RT66:MO - Vernelle's Motel
In Missouri, United States
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Get Your Kicks On Route 66
Enjoy your drive down the Mother Road.
The intent of this series is to point out historic or unique places along old route 66 between IL and CA. It is NOT meant to be a power trail as caches may be 50 miles or more apart. Stop and enjoy these sights along the way.
Since the late 1930s, Vernelle's Motel has provided Route 66 travelers with friendly service and reasonable prices in a historic setting. Located just off Interstate 44 about eight miles west of Rolla, Missouri, Vernelle's is a throwback to another time. Owner Ed Goodridge, and his faithful sidekick, Fox, run this taste of life in another era. Vernelle’s offers motel guests, no e-mail, no phone, no remote control -- just a warm bed, a hot shower, and an old TV. Turn the dial to an "I Love Lucy" rerun or a Bogie and Bacall flick and let your surroundings take you back to a simpler time.
Down the road a few feet are the remnants of John's Modern Cabins, a picturesque tourist court that served travelers for more than 30 years before it closed in the 1960s. A lot of Route 66 businesses went the way of John's Modern Cabins -- casualties of "progress" -- but Vernelle's hung on.
Vernelle's was built in the early 1930s by E.P. Gasser. Originally called Gasser Tourist Court, the business -- consisting of six cabins, a filling station and a novelty shop -- changed hands in the early 1950s, when E.P. Gasser's nephew, Fred, and his wife, Vernelle, bought the property and expanded it. The “new” Vernelle's, named for its proprietress, was quite a complex. Besides the motel, the property -- pictured on the vintage postcard to the left -- included a restaurant serving steaks, fried chicken, shrimp and other delicacies to refresh hungry travelers. At one time, there was a petting zoo on the grounds as well. In 1957, the restaurant was torn down and the motel moved a few feet north to accommodate the widening of Route 66 to four lanes.
Around 2001, I-44 was moved at the Sugar Tree Lane exit further north cutting the dangerous curves. Some locals enjoy the new found privacy. Vernelle’s was hit hard because for the
first second time, it was bypassed. The whole surrounding location is strange. Those of us who use modern conveniences (GPSr or GoogleMaps) may be confused at the location of I-44. “Oh no! I’m going off the road!” You may wonder why there are billboards on the far far south side of I-44 pointing the wrong way. If you’re heading eastbound, you may wonder about the strange rocks that appear to have a strange meaning. I suggest you drive further down Arlington Road to the campground and see what is left of I-44.
Regardless of the Bermuda Triangle-like surroundings (Especially between N 37° 56.558 W091° 56.406 and N37° 55.741 W 091° 57.805), the motel remains today, along with its original sign, which got a fresh coat of paint recently thanks to the efforts of the Route 66 preservation group, Friends of the Mother Road. The antique store, open Thursday – Saturday, has quite a few things for those on a Route 66 item hunt. Ed’s family also hosts a swap meet at Vernelle’s every 3rd Saturday and Sunday.
|NOTICE: For additional details on the Route 66 project (plans, thoughts, template, etc) or to participate and create Route 66 caches along the "Mother Road" in your area, visit our site at www.route66geocaching.org. (visit link). .
Leaving cooler than normal swag as a thanks to the Ozark area geocachers for the fun!
Original Stash Includes:
FTF Prize (Fisher Trekker Space Pen w/ lanyard)
November 2007 GeoCoin Club Coin and Pathtag
5 x Personal "My Brother is a Dirty Leg" Pathtags
P38 Can Opener
Contractor Pull Flashlight
Expert Grenade and Bayonet Badge
Sharpshooter Rifle Badge
BDU Cloth Senior Rated Parachutist Badge
Subdued Pin-on Novice Parachutist Badge
Engineer / Fort Leonard Wood Coin
US Army Dog Tag Bottle Opener
Black POW Lanyard
Black Support Our Troops Bracelet
4 pack of AA Batteries
Container is a lock-and-lock box. Permission from owner is granted. ***Thanks again to Thunder Monk for looking out and taking this one over!***
Znxr yvxr n qrpvqhbhf cynag naq ...
Old Post Card
The Road to Nowhere...
Looking down the south and west down Old Route 66 (and Interstate 44 for that matter)...
Where there is grass on the left was concrete!
Vernelle's Motel Sign
Last Updated: on 3/18/2013 3:44:41 AM Pacific Daylight Time (10:44 AM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum