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Village in the Ozarks

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Phillipsburg is a village close to Route 66. It has several classic sights along the highway; including cabins like the Hi-Lite Cabin Court, the Twin Oaks cabins and Texaco, and the former Midway Cafe and Standard Station.

Don't miss the vintage cafes and gas stations such as Carter & Lawson’s Underpass Cafe and Service Station, Timber Hill Station, and the Stan Adams filling station north of town.

It has a low-clearance Frisco Railroad Underpass (the "Subway"), two Meramec Caverns painted barns, an 1880s Old Phillipsburg General Store, the landmark Redmon’s Candy store the Top O' Th' Ozarks cafe and station site, and a historic Route 66 Roadside Park.

Visit Phillipsburg MO during your Route 66 road trip in the Ozarks.

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Route 66 in the Ozarks

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About Phillipsburg Missouri

Facts, Trivia and useful information

Elevation: 1,411 ft (430 m). Population 202 (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).

Phillipsburg is small village in southwestern Laclede County, in south central Missouri.

1956 photo of the new four-lane Route 66 "superhighway" (left) in Phillipsburg, (now I-44) seen from the old Route 66 (right). Looking west.

black and white 1956 view of old and new Route 66 highways, home, and countryside
Vintage 1956 photo of Old and "new" Route 66 Phillipsburg, Missouri, credits

The same place nowadays. The "newer" alignment of Route 66 became I-44

color view of old Route 66 and I-44 roadways and countryside
Old Route 66 and I-44 nowadys, same place as photo above. Phillipsburg, Missouri. Click image for Street View

History of Phillipsburg

Read about the region's history in our Lebanon page (County seat, north of Phillipsburg).

Laclede County was established in 1849 and was named after Pierre Laclède, who founded St. Louis. The South Pacific Railroad surveyed the area and built the railway, setting up a station there. A post office opened in 1871 and was named Phillipsburg.

The name: Phillipsburg

Named after a local merchant, Rufus Phillips it combines his surname with "burg": town, village.

The surname "Phillips" comes from "Phillip", a Greek word "Philippos" (from "philein": to love, and "hippos": horse)

The main road from St. Louis to Sprignfield passed near the town (Wire Road), and many years later it became Route 66 (created in 1926) which ran 0.4 miles west of the railway station. The traffic along the road was served by gas stations and cafes ran by the locals. In the early 1950s the highway was realigned and widened into a four lane expressway that bypassed the village completely.

Bigfoot sighting in Phillipsburg

The mythical Bigfoot (also known as Sasquatch), the ape-man was reported here during Christmas 2014. Does this simian creature live in the forests near Route 66? Read the Bigfoot sighting article.

The Wire Road & Route 66

Rittenhouse mentions the "Wire Road" in his 1946 book on Route 66, named so "... because the military telegraph line which ran along it..." in his time, some remains of the old poles remained standing.

The original trail along the divide in the Ozarks was probably created by roaming buffalo. Later the natives used it and after them the trappers and explorers, who named it the "Great Osage Trail" (after the Osage natives). During the Civil war period, a telegraph line was laid from St. Louis Missouri to Fort Smith in Arkansas and here it overlaps old Route 66. From Lebanon to Phillipsburg, to the west, the telegraph drifted away from Route 66.

The old "Wire Road" kept its name even after the line was removed. advertisement

Find your Hotel near Phillipsburg MO

There are no hotels in this town, but there are plenty of logding options nearby, in neighboring Marshfield.

> > Book your hotel in Marshfield

More accommodation close to Phillipsburg along U.S. 66

Below we list towns along the Mother Road with lodging options. Click on any of the links to find your accommodation in each of these towns.

Hotels West, in Missouri

Heading East in Missouri, more accommodation

>> Check out the RV campground in Phillipsburg

Weather in Phillipsburg

Route 66 in Phillipsburg MO; location map

Location of Phillipsburg on U.S. Hwy. 66

Phillipsburg has marked seasons: The summer (Jul) average high is 88°F (31.2°C) and the average low is 67°F (19.2°C). The winter (Jan) average high is 42°F (5.6°C) with a below freezing average low of 21°F (-6°C).

Rainfall averages 45.3 in (1151 mm) yeary fairly stable across the year. snowfall is around 9 in. (23 cm), and falls between Dec. and Mar.

Tornado risk

Phillipsburg is located in the "Tornado Alley" and Laclede County has around 8 tornado strikes per year.

Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.

Getting to Phillipsburg

You can reach Phillipsburg 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.

Route 66 map in Phillipsburg

Map of US66 Phillipsburg

Route 66 in Phillipsburg

Route 66 Map and its alignment

The highway coming from Lebanon and Caffeyville reaches Phillipsburg, where it is cut by I-44 (black line in map). It continues on the south side of the freeway after what is now Exit 118. See this map into town.

The original 1926-53 Route 66 bypassed the "downtown" area of Phillipsburg, and headed west along what is now the freeway's South Frontage Road (County Rd. CC) into Conway as shown in this Map into Conway.

In the early 1950s the highway was realigned along a 4-lane highway that is now beneath the roadway of I-44. This led to a realignment of the roads and streets, and also Route 66. Further down we describe this Route 66 1950s realignment with another map.

The alignment in Phillipsburg

Visit our pages, with old maps and plenty of information about US 66's alignments.

Route 66 Road Trip: Sights in Phillipsburg

Places to See along Route 66 in the Ozarks

Historic context, the classic Route 66 in Phillipsburg

Jack DeVere Rittenhouse published his "A Guide Book to Highway 66" in 1946 but in it, he does not mention Phillipsburg, instead, after Caffeyville he does tell us about "Gas and Cabins" 1 mile north of Phillipsburg, which must surely be the Carter & Lawson’s Underpass Cafe and Service Station. He also mentions, 2 miles north, "Gas and Cabins" that must be the old Hi-Lite Cabin Court and station.
One mile west is a "Roadside park [to the left], with tables and fireplaces for picnicking" this is the Route 66 Roadside Park, with a "Gas station nearby" (Twin Oaks?).

Tour the route 66 landmarks in Phillipsburg

We will tour the area from east to west, driving from Caffeyville towards Phillipsburg and then westwards to Conway. The tour begins at the point where the original 1926-53 Route 66 reappears on the North side of I-44 (see this map of Route 66 in Cafeyville the alignment is maked with a Blue line) after going through Caffeyville.
Drive west for 0.4 mi. and to your left is an old tourist cabin site.

Former Hi-Lite Cabin Court

The cabin court was built in 1932 by Lee Fenton. Later T.L Greear and his son operated it (1948). There was a store and an old Phillips 66 gas station on the property.

They were mentioned by Rittenhouse as being 1 mi. west of Cafferyville ("Gas and Cabins.")
Some of the buildings have been torn down. The gas station (?) shown in the image below in 2014, by 2019 had been torn down.

trees surround ruins of a box-like former gas station

2014 view of gas station at Hi-Lite Cabin Court. Click for St. view

stone cabin with gable roof

A stone cabin at Hi-Lite Cabin Court. Click for St. view

A couple of stone cabins have survived (picture above, red arrow). Next door, at 17232 Highway W. is an antique shop with a nicely decorated store, licence plates add a touch of color to the building's facade. See its picture below.

building facade covered with licence plates
Antique store with licence plates decoration, Phillipsburg MO. Click on image for street view. Credits

Meramec Caves Barns Signs

Drive west for 2.6 mi., to your right you will spot two barns painted with Meramec Caverns advertisements. This eye-catching way to promote the caverns was the brainchild of Lester B. Dill, who also invented the bumper sticker as a means of advertising them. He erected billboards along Route 66, and also the painted barns on a grand scale. There is another barn further west (see Conway's barn) and also in Chandler Oklahoma.

Meramec Caverns

Meramec Caverns are located on Route 66 further east, near Stanton MO, they are a vast complex spanning 4.6 miles of caves. Read all about the Meramec Caverns in our Stanton page.
The Caverns are one of the main attractions on US Highway 66. Over 150,000 tourists visit them every year.

Barns with Meramec Caverns advertisments painted on their roof and walls
Barns with the Meramec Caverns advert, Phillipsburg MO. Click on image for street view.

Frisco Railroad Underpass

Just ahead is the "underpass" at the BNSF railroad; when it was built, it carried the Frisco Railroad across Route 66 avoiding a dangerous grade crossing.

It was known as the "subway", a narrow and low clearance underpass (only 13’ 5"). The story goes that many trucks had to let air out of their tires to be able to pass under it.
Just ahead, is the appropriately named "Underpass Café".

black and white photo of highway underpass
Vintage picture of the "Subway" underpass U.S. 66, Phillipsburg MO, credits
highway underpass with train going across Route 66
"Subway" underpass on Route 66, Phillipsburg MO. Click on image for street view.

Carter & Lawson’s Underpass Cafe and Service Station

Just ahead, after the uderpass is "Carter & Lawson’s Underpass Cafe and Service Station". Edward Lawson and O. E. Carter opened this gas station in 1941. They chose a spot just past the Frisco railway overpass. Them they added a café which can still be seen and is pictured below in the "Then and Now" sequence.

Vintage postcard of the Underpass Cafe and Service Station

Vintage black and white postcard of Underpass Cafe and Service Station
Vintage postcard of the Underpass Cafe and Service Station Phillipsburg, Missouri, credits

Former Underpass Cafe and gas station nowadays

a box-shaped white building in a field by some grain stowage bins
The old Underpass Cafe and gas station nowadays, US66. Phillipsburg, Missouri. Click for Street View

One half mile ahead is the junction with Pine St. located at the freeway's Exit 118. This is where you have to cross the interstate because I-44 cuts off Route 66 further west. But first drive to the "end" of Route 66 on the norhtern side of the freeway to see the remains of some classic landmarks. So keep straight along State Hwy W. Just ahead (0.3 mi), to your right is an old gas station.

Stan Adams service station

To your right, the old gravel drive, is Stan Adams station that opened in 1950-51, Don Robinson and his father owned it. At one time it was a Skelly. In the 1990s it was the clubhouse of a golf course. It has a single bay garage and a small office, now roofless, faces what used to be Route 66. Two entrances on the wall behind the office mark the rest rooms.

vacant white gas station with no roof, abandoned and falling apart
Old service station north of Phillipsburg MO. Click on image for Street View

Just ahead is the site of "Midway Cafe", it has changed a lot recently.

Midway Cafe and Standard Station

There was a Skelly gas station here, together with a campground called "Midway Camp", named that way because it was the midpoint between Lebanon and Marshfield. It belonged to Howard Whitten. In 1929 John and Blanche Shank bought it, added a cafe and five cabins, three of them with locked garages. The cabins were lined up next to the filling station along Route 66 and two of them have survived on the western tip of the property as houses. See the "Then and Now" images below.

black and white picture 1920. Gas station, cabin, man and kids

1920s postcard Midway Camp. Credits

two homes with gabled roofs by highway in a field

Surviving cabins, Midway Camp. Click for St. view

Route 66 1950s realignment

Until the 1950s Birch Rd met US 66 and Co. Rd. A at a junction next to Midway Camp, but, the new four-lane Route 66 and its later upgrade to divided highway with no grade crosssings altered the roads and streets on the western side of Phillipsburg. As you can see in the map below, the segments marked in Red were eliminated, and new roads (Green) were built to reconnect both sides of the freeway. The Blue star marks the spot where Midway Camp once stood.

map with realignment of US66 in 1950s in Phillipsburg MO
Route 66 realignment 1950s. Phillipsburg MO. A. Whittall

Ed and Rita Hamilton managed the property and converted it into Midway Motel in the 1950s, with a Standard station. There was a building there until recently but it has been torn down (red arrow). Below is another "Then and Now" set of pictures.

color postcard motel and gas station

1950s postcard Midway Motel. Credits

long gabled roof motel building in a field

Midway Motel in 2017 before being razed. Click for St. view

two grain bins adapted as lodging on Route 66

Ole 66 Bins in Phillipsburg. Credits

In May 2020, Andy and Brandy Triplett added two grain bins to the property and refurbished them into unique overnight accommodations with a Route 66 theme. They rent them on airbnb.

Retrace your steps and head back to the overpass at Pine St. cross to the eastern side of the freeway. To your left is "The largest gift shop in the world".

Redmon’s Candy

Proclaimed as "World's largest gift store" this is an example US 66 Americana next to Route 66. Candy kitchen with chocolate and homemade fudge.

Head towards Phillipsburg, you can visit the downtown district, two blocks east along Pine St.

Old Phillipsburg General Store

old red brick two story building

Old Phillipsburg General Store, click image for Street View

On NW corner of Pine St. and N. Front St. This two-story brick building is next to where the railway depot was located.

It was built around 1880. It was also the lodge hall of the I.O.O.F. (The Independent Order of Odd Fellows), a secret society without any political or sectarian orientation. It was founded by Thomas Wildey in Baltimore, USA in 1819.

There is a "Ghost sign" of an ancient soda water advertisement on its eastern facade, and at the northeastern tip of the old building the former offices of the "Farmers State Bank" that opened in 1906 and closed during the Crash of 1929 next to the sign.

Head back to Pine and "Route 66". Just ahead, to your left are the ruins of the old school gymnasium built in 1937 and destroyed by a fire in 1985 (street view).

Ahead the road turns to the left when it reaches the freeway, and rejoins the original alignment of Route 66, now on the southern side of I-44.

Timber Hill service station

To your left, you will see a long building with two garage doors. It also has the former office to the right and one garage door facing south. In front of the office is the outline of the concrete gas-pumps foundation.

Timber Hill gas station, just south of Phillipsburg

long low building by trees next to US66
Old Timber Hill gas station, Route 66, Phillipsburg, Missouri. Click for street view

Head 0.2 mi. further west to see the "Old Roadside Park" mentioned by Rittenhouse in 1946.

Title Route 66 Roadside Park

marker on lawn by Route 66, trees and home in the background

Route 66 roadside park marker, Phillipsburg, click image for Street View

Historic Marker

0.2 mi. west of the service station. To your left. This former roadside according to Rittenhouse had tables and fireplaces for picnicking. In the late 1950s as you can see in the following map published in 1957, it was still a park (marked by a green pine tree icon), nowadays only a concrete marker remains; it mentions that the land was donated by Maud G. Snyder for that purpose.

Detail of a 1957 Missouri DOT Map south of Lebanon. Phillipsburg upper right.

Detail of a 1957 Missouri DOT Map
Detail of a 1957 Missouri DOT Map near Phillipsburg, Missouri. Click image to enlarge

Across the highway, almost facing the park, is another cabins and gas station complex.

Twin Oaks cabins and Texaco

This Texaco gas station and cabins complex was built in 1930. The pumps area under the hipped roof of the gas station was enclosed (red arrow). It is a typical craftsman-style gas station of that period. The steel pole of the station's sign stands on the left side of the canopy. Behind it, to the left are some of the old cabins (street view). The "tower" was built to house and conceal the water tank.

Twin Oaks Texaco

several buildings on Route 66 a former gas station and cabins complex
Twin Oaks Texaco station, Route 66, Phillipsburg, Missouri. Click for street view

Top O' Th' Ozarks Final site

The original Top O' Th' Ozarks was a gas station and Cafe located in Conway, it burned down in 1950 and a "new" cafe and station with the same name was built further east, here in Phillipsburg.

It was run by Raymond Eaton. See the black and white 1950s picture of this "last" building. It was located on the right side of the highway. This is the current street view of the site.

aerial view of cafe and gas station, black and white 1950s photo
The last Top O' Th' Ozarks site, 1950s. Phillipsburg MO. Credits

Ahead (0.2 mi) to your left is the site (street view) of "Kenneth Alexander's Ice Cream Shop", a gray single-story gable roof building.

Your city tour of Phillipsburg ends here. You can continue your Route 66 road trip by heading west to visit Conway. advertisement

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Banner image: Hackberry General Store, Hackberry, Arizona by Perla Eichenblat
Jack DeVere Rittenhouse, (1946). A Guide Book to Highway 66

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