Springs Junction, north side of the highway

Also known as Gary's Gay Parita or Gay Parita Sinclair, this is one of Route's 66 major attractions in Missouri.

Gay and Fred Mason opened the service station in 1930, they also ran the (see below) Gay Parita Store.

Gay Mason died in 1953 and Fred operated it until it burned down in 1955.

Almost half a century later, Gary Turner (1944 - 2015) purchased the land when he retired and painstakingly rebuilt the gas station, re-creating in all details a 1930s service station.

See its Photo at the top of this page.

Visit their website: garysparita.com.

Paris Springs Cobblestone Garage

To your right, on the north side of Route 66, next to the famous service station.

A single bay garage built ca. 1926 in rough cobblestone, with a half-round metal roof. This is one of the two garages mentioned by Rittenhouse.

Gay Parita Store

Across the street, in front of the service station, on the south side of the road.

This now private residence was built in 1930. It is a stucco building, with one-story built in a Spanish - Mediterranean Revival style with a curved parapet.

Owned by Gay and Fred Manson, it was the Gay Parita Store, a café and grocery.

Cobblestone Garage Paris Springs MO

Cobblestone Garage Paris Springs MO. Click to enlarge
Google

View of what once was Gay Parita Store in Paris Springs MO

Gay Parita Store nowadays. Click to enlarge
Google

Another Paris Springs Garage

garage at Paris Springs

Another Route 66 garage in Paris Springs. Click to enlarge
Google

On the south side, just west of the Service Station.

Built around 1944, this was the second service station mentioned by Rittenhouse, it is built in stone, and is a single-bay garage with a half-round metal sheet roofing.

Tours & Itineraries

Old Route 66 in Paris Springs, Missouri

From Halltown to Paris Springs and on, to Avilla

In the early 1900s automobiles became more popular and the trails and dirt tracks were in very poor shape so W. H. "Coin" Harvey (1851-1936) created the Ozark Trails Association in 1913. The Ozark Trail eventually crossed Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and reached the Santa Fe Trail in New Mexico.

Route 66 was created in 1926 and aligned along the Ozark Trail from St. Louis MO to Romeroville NM, passing through Paris Springs.

Route 66 follows a straight course from Halltown to Avilla, and it has followed it since Route 66 was created back in 1926, which is shown in Pale Blue in the Map above. There is a small segment of the original 1926 road in Paris Springs, running through Spencer, shown in Black in the map above. This alignment, just west of Paris Springs Junctin crosses the Turnback Creek on a triple pony-struss bridge built in 1923 (See its street view).

The 1926 map of the Missouri State Highway Commission shows what then was Route 60 (yes, 60 and not 66 because they had taken the original planned numbering and not the one that was later agreed upon and which prevailed: U.S. 66). The paved surface ended at Springfield and the road from there to Avilla it was already being paved with concrete, after Avilla it was again paved all the way to Kansas. By 1929 it was completely paved. The Missouri DOT roadmap of 1945-46 only shows the towns of Avilla, Phelps and Halltown between Springfield and Carthage.

1961 realignment

The more recent 1961 alignment bypassed both Spencer and Paris Springs (shown in Blue in the map above).

The 1926 map of the Missouri State Highway Commission shows what then was Route 60 (yes, 60 and not 66 because they had taken the original planned numbering and not the one that was later agreed upon and which prevailed: U.S. 66). The paved surface ended at Springfield and the road from there to Avilla it was already being paved with concrete, after Avilla it was again paved all the way to Kansas. By 1929 it was completely paved. The Missouri DOT roadmap of 1945-46 only shows the towns of Avilla, Phelps and Halltown between Springfield and Carthage.

Route 66 and Interstate I-44

Route 66 and Interstate 44 lived along together for many years (like many U.S. Higwhays do today), From Springfield west, to Halltown, they overlapped and at this point US 66 went northwards to Spencer and west to Carthage along its original alignment (now MO-96) while I-44 turned southwest and then west to Oklahoma. They coexisted until the federal government officially decommissioned Route 66 in 1985.

> > See the previous segment Springfield to Halltown (east)

> > See the next segment Plew to Avilla (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