About St. Robert Missouri
Facts, Trivia and useful information
Elevation:1,040 ft (317 m).Population 4,340 (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).
St. Robert is a town located on old US 66 in Pulaski County in Central Missouri.(Map of St. Robert).
Vintage 1968 postcard of the Deville Motor Inn Motel in St. Robert, Missouri
Current Relax Motel, former Deville Motor Inn Motel in St. Robert, Missouri
History of St. Robert
USG Topographic map 1942, showing St. Robert MO. USGS
For the general history of the area check the History ofneighboring Waynesville.
It was originally a Dunkard community:The Dunkards, or Dunkers were called so becaue they believed in baptism by dunking, they are Christians of the Church of the Brethren, formed in 1708 in Germany.
Thisled the area to be known as Gospel Ridge, and later, Eastside as it was east of Waynesville. See the 1942 USGS map which shows it as "Gospel Ridge" at the junction of MO-17 and US 66. The two alignments of Route 66 appear in the map (the curved 1926-1977 roadbed and the straight addition built in 1942 that upgraded the road to a four lane highway).
The town was not platted and incorporated until 1951.
The name: St. Robert
The name comes from Father Robert Arnold, who established the Catholic parish for the staff at Fort Leonard Wood in the 1940s. So the first church, dedicated in 1951 was obviously St. Robert Bellarmine a Jesuit scholar (1542-1621).
The original Route 66 passed through town in 1926, aligned along old State Highway 14 east of Waynesville, the county seat. Just after World War II began and event though the U.S. was neutral, a large training camp namedFort Leonard Wood was created just south of what would become St. Robert. Route 66 provided a good road access and a railroad spur carried even heavier loads.
The heavy military traffic after 1940 led to Route 66's improvement from Doolittle to St. Robert: it was upgraded to a straighter four-lane divided highway. After the war , during the 1950s, the whole of Route 66 became a four-lane freeway, and I-44 was built, bypassing some of the old Route 66 sections and the town of St. Robert.
Where to Lodge in St. Robert, Missouri
Accommodation and hotels near St. Robert...
> > Book your hotel in town: Motels in St. Robert
More Lodging near St. Robert along Route 66
Motels and Hotels close to St. Robert
Hotels, Westwards in Missouri
- 1 miles Waynesville
- 35 miles Lebanon
- 65 miles Marshfield
- 78 miles Strafford
- 87 miles Springfield
- 148 miles Carthage
- 166 miles Joplin
Heading West... Hotels & Motels in Kansas...
- 181 miles Baxter Springs
Further West... Hotels & Motels on Route 66 in Oklahoma...
Heading East in Missouri, more accommodation
- 29 miles Rolla
- 39 miles Saint James
- 51 miles Cuba
- 68 miles Sullivan
- 86 miles Saint Clair
- 96 miles Villa Ridge
- 102 miles Pacific
- 109 miles Eureka
- 137 miles St. Louis
Hotels further East, in Illinois
>> Check out the RV campground in neighboring Waynesville
Weather in St. Robert
St. Robert has well marked seasons; the average high during summer (Jul) is 88°F (31.2°C), while the average low is 67°F (19.2°C). The winter (Jan) the average high is 42°F (5.6°C) and the average low is below freezing at 20°F (-7°C).
Rainfall is around 44.5 in (1.131 mm) per year and falls regularly each month in roughly the same amount. Snowfall is 9 in. (23 cm) average, and falls between Dec. and Mar.
St. Robert is located inside Missouri's "Tornado Alley" and Pulaski County is hit by some 8 tornado strikes every year.
Tornado Risk:read more about Tornado Risk along Route66.
Getting to St. Robert
You can reach St. Robert using I-44 or historic Route 66 and Interstate.
Map of Route 66 through St. Robert Missouri
Display St. Robert Route 66 Map
Click Map will appear below
Below is the color key for Route 66’s alignment in St. Robert:
(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.
Blue: is the two extra lanes added in 1942 through St. Robert towards Waynesville. Later, from 1957-1979 the alignment followed what is now I-44.
Route 66's alignment in Missouri: the Historic Route 66 through St. Robert
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 St. Robert
Landmarks and Places to See
Plenty of Classics to see
St. Robert and its Route 66 attractions
St. Robert has a 1950's style Route 66 Diner, three classic Route 66 motels:
the Ranch Motel, the Deville Motor Inn, now Relax Motel and the
Ramada Inn, now Liberty Lodge.
It has its touch of WWII history at Fort Leonard Wood, a genuine Route 66 Roadside Park and Route 66 Americana at Uranus Missouri.
Historic context, the classic Route 66 in St. Robert
Jack DeVere Rittenhouse published his "A Guide Book to Highway 66" in 1946 and of course, as the town did not exist at that time -it incorporated in 1951-, he did not mention in; instead he described the area as follows: "State Patrol station is located here, with its radio tower in the grassy plot between the divided highway. Gas stations here also, and nearby is the entrance to Fort Leonard Wood... between Ft. Leonard Wood and Waynesville, 4 miles farther, there are several cafes, bars, gas stations, cabins, etc. built during the War."
Begin your tour at the north side of town, at Exit 163 on I-44. This is where the older 1942 four-lane Route 66 alignment cut the original 1926 alignment just south of Morgan Heights (the cut section is shown in Black in the map above). Later, I-44 would be built on top of the four-lane US 66, of which no traces remain here. Head west.
14400 Hwy Z (Old Route 66), St. Robert
Americana & Route 66 Kitsch
Uranus Missouri in St. Robert on Route 66, click on image to enlarge
4.4 mil east of St. Robrert, see Map with directions.
This stop on the old Route 66 is a typical Americana & Route 66 Kitsch: there is an old firetruck, dinosaurs a Fudge Factory, general store and a "sputnik". Learn more at their website uranusmissouri.com.
At one time the Mark Twain Motel and Restaurant stood here but it closed in the 1970s.
Follow the old road, which here has some curves before heading straight into St. Robert at the junction with MO-17 - Missouri Ave., which leads (2 mi. to your right) to Fort Leonard Wood:
Fort Leonard Wood
Construction began in Dec. 1940 after World War II began -but the U.S. was still neutral. It spanned 95,000 acres and accommodated 45,000 men. By the end of the war had trained 320,000 men. Now it is a center of the Army engineers. It has several indoor and outdoor museums.
Head west, just past the intersection, to your right is the Ramada Inn:
Ramada Inn, now Liberty Lodge
140 Old Rte 66, St Robert
You can Book a Room in the Liberty Lodge
The Ramada Inn, built in 1959 is one of the last original hotels on Route 66 in St. Robert Missouri. It has its '66 rooms on Route 66'. See its Street View.
Just 0.2 mi. ahead, to your left, is the Route 66 George Reed Roadside Park:
George M. Reed Roadside Park
Route 66 just west of MO-17: Map showing location.
This park dates back to 1955, to the Route 66 golden days. It is the only remaining Route 66 roadside park in Missouri and home to a M-60 tank from the Desert Storm War
Named after George Marcellus Hamilton Reed (1855 - 1938), teacher, surveyor, lawyer, postmaster and newspaper publisher. And after 1919,Project Engineer of the Missouri State Highway Department, which is why the park was named after him. See the tank and tables in the park.
You are driving along the "new" post-1942 alignment of Route 66, the eastbound lanes to your left are the older 1926 alignment. Half a mile ahead, passing the Church of God Ft. Wood, take a right to the south, and get on the eastbound lanes of old Route 66 to see some classics to your right:
Oaks Court Modern Cabins
515 Old Route 66
The Oaks Court Modern Cabins still survive, though they have been remodeled. The main building was an ice cream parlor, and later during the late 1970s, it became apartments for rent. Here is its Street View. Next to it is a Classic 1960s Route 66 motel:
Deville Motor Inn, now Relax Motel
461 Old Route 66
You can Book a Room in the Relax Motel
As you can see in the photos "Then and Now" photos of the motel, the "classic sign is still standing and so are the 1960s shaped buildings with the restaurant to the rigth and the office on the left. The 1968 postcard says "Free TV, AM-FM Radio, Room Phones, Swimming Pool, Individual Controlled Heat and Air Conditioning, Ceramic Tub and Shower Combination, Carpeted, Coffee Shop and dining Room...".
Next to it, to the east, is the former Ranch Motel from the 1940s. Street View.
Route 66 diner in St. Robert on Route 66 , by Route 66 Diner
Click on image to enlarge
Take a left along Missouri Ave, cross I-44 and just ahead, to your left is the Diner (don't miss the water tank next to the freeway with its stars and stripes motif):
Route 66 Diner
126 Street Robert Boulevard, St. Robert, Location map.
The diner is a step back to the 1950s, it is modern but designed with a retro look.
Tours & Itineraries
Drive the mother road west to Waynesville or east into Devil's Elbow.
Old Route 66 in St. Robert
From St. Robert to Waynesville
The first trail along the divide in the Ozarks was created by deer and buffalo and later used by the Natives and the European explorers who called 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 St. Robert.
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 14 built from Springfield to St. Louis, passing through St. Robert. Later, in 1926 Route 66 would be aligned along it.
Old Route 66: 1926-1943 Alignment
The original alignment is shown in the Map above in Pale Blue.
The highway to the east of St. Robertwas widened and became a four-lane separated highway when World War II began. The heavy traffic and the large amount of accidents caused by the trucks heading to and from Fort Leonard Wood required a safer road.
By 1943 the new road was completed, bypassing Devil's Elbow with a straighter course through Hooker. To the west of MO-17 a second set of lanes were built, shown in Blue in the map above. This four lane section ended before reaching Waynesville and the rest of the road from St. Robert trough Waynesville remained a regular two lane road until the 1950s, when the four lane highway was extended westwards towards Lebanon.
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 in St. Roberts but still ran through Hooker cut.
Alignment after 1957
After the freeway was built, the old route through the town became "City Route 66".
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 Powellville, in 1981, this included the bypass of old Route 66 in Hooker too.
> > See the previous segment Morgan Heights to St. Robert (east)
> > See the next segment Waynesville to Buckhorn (west)
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.
Banner image: Dead Man's Curve, Laguna New Mexico by Perla Eichenblat.