About Hazelgreen Missouri
Facts, Trivia and useful information
Elevation: 1,012 ft (309 m). Population n⁄a (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).
Hazelgreen is located on old US 66 in northwestern Laclede County, in the Ozarks in South central Missouri. (Map of Hazelgreen).
View of the Route 66 Gasconade River Bridge today, in Hazelgreen, Missouri
View of the Route 66 Gasconade River Bridge in a vintage postcard in Hazelgreen, Missouri
History of Hazelgreen
For the general history of the area check the History of Waynesville.
Hazelgreen is a small unincorporated community -a scattering of houses- on the original Route 66 alignment. The later four lane US 66 which became I-44 runs next to it, west of the old road. The freeway cut the town in two, and part of it lies next to Exit 145.
Settled in the 1840s (as shown by some tombstones in the Cemetery), the post office opened in 1858, and closed one century later, shortly after the freeway was built.
The name: Hazelgreen
Named after the hazel bushes (Corylus) near the town. These are deciduous trees and shrubs native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere, their fruit is the hazelnut.
The "Wire Road" built during the 1860s to service the telegraph line from St. Louis to Fort Smith in Arkansas, passed near Hazelgreen, and would become the main road from St. Louis to Sprignfield and would become State Hwy. 16 in the early 1920s and U.S. 66 in 1926. Later during the 1950s, Route 66 was upgraded to a four-lane freeway and its alignment straightened out, it bypassed Hazelgreen.
Where to Lodge in Hazelgreen, Missouri
Accommodation and hotels near Hazelgreen...
> > Book your hotel nearby, in Waynesville
More Lodging near Hazelgreen along Route 66
Motels and Hotels close to Hazelgreen
Hotels, Westwards in Missouri
- 19 milesLebanon
- 49 miles Marshfield
- 62 miles Strafford
- 71 miles Springfield
- 132 miles Carthage
- 150 miles Joplin
Heading West... Hotels & Motels in Kansas...
- 165 miles Baxter Springs
Further West... Hotels & Motels on Route 66 in Oklahoma...
Heading East in Missouri, more accommodation
- 14 miles Waynesville
- 15 miles Saint Robert
- 44 miles Rolla
- 54 miles Saint James
- 66 miles Cuba
- 83 miles Sullivan
- 102 miles Saint Clair
- 111 miles Motels and Hotels in Villa Ridge
- 117 miles Motels and Hotels in Pacific
- 124 miles Motels and Hotels in Eureka
- 152 miles Motels and Hotels in St. Louis
Hotels further East, in Illinois
>> Check out the RV campground in neighboring Lebanon
Weather in Hazelgreen
Weather widget for Waynesville the town nearest Hazelgreen to the east
There are clearly defined seasons in Hazelgreen. During summer, the average high (Jul) is 88°F (31.2°C), while the average low in 67°F (19.2°C). During winter (Jan) the average high is 42°F (5.6°C) and the average low is below freezing at 20°F (-7°C).
Rainfall averages 44.5 in (1.131 mm) per year and falls regularly each month in roughly the same amount; snowfall is around 9 in. (23 cm), and falls between Dec. and Mar.
Hazelgreen is located in the "Tornado Alley"; Laclede County has some 8 tornado strikes per year.
Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
Getting to Hazelgreen
Reach Hazelgreen using Route 66 or Interstate I-44 which link it with Springfield in the west and with Cuba to the east. US 160, 60 and 65 run to the west, through Springfield, US 63 runs through Rolla, to the east.
Map of Route 66 through Hazelgreen Missouri
Display Hazelgreen Route 66 Map
Click Map will appear below
Below is the color key for Route 66’s alignment in Hazelgreen:
(for the other parts of Missouri, check the color key in the corresponding city's web page)
Pale Blue: The 1926 to 1957 alignment of Route 66, The alignments after 1957 became part of what is now I-44.
Green: is the now closed Gasconade Bridge.
Red: the bypass along I-44 to avoid the closed bridge.
Route 66's alignment in Missouri: the Historic Route 66 through Hazelgreen
Route 66 across Missouri
Historic U.S. highway 66, "Route 66" has been designated as an All-American Road and National Scenic Byway in the state of Missouri.
Click on the following link for a Full description of Route 66 across the state of Missouri.
Route 66 Sights in Hazelgreen
Landmarks and Places to See
See the old Gasconade Bridge
Hazelgreen and its Route 66 attractions
Historic context, the classic Route 66 in Hazelgreen
Jack DeVere Rittenhouse published his "A Guide Book to Highway 66" in 1946 and he mentioned the village: "Pop. 45; gas; store; small hotel..." he added that like many towns in the Ozarks its economy was based on fishermen and tourists that visited the area. They also sold pottery and handicraft. He mentioned that on the southern bank of the Gasconade River was "Eden Resort, one of the best accommodations in this region", and on the western side of the road were "public stone picnic tables".
Begin your tour at the northern side of town, at Exit 145 and drive westwards. To your right is I-44, to your right the remains of Hazelgreen, just 0.7 mi. from the exit is the Old Service Station and Tavern:
Old Phillips 66 Service Station
Route 66, Hazelgreen
To your left among the shrubs and trees.
View of the old Service Station in Hazelgreen, Missouri
This is probably the "gas" mentioned by Rittenhouse in 1946. The gas station has a triangular shaped canopy (known as "gull wing") with a red trim. There is a two-bay garage and the building was constructed in concrete blocks. Behind it a tall tower with vines growing on it. Typical Phillips 66 service station design of the 1960s, it was abandoned ca. 1971.
Next to the gas station (just west of it) is what used to be an old tavern, now in ruins. It closed during the 1990s.
1840 Cemetery in Hazelgreen on Route 66. Click on image to enlarge
To your left on Old Route 66
The cemetery is on the eastern side of US 66 and dates back to 1840.
Head west to visit the old bridge. It is closed to traffic so you will have to walk to reach it.
Closed to traffic
Old Route 66 and Gasconade River, 3.5 mi. West of town.
This steel through-truss bridge predates Route 66 because it was built between 1922 and 1924 (U.S. 66 was created in 1926). Originally it carried Missouri State Highway 14 and was designed by the Missouri Highway Department. It has three spans and since the opening of the four-lane highway on Route 66 in the 1950s, was neglected in maintenance and repairs, deteriorating to such an extent that in 2014 it was permanently closed to traffic.
Above, at the top of the page are two Then and Now views of the old bridge.
There are plans to tear it down, but a group of Route 66 activists wants to save it (just as the bridge in Pulaski County at Devil's Elbow was restored and preserved). You can sign the Save the bridge Petition at www.change.org.
Its sources are in the Ozarks and it has a roughly north - northeast course along 280 mi. (450 km) before meeting the Missouri River near the town of Gasconade in Gasconade County.
Its name derives from the French region of Gascony, and the French trappers who explored the area in the 1600s applied that name to the Indians that lived at the mouth of the river because they were boastful just like the people from Gascony.
Two rivers that Route 66 crosses in the area, the Roubidoux Creek and Big Piney River, flow into the Gasconade. There are many scenic bluffs as the river cuts through the Ozarks with a meandering course (it is said to be one of the "world's crookedest rivers").
Tours & Itineraries
You can head south of Hazelgreen, but you must bypass the closed bridge -shown in Green in the Map above by using the freeway, shown in Red. Visit Lebanon, using Old Route 66 (get off I-44 at Exit 140).
Old Route 66 in Hazelgreen
From Hazelgreen to Lebanon
The original trail along the divide in the Ozarks was probably created by roaming buffalo. Centuries later it was used by the Natives and after them by the trappers and explorers who named it the "Great Osage Trail" (after the Osage people who lived in the area). During the Civil war period (1860s), a telegraph line was laid from St. Louis Missouri to Fort Smith in Arkansas and it passed through Hazelgreen.
By the early 1900s cars became more common in the countryside but the dirt tracks used by carts were in terrible state: full of potholes during the dry season and muddy traps during the rainy period. John Woodruff lobbied for better roads throgh the Inter-Ozarks Highway Association he presided and this led to the creation of Missouri State Highway 16 built from Springfield to St. Louis, passing through Hazelgreen. Later, in 1926 Route 66 would be aligned along it.
Old Route 66: 1926-1957 Alignment in Hazelgreen
The original alignment is shown in the Map above in Pale Blue.
Alignment after 1952
In 1952 the Missouri Highway Department started work to improve Route 66 to make it safer and shorter, this meant eliminating the winding course in many sections in the county, it bypassed Hazelgreen and all towns in the area.
Missouri D.O.T. 1953 and 1958 Roadmaps, Route 66 from Rolla to Hazelgreen
The 1953 (bottom) and 1958 (top) roadmaps show the section from Hazelgreen to Rolla. Notice how it all became a four lane freeway (but still named US 66). Route 66 was bypassed from Hazelgreen through Waynesville to MO-17, but still ran through Hooker cut.
Eventually the whole of US 66 in this area was upgraded into a four lane highway with overpasses, and after 1958 it coexisted with the new interstate I-44 (a state petition in 1962 to name the highway I-66 was denied by the AASHTO). Finally in 1972 the whole of Route 66 had been replaced by the freeway and in 1974 it was decided that the whole of US 66 from Chicago to Joplin would be eliminated. However this was delayed until I-55 in Illinois was completely brought up to Interstate standards. The signs were removed in 1977 but the last segment of the old Route 66 to be bypassed was the section in Powelville, in 1981.
> > See the previous segment Gascozark to Lebanon (east)
> > See the next segment Lebanon to Springfield (west)
Banner image: Dead Man's Curve, Laguna New Mexico by Perla Eichenblat.
Jack DeVere Rittenhouse, (1946). A Guide Book to Highway 66.
Maura Johnson and John F. Bradbury, Route 66 Association of Missouri. 1993, Architectural ⁄ Historical Inventory Survey. Route 66 in Missouri