Plan the Road Trip of your Life

Home | Blog

Route 66

Home > Attractions & Sights > Towns > Sampson
States > Missouri > Sampson


Another Route 66 Ghost Town

Last Updated: . By

Sampson is a Ghost Town on Route 66 with some remnants of the golden days of the Mother Road like the site of the "That's It" Motel, the old O'Brien's Cabins, cafe and station, the former Timber Hill Camp and the decaying remains of Garbage Can Cafe and Lowery's Service Station.

Drive through Sampson MO during your Route 66 road trip in the Ozarks.

< Head West
Red Top ¦ Marshfield ¦ Niangua

Head East >
Conway ¦ Phillipsburg ¦ Caffeyville

Sampson MO

Index to this page

Rent your car advertisement

About Sampson Missouri

Facts, Trivia and useful information

Elevation: 1,381 ft (421 m). Population n⁄ (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).

Sampson is ghost town in northern Webster County, in south central Missouri. At the junction of Mo. Highways CC and HH.

History of Sampson

Read about the region's history in our Marshfield page.

The name: Sampson

Named after the Sampson family who opened the post office. Sampson (and similar surnames Sanson, Sinson, Sansom) were brought to England from France and derive from the biblical name "Samson" which comes from the Hebrew word "shemesh" or "sun".

The area was surveyed in 1870 by the South Pacific Railroad Co. but it had been settled earlier, in 1862 when land was granted in the area. At that time Charles Atteberry opened a general store. The railroad passed through the town shortly after. A lumber company (the Ozark Plateau Tie and Timber Co.) opened in 1909 and sent logs via a railroad spur into the town. There were dozens of canning factories in Webster County, and a large canning factory (the Case Canning Company) was in Sampson, processing tomatoes but due to safer labor requirements it closed by WW II. By then population was around 22 residents.

Route 66 was created in 1926, and passed just by the village, but Lebanon to the north and Marshfield to the south captured most of the traffic.

The post office was established here in 1907 but it closed during the Great Depression in 1935. The town gradually dwindled and now only a few residents live in the counrtyside around it. advertisement

Find your Hotel near Sampson, Missouri

Lodging close to Sampson; there is no accommodation in town, but you can find a room in neighboring Marshfield.

> > Book your hotel in Marshfield

More Lodging close to Niangua on Route 66

There are plenty of hotels in the towns along Route 66, below you will find a list of links with the accommodation in each of these towns.

Hotels; Westwards in Missouri

Heading East in Missouri, more accommodation

>> Check out the RV campgrounds in Marshfield

Weather in Sampson

Weather in the town nearest Sampson

Latest Niangua, Missouri weather
Route 66 in Sampson MO; location map

Location of Sampson on U.S. Hwy. 66

Sampson has clearly defined seasons. Its position on the northern limit of U.S.'s humid subtropical climate gives it very humid weather during late summer.

The July average temperatures (summer) temperatures are: (high) 89°F (31.6°C); (low) 68° (19.8°C). The aerage January (winter) high temperature is 43°F (6.1°C) while the average low is below freezing: 22°F (-5.3°C).

Annual rainfall averages 45.6 in. (1.160 mm), and Sampson receives about 17 in. of snow (43 cm) every year.

Tornado risk

Sampson is located in the "Tornado Alley" and Webster County has around 9 tornado strikes per year.

Tornado Risk: read more about Tornado Risk along U.S. 66.

Map of Route 66 through Sampson, Missouri

USGS map from 1948 of Sampson

1948 USGS Map of Sampson

Route 66 Map and its alignment

The image shows Route 66 marked in red, running across the image from top to bottom, and Sampson to the right, by the railroad.

The map of US66 in Sampson shows the 1926-53 alignment.

The original roadway has a roughly north-to-south alignment from Conway, through Sampson, to Niangua and Marshfield.
In 1953 a safer and straighter four-lane highway was built to the west of Sampson. This road is now beneath the freeway (I-44).

The alignment in Sampson

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

Route 66 Sights in Sampson

Landmarks and Places to See: a Vanished village

Historic context, the classic Route 66 in Sampson

In 1946, Jack DeVere Rittenhouse published his "A Guide Book to Highway 66" in which he mentions Sampson during Route 66's heyday.

Pop 22; gas; few cabins Rittenhouse (1946)

He added that it was followed two miles west by "gas station and cafe".

Thinking about visitingt Branson?

Some tours and sightseeing


Tour the route 66 landmarks in Sampson

"That's It" Motel Site

Starting at the Laclede County Line, at Route 66 and Webster County line road, the highway runs with a general north to south alignment. One mile ahead, to your left, facing Letterman's farm is the site of the former "That's It Motel". Nothing remains as the place burned down in the 1970s. It had been run by the Guerneys from 1948 until the 1960s.

black and white picture c.1940s of a large gable roof building, and neon sign seen from Route 66

That's It Motel postcard. Credits

trees by roadway, site of a burned motel

Site of That's It Motel. Click for St. view

Continue west for 1.3 miles, and to your right is the site of O'Brien's cafe, filling station and cabins, at 9119 Hwy CC (old U.S. 66).

O'Brien's Cabins, cafe and station

This was "O'Brien's Modern Cottages". The cabins stood on the back of the property and have been torn down, but the building that served as a café and Texaco gas station is still standing. Notice how its gable roof porch is still there.

black and white photo of gas station with gable roof, sign and pu mps on US66
O'Brien's Cafe and filling station in Sampson MO, 1940s postcard. Credits

Same place nowadays, notice the concrete foundation of the gas station's sign is still there, in the lawn in front of the former station (red arrow).

gable roof building, a former gas station with trees around it
O'Brien's Cafe and filling station in Sampson MO, nowadays. Click for street view

Continue westbound along Route 66, after 0.9 miles you reach the junction that (left) leads to "Sampson", a few homes by the railroad track. There is no depot here. At one time there was a gas station, store and post office here, and a tomato canning factory beyond the railroad. Nothing remains.

Keep southwards along U.S. 66 and one mile ahead, at 7211 State Hwy CC, Niangua is the site of the old Timber Hill Camp, an old tourist camp.

Timber Hill Camp

Also known as Indian Camp, it is now a private home, the old office and residence was a wood frame building with a gabled roof built in Craftsman style around 1930.

It was one of the many tourist camps along Route 66. By 1938 it had three cottages, with common toilets and showers. There was even an area for trailers with electricity! It was run by Florence Baldwin from 1940s to 1957 and after that by Orville Ikerd.

View of the former Oak Vale Park

gable roof home, fence and lawn
Former Timber Hill Camp Sampson, Missouri. Click image for Street View

This is the last site of Sampson on the 1926-53 Route 66 alignment, there is another one on the four-lane Route 66 alignment that replaced it after 1953, and is now buried beneath I-44. the "Garbage Can Cafe and Lowery's Service Station" (map with directions.)

Garbage Can Cafe and Lowery's Service Station

trees surround ruins of a decaying building by exit ramp of I-44

Ruins of Lowery's station. Click for St. view

It was, according to its postcard, located on "US Highway 66, 7 miles east of Marshfield MO. & 7 miles west of Conway, MO." The box-shaped, flat-roofed building had a café and a Phillips 66 station on the westbound lanes of the new "superhighway."

Kermit and Letha Lowery ran it from the early 1950s until 1972. When the freeway replaced the original four-lane highway, an exit ramp was built in front of the property, it cut it off from the traffic and also invaded the area in the front of the property where the pumps were located. The old vacant and abandoned building is crumbling away next to the freeway. This map shows its exact location.

Old Cafe and Phillips 66 station

1950s color postcard box-shaped Phillips 66 station with pumps, sign, cafe and cars
Garbage Can Cafe and Lowery's Service Station in the 1950s Sampson, Missouri. Credits

Your city tour of Sampson ends here, return to the Old Route 66 (map with directions) and head west along Route 66 and continue your road trip into Niangua. advertisement

Some sponsored content

> > Book your hotel in Marshfield

Book your Route 66 hotel advert advertisement


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
Missouri: The WPA Guide to the "Show Me" State

Social Media

our Facebook our Tumblr our Pinterest e-mail us our Blog our Likedin