Visit Historic Carthage, Missouri on Old Route 66

Carthage, Missouri was established in 1842 and served as the county seat of Jasper County. The state of Missouri was located between the secessionist southern states and the abolitionist northern states. As a result, several civil war battles occurred in and around Carthage along with very violent attacks from southern guerrillas. The first battle at Carthage occurred on July 5, 1861 and again in October 1863. Carthage was also burned by Confederate guerrillas in September 1864. Carthage, Missouri was reconstructed during the Victorian era.

carthage mo courthouse

Jasper County Courthouse, Carthage Missouri

Carthage from the Civil War and Beyond

As mentioned above the state of Missouri was at a real crossroads at the start of the American Civil War and Carthage, Missouri was one of the flashpoints. Missouri’s loyalties were divided at the outset of the Civil War and the war tore the state apart.

After the civil war, Carthage was a prosperous rail town,as well as a supplier of  “Carthage Marble” and a busy highway crossroads when U.S. Highways 66 and 71 came to town in 1926. The new Route 66 from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California was a economic boost to many towns along it’s path. One of the first concrete-paved portions of Missouri’s highway system was the stretch of road west of Carthage to Joplin, laid in 1920. In 1926, this route became part of Route 66.

Jasper County Courthouse

Carthage enjoys a rich history which is reflected in the many structures found throughout the city.

The current Jasper County Courthouse, built of Carthage stone in 1894, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This Romanesque Revival building is constructed of Carthage stone and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its turrets, towers and arches evoke the feel of a medieval castle looming over the city below.

The building is great to look at from the outside but even more fascinating when you enter. On the ground floor in the main hallway are cases filled with historic artifacts. There is a case that shows you the mining history, artifacts from Route 66, an old phone booth, and even a mine from the Spanish American War. One of the most interesting features was the mural of the history of Carthage complete with narration.

carthage courthouse square

Carthage Courthouse Square

Carthage Courthouse Square

Carthage Courthouse Square Historic District is, as the name implies, a grouping of shops and stores, most of them with relatively unspoiled nineteenth-century facades, set in traditional Southern fashion around a courthouse.

Carthage Courthouse Square Historic District is significant in American architecture for several reasons. First, it superlatively illustrates the two major phases of post-Civil War commercial architecture — brick Italianate and Romanesque Revival. In addition, the Carthage Courthouse Square Historic District and its side streets contain unusual and beautiful examples of cast-iron ornamentation.

Carthage Civil War Museum

A museum filled with information and artifacts covering the Civil War Battle of Carthage and the Civil War in southwest Missouri. The museum covers the history of the Battle of Carthage, the first full-scale land battle of the Civil War. The museum displays offer an excellent explanation of the several battles and the effects of the War on the area of southwest Missouri .There is also a display on the outlaw Belle Starr, who grew up in Carthage during the Civil War. The museum is located at 205 S. Grant St.

Boots Court-Motel

Another historic structure going back to the days of old Route 66 is the Boots Court-Motel. The Boots Court – Motel was built in 1939 by Arthur Boots, and still carries his name today.

carthage boots motel

Boots Motel

Americans took to the road in unprecedented numbers with the lifting of World War Two rationing and travel restrictions during the Mother Road’s golden age that began in 1945.

The “Motel” was saved from demolition by two sisters who are presently restoring the property to the way it was in 1949, and with the five rooms in the detached annex being completed and opened-for-business in 2012.

Battle of Carthage State Historic Site

This historic site is the location of the final confrontation of the Battle of Carthage, a day-long running skirmish that began on July 5, 1861, about 9 miles northeast of Carthage. Battle of Carthage State Historic Site preserves a small area associated with the battle, as skirmishes were spread over 10 miles. The Battle of Carthage involved the Missouri State Guard, a pro-Southern force, against Union volunteer regiments.

carthage civil war battlefieldThe Battle of Carthage was the earliest full-scale battle of the Civil War, preceding Bull Run by 11 days. Battle of Carthage State Historic Site contains a quiet meadow and the spring that made the area an encampment for both the Union and Confederate troops during the battle.

The area is little changed in its appearance since the battle was fought on July 5, 1861. A few minutes off of Interstate 44, the site interprets the battle that set the stage for a decisive showdown a month later at Wilson’s Creek.

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Kansas Route 66 Attractions

Texas Old Courthouse Tour

Carthage, Missouri features more than 600 buildings listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. These are buildings and structures that at one time housed a wide variety of individuals including Civil War guerrillas, wild west outlaws, business titans, Ragtime musicians and women’s rights pioneers.

Carthage is located just six miles north of Interstate-44 in southwestern Missouri and very close to the Kansas border. The city offers great historic tourist sites that highlight it’s early years including the devastation and battles of the Civil War and the days that Route 66 brought travelers through by the thousands.

It’s a must stop when your travels take you through southwest Missouri and well worth the time.

(Article and photos copyright Trips Into History)

Things to See and Do in Historic Monterey California

Everything about Monterey, California has to do with scenery, historic sites and the relaxation of visiting a seaside town. Located about a 2 hour drive south of the San Francisco Bay Area, Monterey is just the place to visit for those wishing to escape the big city hustle and bustle.

Monterey as a Spanish and Mexican Port and Capital

monterey ca historic sites

Historic Custom House

Monterey was the most important settlement and was the seat of government when the Spaniards ruled what is now California. Monterey was also the capital when the Mexicans ousted the Spaniards during the early 1820’s.

The city is located about a two hour drive south of San Francisco and a one hour and fifteen minute drive south of San Jose. Monterey can be either a day trip for those visiting from the San Francisco Bay Area or a fun overnight or weekend visit.

The Historic Custom House Plaza is located between the Portola Plaza Hotel and Fisherman’s Wharf

The Custom House in Monterey California is known as the oldest government building in California. This structure was built by the Spaniards who chose the Monterey as their capital of what was named Alta California. The Custom House was in existence by 1827 but deteriorated and was replaced by a larger structure in 1841. Monterey was at one time the only port of entry in what was then called Alta California.  
The Monterey Custom House  also has great historical significance by the fact that the United States flag was raised over it by Commodore John Drake Sloat on July 7,1846 thus claiming the territory of Alta California for the U.S. as a result of the Mexican-American War.

Whale Watching Off Monterey California

california whale watching trips

Whale watching excursions

The area in and around Monterey, California offers spots along the shoreline where whales can be observed. The following explains why the Monterey region is so popular for whale watching…

The Pacific Ocean off Monterey California and Monterey Bay is a natural marine habitat. In fact, the water is so deep just off the coast at this location that the area is often referred to as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific Ocean. The depth reaches close to 5,800 feet. These submarine canyons, and there are several within this larger one, extend from shallow waters of the continental shelf to the deep sea and contain a very wide range of habitats and because of this an incredible diversity of organisms.Among these are the Pacific gray whale.

There are also opportunities to go out in the Pacific Ocean for whale watching expeditions off Monterey. There are several excellent whale watching cruise tours offered from Monterey harbor and they are worth taking.

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Enjoy Historic Mission San Juan Bautista

The Historic Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Cannery Row

cannery row monterey

Cannery Row

Cannery Row in Monterey takes you back to the days when Monterey’s main industry was seafood fishing and canning. The Chinese actually began fishing the waters of Monterey Bay during the 1850’s soon after California became a state.

At first the catches would include abalone and later several varieties of fish including cod, halibut, flounder, yellowtail, sardines, squid, shark, oysters and mussels. Later in the 1800’s Italian fisherman migrated to the area and competed with the Chinese.

Monterey, California is a Must Travel Stop

Above are just a few of the many things to see and do in Monterey. The Pacific Coast in the Monterey area is absolutely beautiful. No matter how many times you may have visited the area, the scenery never gets old.

things to do in monterey california

Monterey Harbor

In addition to the attractions explored in this article is a terrific line up of restaurants both in Monterey and nearby Carmel-By-The-Sea. Carmel is just a few miles from Monterey and most visitors take in Carmel and Monterey together.

The beaches and coastal terrain gives you some of the best scenery in California. The entire  area also has hotels that can accommodate most travel budgets.

The beautiful scenery along with a small town feel is what brings many people back to Monterey on a regular basis.

(Article and photos copyright Trips Into History)

 

Visit the Old West Town of Las Vegas, New Mexico

Las Vegas, New Mexico is an historic old west town that just so happened to be on a very important overland trail and it’s a must stop during your next tour of New Mexico. The old Santa Fe Trail passed directly through town used by traders going between Santa Fe, New Mexico and points in Missouri to the east. The Santa Fe Trail had it’s roots extending all the way back to the 1820’s shortly after Mexico took over rule from Spain.

las vegas new mexico history

Las Vegas, NM

The Santa Fe Trail

Las Vegas New Mexico was a major location long before the railroad arrived. Las Vegas found itself directly on the Santa Fe Trail and was considered the largest town between it and Dodge City Kansas.

The Santa Fe Trail was established as a trade route between the U.S. states to the east and Mexico. Quite a lot of trading went on there during the Santa Fe Trail days. There are several locations in New Mexico today where tourists can still see the wagon ruts dating back to the 1800’s.

The Railroad Reaches Las Vegas, NM

When the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad reached Las Vegas New Mexico much later in 1880, everything changed. During the late 1800’s, the railroads out towns of the old west on the map.  What was at one time a small settlement would become a booming town almost overnight. In some respect, the railroad laying it’s tracks through a town had the same effect as the excitement of the California Gold Rush.

In addition to the building construction, the railroad helped make Las Vegas a cattle rail head. Between the railroad cattle trade, the key geographic location on the Santa Fe Trail and the colorful characters of the old west attracted to this new boom town, it’s probably an understatement to say that Las Vegas New Mexico was one of the New Mexico towns that changed dramatically during all the way from the 1820’s to the twentieth century.

las vegas new mexico historic buildings

Many buildings on the National Register

Today, when you visit Las Vegas, New Mexico, many of the old buildings you see were constructed shortly after the railroad arrived. Today, Las Vegas New Mexico is a treasure trove of nineteenth century structures, the town now has more than nine hundred buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Las Vegas also found it’s place in early Hollywood film making. The legendary Hollywood cowboy Tom Mix shot some of his movies in Las Vegas New Mexico and to this day the town is a popular movie shoot location.

Outlaws and Gamblers of Las Vegas’ Past

A case could be made that Las Vegas was one of the wilder old west towns of New Mexico. Actually, many well known characters passed through the town at one time or another.

Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid

There was the well known incident when sheriff Pat Garrett was transporting the arrested  Billy the Kid to the Santa Fe jail from the Fort Sumner area to the southeast. Las Vegas was a stop on the trip to Santa Fe. The story is that one of the prisoners Pat Garret was transporting along with the Kid had a lot of enemies in Las Vegas. Garrett, his deputies and the prisoners after riding up from Fort Sumner boarded the train in Las Vegas for the 55 mile trip to Santa Fe. To get out of the Las Vegas train station in one piece, the party had to hole up in one of the train cars with shotguns at the ready. The Las Vegas mob was intent on not letting the train depart. There were serious threats made to Garrett and violence looked imminent but the train car wasn’t rushed. Eventually Garrett made his way to Santa Fe safely where Billy the Kid and the others were jailed.

Doc Holliday Moves to Las Vegas

There’s another tale about the well known Doc Holliday and Las Vegas New Mexico. It seems that Doc Holliday relocated to Las Vegas in 1879 and opened up a saloon in the middle of town with a partner. He wasn’t there but a few months when an argument erupted between Holliday and a well known and locally liked gunman. The story is that Holliday invited the gunman to begin shooting whenever he was ready. The gunman did and so did Doc Holliday and the gunman was killed. Holliday left Las Vegas shortly after this shooting to avoid being killed by the gunman’s friends.

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Fort Union, NM Santa Fe Trail Wagon Ruts

la castenada harvey house

The old Harvey House, Las Castenada

The Notorious Silva Gang

Another noted outlaw from Las Vegas was Vicente Silva. In this case, Silva was a local saloon owner who gathered together a group of Hispanics into what was referred to as the Silva Gang. The gang also had other names such as Society of Bandits, Forty Bandits and Silva’s White Caps.

Their dubious credits included rustling, murder and theft in general. The distinction of the Silva gang was that it’s leader ran a prosperous business in Las Vegas during the day and then at night turned into one of the most feared outlaws in the area. The saloon obviously served as a good front. It also came to be known that Silva had connections with a few local lawmen that aided the gang’s survival. Vicente Silva died in 1893 and that pretty much spelled the end of his gang.

las vegas new mexico amtrak

Amtrak’s Southwest Chief in Las Vegas, NM

Your Visit to Las Vegas, NM

You will find the railroad tracks and train station a short distance away from the town’s plaza. Directly next to the train station is the Castenada which at one time was a large and first class Harvey House Hotel.

Today, Amtrak’s Southwest Chief makes a daily stop from each direction on it’s route between Chicago and Los Angeles. There is van service available from the train station to the Plaza.

The Las Vegas Plaza area is surrounded by many historic buildings including the Plaza Hotel. Six miles outside of town is the old ornate Harvey House Montezumas Castle which today houses the United World College.

For more detailed information on planning your visit to Las Vegas, New Mexico see…www.visitlasvegasnm.com

(Article and photos copyright Trips Into History)

Historic Attractions and Events in Georgetown, Texas

Georgetown, Texas was founded in 1848 and was named for George Washington Glasscock. Glasscock had donated the land of which the new town was built. Interestingly enough, the site had much earlier been a village for the Tonkawa Indians.

georgetown texas shops

Shops around the Georgetown Square

The people who originally settled Georgetown were immigrants comprised mostly of  Swedish, German, Austrian, Swiss, Moravian and Czech. Other early settlers were  Americans from the southern states.

The growth of Georgetown, Texas was spurred by the founding of Southwestern University in 1873 and with a railroad line coming through in 1878. By 1904 a railroad connected down to Austin, the state capital.

 

In addition to these, cotton was a huge economic driver and brought jobs and money to Georgetown.

When you visit Georgetown, Texas, the structures on all four sides of the courthouse square are a part of the Town Square Historic District. Below are stories about two of these major historic structures…

Williamson County Courthouse

The Williamson County Courthouse is one of the many beautiful old county courthouses you’ll see throughout the state. The town became the county seat in the year of it’s founding. This was some twelve years after the Texas Revolution which freed the land from Mexican rule. The first of what would be five courthouses was built in 1849. Court was first held under a live oak tree one block south of the courthouse square until the county’s first courthouse, a very small one-room log house, was completed in early 1849.

williamson county courthouse history

Williamson County Courthouse in Georgetown, Texas

The second courthouse for Williamson County Texas was a one story, 14 x 30 foot, wood frame home just off the square on the same block as the log courthouse. This second courthouse was used from 1851 to 1857.

The third courthouse was constructed directly on the square in 1857. This third structure was a 50 foot square, two-story limestone building with 2 foot thick walls and a hipped  roof and it was the first stone building in Georgetown. The third courthouse had various structural problems which had to be completed over several years. In 1873, four iron rods that were the length of the building had to be installed to stabilize the entire structure.

The county’s fourth courthouse was designed in 1877 by Austin architect Frederick E. Ruffini and his partner Jasper N. Preston. Ruffini himself was involved in the design of many courthouses in Texas including the Bell and Bastrop County structures. The cost of this fourth Williamson County Courthouse was $27,500 and was a was a large three story Second Empire style building made of stone with pediments, roof cresting, an elaborate cornice, corner pavilions with Mansard cupolas and a large rounded cupola over the front entrance. The new building was completed in 1878. By 1909, the fourth courthouse was no longer considered safe and plans were made to erect a new courthouse.

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Visit the National Ranching Heritage Center

The current and fifth Williamson County Courthouse was completed in 1911. The corner­stone was laid Oct. 6, 1910. The building has gone through several renovations and modifications. The architectural style is Greek Revival. With the assistance of the Texas Historical Commission and the dedication of preservation minded county citizens and officials, the fifth courthouse of Williamson County has been returned to its original 1911 splendor, once again becoming a focal point of the county.

masonic building georgetown texas history

Historic Masonic Building

Historic Georgetown Texas Masonic Lodge Building

Prior to 1900, the Lodge had a two story wooden building on the same lot, used the upper story for meetings, and rented the first floor to the post office.The current San Gabriel Masonic Lodge building was built in 1900 and is one of the most interesting structures on the Georgetown Courthouse Square. Masonic ceremonies for lay­ing the cornerstone were held July 6, 1900, and the building was completed December 8, of that year.The building is topped off with an onion dome, an architectural element common in Eastern Europe. One hundred and three years after it’s construction, the Masonic Lodge building was renovated in 2003.

Georgetown Texas Events

Located just 27 miles north of Austin, Georgetown is a fun town to visit and features many events throughout the year. Georgetown hosts some of the biggest family friendly events and festivals in the Texas Hill Country. Walk around the Georgetown Square and visit the unique shops including antique stores. You’ll find many great dining choices when in Georgetown which offers kid menus and ranges from American classics, Mexican, French and more.

An excellent website for a calendar of events is…http://visit.georgetown.org/events/

(Article and photos copyright Trips Into History)

 

Three San Francisco Sightseeing Stops Not to Miss

For those with the opportunity to visit San Francisco, California..one of the unique cities in the U.S… they will not find a shortage of historic, fun and one of a kind sites to visit. In this article we wanted to highlight three of these sites...Nob Hill…the Cable Car Museum and the World War Two submarine, U.S.S. Pampanito.

nob hill hotels

Fairmont Hotel,, San Francisco, CA

Nob Hill

The Nob Hill area came into being in the late 1800’s when the city of San Francisco was growing rapidly. New neighborhoods were being created every year and would eventually reach westward all the way to the Pacific Ocean.Nob Hill was originally the location where wealthy San Franciscan’s once desired to build their mansions.

The views from Non Hill were second to none. From Nob Hill you could have great views of both the city and bay.

The Fairmont Hotel

One of the most well known hotels on Nob Hill is the Fairmont. This outside of this hotel has been seen featured in movies and television over many years. The Fairmont Hotel was still in it’s final construction stage when the great earthquake and fire of 1906 destroyed San Francisco.

After the earthquake, the building itself remained intact. The interior however was severely damaged by fire and as a result the hotel’s opening was pushed back one year until 1907. During this time the building was also reinforced with concrete that could help it survive another earthquake. For those wondering how the hotel received it’s name, it was named after U.S. Senator James Graham Fair. It so happened the hotel was constructed by his daughters, Virginia Fair Vanderbilt and Theresa Fair Oelrichs.

The Mark Hopkins Hotel

Another well known hotel you’ve most likely heard of is the Mark Hopkins. The Mark Hopkins Hotel had a very different history than it’s neighbor the Fairmont. The land where the Mark Hopkins sits was at one time the home of Mark Hopkins, one of the Big Four investors and founders of the famous Central Pacific Railroad.It was the Central Pacific which met the Union Pacific in Utah to form the nation’s first transcontinental railroad.

Cable Car Museum

If you have an opportunity to visit San Francisco, one very fun and educational stop to make is the Cable Car Museum. There is no charge to visit the museum.The Cable Car Museum not only showcases vintage San Francisco cable cars, cable car mechanisms and their fascinating history but also lets you see for yourself just how the system operates today.

cable car museum photos

Power House at Cable Car Museum

The museum is also a cable car power house which operates the underground cable system today. The museum is obviously unique where you can get a feel for the old cable car days as well as the ones you ride today.

The power house itself is off limits to visitors, there are two galleries which allow you to see the cables and machinery in action. There is also an area underground where visitors can see the cables operating under Washington and Mason Streets pulling along the cable cars up above.

The Cable Car Museum is truly one of the most unique you’ll come across during your travels.

 

 

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One of a Kind Stops Along Old Route 66

See the USS Midway / San Diego’s Premiere Attraction

Submarine Museum / U.S.S. Pampanito

If touring an old World War Two diesel submarine interests you than be sure to see the U.S.S. Pampanito. Located at Fisherman’s Wharf, this submarine is open for tours inside the submarine from front to back. The USS Pampanito is a treasure and has quite a patrol record in the Pacific during the war. This self guided tour will give you a great feel for what it was like serving on her and living in cramped quarters for extended periods.

world war two submarines

World War Two submarine U.S.S. Pampanito

The history of the U.S.S. Pampanito is as follows… The vessel was built in 1943 at the Navy Yards in Portsmouth New Hampshire. The cost of her construction was six million dollars which was quite a lot of money in the early 40’s but probably sounds like a rock bottom bargain price for a submarine today. The Pampanito is 311 ft 9 inch in length and her beam is 27 ft 3 in. Her typical crew compliment was 70 enlisted men and 10 officers.

The submarine’s operating depth was about 400 feet and her speed was 21 knots on the surface and about 9 knots while submerged.

After the Pampanito’s shakedown cruise in the Atlantic, the new submarine headed directly for Pearl Harbor via the Panama Canal and arrived there in February 1944. Her deployment therefore was during the latter part of the Pacific War. Between 1944-45 the Pampanito completed six war patrols in the Pacific Theater. There are maps that show the areas of each one of her patrols.

(Article and photos copyright 2016 Trips Into History)