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
History of Red Top
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...
- 122 miles Baxter Springs
Further West... Hotels & Motels on Route 66 in Oklahoma...
Heading East in Missouri, more accommodation
- 5 miles Marshfield
- 35 miles Lebanon
- 69 miles Waynesville
- 71 miles Saint Robert
- 98 miles Rolla
- 108 miles Saint James
- 122 miles Cuba
- 138 miles Sullivan
- 157 miles Saint Clair
- 166 miles Motels and Hotels in Villa Ridge
- 172 miles Motels and Hotels in Pacific
- 179 miles Motels and Hotels in Eureka
- 207 miles Motels and Hotels in St. Louis
>> Check out the RV campgrounds in nearby Springfield
Weather in Red Top
Weather widget for Strafford, the town nearest Red Top, to the west
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.
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 link it with Springfield to the west.
Map of Route 66 through Red Top Missouri
Display Red Top Route 66 Map
Click Map will appear below
Below is the color key for Route 66’s alignment in Red Top:
(for the other parts of Missouri, check the color key in the corresponding city's web page)
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.
Route 66's alignment in Missouri: the Historic Route 66 through Red Top
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 Red Top
Landmarks and Places to See
Just 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
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.
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)
Banner image: Dead Man's Curve, Laguna New Mexico by Perla Eichenblat.
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.