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Red Top

Red Top, Missouri

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A 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.

You can still spot the remains of Otto's Steak House, see the site of a Motel, Court and gas stations (gone), drive through the vanished community of Holman and the outskirts of Northview and see the remains of Wild Animal Safari and Ranch Hotel.

Drive by Red Top MO during your Route 66 road trip.

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Just a Stop on Route 66

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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. The area also includes two townships: Holman and Northview.

Former Red Top Garage, as it appears today

junkyard, rusting cars and trucks in tall grass by Red-roofed Garage
former Garage, in Red Top, Missouri, click image for 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), east of the failed village of Holman (now defunct); 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), this sealed its fate. advertisement

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.

Where to Lodge in Red Top, Missouri

There are no hotels or accommodation in Red Top but you can stop nearby in Strafford

> > Book your hotel in town Strafford

More Lodging near Strafford along Route 66

There are plenty of Motels and Hotels along Route 66 close to Strafford, see below.

Hotels, Westwards in Missouri

Heading East in Missouri, more accommodation

>> Check out the RV campgrounds in Strafford

Weather in Red Top

Weather widget for Strafford, the town nearest Red Top

Strafford, Missouri weather
Route 66: Red Top Missouri location map

Location of Red Top on Route 66

The seasons in Red Top are well defined and as it is located on the northern limit of the U.S. humid subtropical climate. Its weather is very humid during late summer.

The average summer (Jul) temperature is the following. High 89°F (31.6°C) and low 68° (19.8°C). Winter averages (Jan) are: high 43°F (6.1°C), and a freezing low of 22°F (-5.3°C).
Annual rainfall is around 45.6 in. (1.160 mm). Snowfall is 17 in. (43 cm) per year.

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 Route 66.

Map of Route 66 through Red Top, MO

Route 66 Map and alignment

See this map of US66 in Red Top.

As you can see, it curves sharply to the south and back to the north. Rittenhouse in 1946 wrote that the local motel and service station were located at at the summit of a "one-mile, winding grade" for those coming from the east.

Route 66 followed this winding course from 1926 to 1953 when a four-lane alignment was built through this area, but it had grade crossings and intersections. It was later upgraded to the Interstate divided highway standards.

The alignment in Red Top

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

Route 66 Sights in Red Top

Landmarks and Places to See: Just An old Service Station

Historic context, the classic Route 66 in Red Top

Jack DeVere Rittenhouse in his book "A Guide Book to Highway 66," published in 1946 tells us what Red Top was like at that time. He states it was 8 miles east of Strafford.

at the top is Red Top tourist camp: cabins and gas Rittenhouse (1946)

He added that 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.

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Some tours and sightseeing


Road Trip through Red Top

We will drive westwards coming from Marshfield. Route 66 is a narrow two-lane highway. After passing the concrete manufacturing plant (right) the road has an "S" curve. Here, to your right is the site of the long gone "Little Park Camp", which later was known as "Brown's Camp". Half a mile ahead, in the middle of another "S", to your right, is the site of "Cap's service station and store", gone.


gable roof wood frame gas station in a 1940s black and white photo

Ivey station and Cafe, Route 66 Northview. Credits

One mile west the highway curves away from the freeway and heads left. Here you begin a one-mile-long ascent and half way up you reach the crossroads that leads to the hamlet of "Northview" 0.9 miles south (left) along Co. Rd. B. "Ivey Sation and Cafe", that sold Phillips 66 gasoline was located at the intersection.

Northview had different names over the course of the years, it was originally known as "The Switch" and later as "Bunker Hill". Its post office opened in 1873 and adopted the name due to the great view it had from the top of the hill.

The highway curves north again and climbs into Red Top. There is only one surviving attraction in Red Top, the old garage.

Red Top Garage

To your left, at 16435 Old Route 66 East, Red Top. The Red Top Garage also known as "Red Top Camp".

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 (see photo below), 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 came over 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.

Postcard of Red Top Cafe and cabins in a 1946 postcard

Vintage black and white 1946 postcard of Red Top Court and Station
Vintage 1946 postcard of Red Top Court and Station Red Top, Missouri.

The current owner bought it in 1986, changed the roof on the old service station and had plans to restore it some day it is pictured at the top of this page.

Otto's Steak House - Gone

The stake house stood across the road, to your right. You can see it in this aerial photo from 1955 that shows, the four-lane brand new US66 highway above, and the curve in the old 1926-53 Route 66 below with Red Top on the bottom side and Otto's between both highways.

air view black and white photo, highways and buildings
Remains of Otto's Steak House 1950s photo US66, Red Top MO. Credits

Above is a "Then" view with the four-lane US66 on the top (upper left), Otto's in the middle and the Red Top complex beneath the old US 66 (lower right).

concrete base and steel pole in grass by highway
Remains of Otto's Steak House by US66, Red Top MO. Click for St. view


Site of Motel, Court and gas stations

Drive west, after 1.8 miles, to your right, beyond the freeway, on its north frontage road you will see an RV campground. This was the site of "Five Oaks Motel", Rainbow Court, Oak Grove Lodge and Lurvey Station. Some were torn down when the four-lane alignment was built, and others shifted north to adapt to the new highway.

As recently as 2012 some buildings survived (Street view), but now nothing remains of them, but you can see them in this aerial photo taken in 1955, above the 4-lane highway.

Just east of this spot, there are some ruins on the north side of Evergreen Road (satellite view), probably remains of one of these gas stations, you can also see it in the 1955 aerial picture.

ruins and old woodframe cabin in the grass by the highway
Ruins in Holman MO by Route 66. Click for St. view

Holman had a post office that opened in 1903 and shut down in 1911. At one time there was a school here. It was named after a local settler. The community vanished.

Wild Animal Safari and Ranch Hotel

two stone pillars in a field behind railroad tracks

Stone pillars Holmlan Ranch. Click for St. view

To your left, beyond the railroad tracks, this modern drive-through wild animal reserve is located on the land where the "Exotic Animal Paradise" once stood. The old "Ranch Hotel" or "Holman Ranch" with five cabins was located here, it has been torn down.

It was the site of the Holman family homestead and it was listed in Duncan Hines guide as a great place to eat at.

The Hotel and cabins were located close to the two stone gate pillars that are still there, to your left (red arrows in the image).

Your tour of Red Top ends here, head west to continue your Route 66 road trip in Strafford, and further west in Springfield. 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
Architectural - Historic Survey of Route 66 in Missouri and Detailed Survey, Maura Johnson. 1993

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