“Show Me State Showdown” Comes to Central Missouri May 30

Virtual racing can never replace the sights, sounds, and smells of live, action packed, racing.  Plan your weekend to central Missouri for the Show Me State Showdown for an action packed night of LIVE racing!

Billed as “one of the biggest races to ever happen at Lebanon I-44 Speedway” the “Show Me State Showdown” will feature 300 laps of feature racing with drivers coming from all over the country. It will also mark the return to Lebanon I-44 Speedway of Super Late Models for the first time since 2001. Tickets went on sale May 14th, 2020 at 2PM.

The ARCA/CRA Super Series will run 125 laps, the JEGS/CRA All Stars Tour will go 100 laps, and the Van Hoy Oil CRA Street Stocks will run 75 laps.

While pre-registration for drivers has just begun, some big names are already starting to roll in, led by Senoia, GA’s Bubba Pollard. 2019 Snowball Derby winner Travis Braden has entered the event to compete in both the Super race and the Pro race, as has Texas competitor Chris Davidson. Former NASCAR Truck Series regular Cody Coughlin is entered for both events, while Michigan’s Brian Campbell will be a frontrunner in the Super Late Model portion of the event.

Plentiful lodging accommodations for race fans can be found in Saint Robert, Missouri. Saint Robert is an easy 27-minute interstate drive from the track. 22 clean comfortable hotels offer variety for all budgets. Make your room reservation today!  For those seeking a cabin, vacation home or camping options we have those too!

As you plan your race weekend, be sure to check out all the great things to see and do in our area. Stop by our communities while enjoying our Ozark scenery while taking one of our self guided driving tours. Knock around our flea market and antique shops located throughout the communities of Crocker, Dixon and Richland. Take a stroll around downtown Waynesville while learning about this historic town. Snap a picture of Frog Rock as you head to St. Robert for a laughing good time at the Uranus Entertainment Complex be sure to stop by the Freedom Rock tribute to our service members. Another must do activity is booking a gentle river float with one of our many outfitters. A day on the river soothes the soul!

For further information on lodging options for the “Show Me State Showdown” contact Pulaski County Tourism Bureau at 573-336-6355.

Historic Route 66 Bridges of Pulaski County, Missouri

Pulaski County is a not-so-hidden gem on the crown of Route 66 bridges. Three bridges are distinct ties to the promise and heyday of Route 66. The 1923 Devils Elbow Bridge over the Big Piney River predates Route 66. When it was constructed the roadbed was signed as Missouri Highway 14. The 1942 Devils Elbow Arch Bridge also crosses the Big Piney River, 2,800 feet downstream from her older sibling. Rounding out the trio of historic Route 66 bridges in Pulaski County is the 1923 Roubidoux Bridge in Waynesville. It was also built as an improvement to (then) Missouri Highway 14.

1923 Devils Elbow Steel Bridge

It’s curved approach makes this bridge unique. The fate of the 1923 Devils Elbow Bridge was questioned for years. Missouri Department of Transportation relinquished control of the bridge to Pulaski County after it was bypassed by a newer bridge. Drawing mainly local traffic and Route 66 enthusiasts, the bridge continued to deteriorate until a solid plan to rehabilitate the bridge was finalized.

The 1923 Devils Elbow bridge closed to all traffic October 2013 and re-opened May 2014. Today, the bridge is like new. Strong, sturdy, and safe and ready to carry travelers from around the globe across the river. The refurbished bridge has reenergized the village of Devils Elbow.

Devils Elbow Route 66 bridge over the Big Piney River in Pulaski County, Missouri

1942 Devils Elbow Arch Bridge

The 1942 Devils Elbow Arch Bridge was designed by the Missouri State Highway Commission. Composed of three open spandrel arches and five arched girder approach spans, it was constructed by Maxwell Construction Company.

A rare image of the 1942 Devils Elbow Arch Bridge during construction. MODOT photo.

Maxwell Construction Company constructed almost a dozen, if not more, bridges in Kansas, Arkansas, and Missouri between 1912 and 1942. They were also the company that constructed the Pikes Peak through truss bridge between Waynesville and Crocker on Highway 17 in 1932. After completing the 1942 Devils Elbow Arch Bridge the company was paid $47,707.00.

Federal financial sources played an important role in the construction of this bridge. Money was made available through the Strategic Highway Fund and the Emergency Relief Fund, both byproducts of World War II. The open spandrel design was used frequently by the Missouri State Highway Department between 1920 and the early 1940s.

According to HAER Inventory- Missouri Historic Bridge Inventory, regarding open spandrel bridges, this bridge has “one of the longest spans of those identified by the statewide bridge inventory.” The report also states that that due to the late construction date that the bridge has “no noteworthy technological significance.”

However, in a National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation Form prepared by Ruth Keenoy and Terri Foley they state that “concrete open spandrel arch bridges signify one of the great engineering accomplishments of early twentieth century bridge construction” and further states that “the Big Piney River Bridge is an excellent example”. The 1942 Devils Elbow Arch Bridge is unchanged from its original construction.

1942 Devils Elbow Arch Bridge over the Big Piney River on the 4 lane alignment of Route 66 in Pulaski County, Missouri. Photo by David Harbaugh.

1923 Roubidoux Bridge

The 1923 Roubidoux Bridge was also designed by the Missouri State Highway Commission in 1922 to carry traffic across the Roubidoux on Missouri State Highway 14. Missouri Highway 14 was later designated as Highway 66.

Vintage postcard of Roubidoux Bridge in Waynesville on Missouri State Highway 14, later Route 66. Image courtesy of Steve Rider and 66postcards.com.

Builder Koss Construction Company of Des Moines, Iowa was paid $44,035.00 for their work after completion. Koss Construction Company constructed almost a dozen, if not more, bridges in Missouri, Iowa, Alabama, Minnesota, and Michigan. At least two of their bridges, Galena Y Bridge in Stone County, Missouri and Mendota Bridge over the Minnesota River in Dakota County, Minnesota have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

This bridge is a closed, or filled concrete spandrel bridge, a variation of the concrete bridge design that was often used by Missouri State Highway Department in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. This bridge, along with the Meramec River Bridge in Crawford County were the only two remaining examples of this bridge type in a five span formation when the Historic American Engineering Record completed its Missouri Historic Bridge Inventory. The Meramec River Bridge on Highway 19 was lost in 2000, leaving this bridge in downtown Waynesville as the lone survivor.

The 1923 Roubidoux Bridge was widened in 1939 when the bridge was 16 years old and has had no further alterations in the following 80 years.

The 1923 Roubidoux Route 66 bridge provides a scenic backdrop for trout anglers. The bridge still carries vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

More Than Just Bridges

The historic bridges on Route 66 in Pulaski County are more than just bridges. These bridges are links, connecting Chicago to Los Angeles and also connecting travelers from around the world to tangible Americana in the largest open air-museum in the United States.

This article first appeared in 2014. Thank You to Jim Ross, author of “Route 66 Crossings: Historic Bridges of the Mother Road”; Terry Primas of the Old Stagecoach Stop, and http://www.bridgehunter.com for their contributions.

Pulaski County Visitors Center: Tourists, Travelers, & Visitors Welcome!

Click image to learn more about Missouri’s “Show Me Strong Recovery Plan”

Missouri will reopen economic and social activity on May 4th under Governor Mike Parson’s “Show Me Strong Recovery” plan. Pulaski County Tourism Bureau’s Visitors Center will reopen, with limited services, May 4th as part of this plan. We will resume our normal hours of operation to serve travelers, tourists, and visitors Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Pulaski County has always been a “Welcome Place in America’s Heartland” and we continue this core philosophy.

We believe that a getaway to our charming, small communities in the Ozark Mountain region is a perfect way to reintroduce your family to travel and exploration. We invite you to stop by our Visitors Center (137 St. Robert Blvd., Saint Robert, Missouri) when you arrive in Pulaski County.

Visitors Center Procedures

For the safety of our tourists, travelers, visitors, and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, Pulaski County Tourism Bureau & Visitors Center is instituting the following procedures until further notice:

  • Visitors may choose to use our curbside Tourist Information service.
  • One travel party at a time will be allowed to enter.
  • Visitors will be greeted just inside the door at the Welcome Table.
  • Visitors will be asked to voluntary provide information to assist in contact tracing IF THE NEED ARISES. (Information is collected only for notification of possible COVID-19 related concerns. Information will not be used for any other reason.)
  • A Visitors Center Representative will determine the travel information needed, gather the information, and present the bag of information for you to continue your visit to Pulaski County or travel throughout the state of Missouri.
  • Restroom facilities: One restroom has been designated as the Family Restroom. One adult and child may enter to use the restroom or two adults from the same travel party.
  • Retail Room: One visitor may enter the retail area.

Cleaning Procedures

  • Visitor Center Representatives will apply hand sanitizer prior to gathering travel literature.
  • Welcome Table and interior/exterior door handles will be disinfected upon travel party departure.
  • The Family Restroom will be disinfected upon travel party departure.
  • Point-of-Sale equipment is electronic. Signing instrument will be disinfected after every use.

Employee Guidelines for Visitor Safety

  • While interacting with visitors Pulaski County Tourism Bureau & Visitor Center staff will wear masks.
  • Staff are required to stay within a 60-mile radius of the Visitors Center. Travel outside the 60-mile radius will be reported to supervisor.
  • Staff will not come to work sick.

Visitor Recommendations

Pulaski County businesses are open. Remain cognizant of social distancing and cleanliness for yourself and others. Masks are encouraged.

Please be advised to call ahead to determine availability of businesses you plan to visit. Due to varying community requirements, or business owner ability, full services may not be available. Many of these services are changing daily.

Pulaski County Tourism Bureau & Visitors Center will continue to monitor the situation and will tighten or relax procedures as needed.

Historic Driving Tours

Where is Pulaski County’s ghost section of Route 66? Why is Hooker Cut an engineering marvel? What patriotic holiday is also the “birthday” of the iconic Devils Elbow Bridge? Who is George M. Reed? Why is a roadside park named after him? Pulaski County Tourism Bureau answers these questions in their free Historic Driving Tours brochure.

1926 Touring Model T crossing the Devils Elbow steel bridge on Route 66 in Pulaski County, Missouri.
The Fishback’s from Wisconsin crossing the Devils Elbow Route 66 steel bridge in their 1926 Touring Model T.

More Than A Map

The history of Route 66 comes to life as you explore Pulaski County’s 33 miles of historic highway with your brochure in hand. Taking inspiration from Jack D. Rittenhouse’s 1946 A Guide Book to Highway 66 and adapted from Terry Primas’ Route 66 in Pulaski County, Missouri (a local history) the brochure has become a keepsake for Route 66 adventurers.

For Adventurers

While exploring the Mother Road in Pulaski County you will be awestruck by the allure of the Ozarks. Stroll across the sturdy Devils Elbow bridge. Take in the timeless bluffs that tower above the Big Piney River. Visit the City of Saint Robert museum to gain an understanding of how Fort Leonard Wood affected the alignment of Route 66 in Pulaski County. Order take-out from a Mom & Pop joint and picnic at the roadside park. Scout Waynesville’s historic sites on foot. For an authentic Ozarks adventure, dive into Roubidoux Spring. The spring is one of the few Ozark Mountains natural springs that allows swimming.

More to Explore

The Historic Driving Tours brochure includes a Frisco Railroad itinerary. This self-guided tour will help you discover Pulaski County’s railroad boomtowns. Climb the notorious Dixon Hill. This ascent tortured railroad engineers for decades. Photograph the abandoned Fox Crossing schoolhouse. Scout the trackside community of Swedeborg. Dine and shop in Dixon, Crocker, and Richland.

The guide also includes a driving tour highlighting historic points of interest on Fort Leonard Wood. Access to the installation is not guaranteed to the general public. However, for visitors attending their soldier-in-training’s military graduation, this tour will deepen your understanding of the installation’s impact on the Pulaski County region.

Yours for the Asking

Ask for your Historic Driving Tours brochure when you order your official Pulaski County Visitors Guide . Many area hotels, shops, and restaurants have them on hand. The free guide is also stocked in the outdoor kiosk at the Pulaski County Visitors Center in Saint Robert, Missouri.

Historic Downtown Waynesville Walking Tour

Which building on Waynesville’s public square was owned by Royalty? Where was Waynesville’s Opera House? Why is Waynesville “The Birthplace of the Byway”? Pulaski County Tourism Bureau answers these questions in their free Historic Downtown Waynesville Walking Tour brochure.

World War II era soldiers on the Square in downtown Waynesville, Missouri.
Soldiers on the Square in Waynesville in 1941. Image courtesy of Jan and Terry Primas.

Waynesville’s history comes to life as you explore downtown with your brochure in hand. Based on the research of noted Pulaski County historians, this self-guided tour describes twenty-six points of interest in downtown Waynesville, Missouri. The brochure is your blueprint for an afternoon of investigating the charming community.

During your tour you will discover century-old buildings and remnants of village life before Route 66 came to town. Stand in the footsteps where pioneers and early settlers forded the Roubidoux River. You will gain an understanding of the tragedy of the Trail of Tears. You will also witness how the arrival of neighboring Fort Leonard Wood forever changed the look of Waynesville.

For Adventurers

Adventurers from all walks of life recommend the tour. Route 66 enthusiast explore the city to come to know it better- to make it more than just a name on a map.

The tour is a fun learning activity. Consequently, it can be used in homeschool lesson plans.

However, the tour is not just for visitors, travelers, and tourists. Locals enjoy learning the unique stories about the buildings and locations they see in their everyday travels.

More to Explore

Bring your camera along on your tour. Many of Waynesville’s historic buildings are photogenic and inspiring! As a result, Plein air painters and artists have captured Waynesville’s cityscape in their art.  

Bring your appetite! Downtown Waynesville is home to international flavors and pub grub that will make your taste buds sing! Indulge in Missouri wines, Ozarks craft beer, and gourmet coffee.

Ask for your Historic Downtown Waynesville Walking Tour when you order your official Pulaski County Visitors Guide . Many downtown merchants have them on hand. The free guide is also stocked in the outdoor kiosk at the Pulaski County Visitors Center in Saint Robert, Missouri.