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Red Top

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Red Top, Missouri

Vanished hamlet

Red Top is a small cluster of houses and the old 1940s Red Top Garage in a junk yard surrounded by old rusting cars.

Red Top MO

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About Red Top Missouri

Facts, Trivia and useful information

Elevation: 1,487 ft (454 m). Population n⁄a (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).

Red Top is a small community on Old Route 66 in western Webster County, in southwestern Missouri. (Map of Red Top).

Former Red Top Garage, as it appears today

former Red Top Garage in Red Top MO
former Garage, in Red Top, Missouri, by
Click on image for Interactive Google Street View

History of Red Top

Read the history of neighboring Strafford or Marshfield for full details on the region's history.

This farming community prospered as a service point along Route 66, which was built in 1926 in this area, just north of Northview (a station on the A&P railroad), between Strafford and Marshfield.

It had a cafe, cabins, garage and service station. Located at the crest of the hills that mark the divide between the Missouri River to the north and the Arkansas River to the south. Now there is a few homes, a car cluttered junkyard and a Railroad caboose.

The name: Red Top

The old garage had a red top gabled metal roof, and it was used as the place's name. The words "Red Top" were painted on it, an eye-catcher for those driving along Route 66.

The original Route 66 bypassed the town (1952) and later it became a freeway (1958).

Where to Lodge in Red Top, Missouri

Lodging in Red Top...

>> Book your hotel in neighboring Strafford

More Lodging near Red Top along Route 66

Motels and Hotels close to Red Top

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

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Book your Hotel along Route 66

>> Check out the RV campgrounds in nearby Springfield

Weather in Red Top

Weather widget for Strafford, the town nearest Red Top, to the west

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

There are clearly defined seasons in Red Top and as it is located on the northern limint of U.S.'s humid subtropical climate, it has very wet weather in late summer.

The average summer (Jul) temperatures are: high 89°F (31.6°C) and low 68° (19.8°C); the average winter (Jan) high is 43°F (6.1°C) and low is well below freezing with 22°F (-5.3°C).

Annual rainfall is around 45.6 in. (1.160 mm), and it experiences 17 in. of snow (43 cm) yearly.

Tornado risk

Red Top is located within the infamous "Tornado Alley" and Webster County has around 9 tornado strikes per year.

Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
 

Getting to Red Top

You can reach Red Top 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 Red Top

in Missouri.

Black the 1926 alignment next to Red Top.
Pale Blue: The 1926 and later alignments of Route 66 east and west of Red Top (except at Exit 96)
Blue The 1926 to 1953 alignment of Route 66 at Red Top, current "Old Route 66" at Exit 96 is a later road.

See Route 66's alignment in Missouri Map

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

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Google Maps. Terms. Icons.

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

Route 66 logo

Route 66 across Missouri

U.S. Route 66 is a State Historic Scenic Byway in Missouri and this includes Webster 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 Red Top

Sights and Attractions in Red Top, Missouri

What to Do, Places to See

An old Service Station

Red Top and its Route 66 attractions

Red Top is a cluster of houses and an abandoned junk yard, with the old 1940s Route 66 Red Top Garage.

Historic context, the classic Route 66 in Red Top

Jack DeVere Rittenhouse book "A Guide Book to Highway 66" written in 1946 tells us what Red Top was like at that time, 8 miles east of Strafford: "... at the top is Red Top tourist camp: cabins and gas". It was at the summit of a "one-mile, winding grade" for those coming from the east. (there were gas stations, now gone, 1 and 2 mi. east of Red Top). Towards Strafford, 3 mi. west of Red Top was a now gone Oak Grove Lodge, that had cabins and gasoline; it was razed when I-44 was built.

Tour the route 66 landmarks in Red Top

There is only one attraction in Red Top, the old garage:

Red Top Garage

16435 Old Route 66 East, Red Top

The Red Top Garage also known as "Red Top Camp" is a former garage and service station.

You can still see this one-story rectangular concrete block building with a two-bay garage. At one time there was a cafe and cabins, now gone.

Rittenhouse describes it as being locatd at the crest of the Northview hill, a one-mile long winding grade. There were seven cabins here at one time.

It dates to the early 1940s when Forrest Siggins from Florida owned and ran the place between 1946 and 1959. Then he rented it to Austin Stewart who operated the place until the early '80s. It was then that it became a junk yard.

The current owner bought it in 1986, changed the roof on the old service station and plans to restore it some day.

It is pictured above (Photo of Red Top today) and below is a vintage postcard of it:

Postcard of Red Top Cafe and cabins in 1946

Vintage 1946 postcard of Red Top Court and Station
Vintage 1946 postcard of Red Top Court and Station Red Top, Missouri, by
Click on image for larger image

Tours & Itineraries

Old Route 66 in Red Top, Missouri

Around 1910, the use of cars increased and expanded to the countryside. The dirt tracks used by carts were unsuitable for automobiles, as they became muddy traps after it rained. There was a public demand for better roads, and John Woodruff lobbied for them with the Inter-Ozarks Highway Association he presided. Missouri State Highway 14 was built through Red Top, and its surface improved. Later, in 1926 Route 66 would be aligned along it. Woodruff's office in Springfield was the Birthplace of Route 66.

Old Route 66: 1926-1953 Alignment in Red Top

Rittenhouse tells us that the Court and service station was located at at the summit of a "one-mile, winding grade" for those coming from the east. What is now marked as "Old Route 66", on the south side of I-44 after the Red Top Garage is not the original alignment, it is a road that serves as the frontage road of the freeway.

The Freeway cut across the old alignment, a straighter and shorter road than the "winding grade" which followed the alignment shown in Blue in the map above Map above.

This old alignment went to the north side of I-44 at Red Top, then followed Evergreen Rd. and at the current exit 96, cut back to the south side, continuing towards Marshfield as modern I-44's frontage road.

After 1953

In 1952 the Missouri Highway Department was improving Route 66 to make it safer, and built a the road straighter, upgrading it gradually to a four lane highway that coexisted with I-44 until it was finally decertified. The older alignment was left as a frontage road.

> > 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