Motor Thru Kansas
Motor Thru Kansas, the Sunflower State, and also known as the Wheat State. It’s a short trip because Kansas only has 13 miles of Route 66, but they make those 13 miles count. Starting in Galena and ending in Baxter Springs Kansas packs great Route 66 attractions in the short 13 miles.
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Galena, Kansas used to be a mining town. The population decreased when the mine closed, but there are a few kitschy places to check out in Kansas. The restored Kan-O-Tex gas station now serves as home to Cars on the Route, They serve sandwiches, and plenty of the Route 66 spirit. They have plenty of souvenirs and for the kids, they have some that souvenirs related to Pixar’s Cars! They even have Tow-Tater out front that was the inspiration for Tow Mater in Cars.
When you leave Galena you will see the old Missouri-Kansas-Texas train depot that is now Galena Mining and Historical Museum. Stop in and see all the history this small building holds.
Eisler Brother’s Old Riverton Store has been on Route 66 since 1925, one year before Route 66 became a highway. Historically, it is one of the last operating 75-year-old shops of its type on Route 66. They have typical groceries and produce and also an old-time deli serving sandwiches. There is also a gift shop with gifts including Route 66 memorabilia and local handicrafts.
It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. It now serves as the headquarters of the Route 66 Association of Kansas.
The Brush Creek Bridge in Baxter Springs is the sole surviving bridge of its type on the entire length of Route 66. Built in 1923, the bridge has been repainted recently in beautiful white. In 1983 it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places, ensuring it will be preserved and enjoyed by many future motorists and pedestrians. The bridge is quite narrow and therefore a replacement bridge has been built nearby, however, a short, one-way road carries traffic to the old bridge which may still be crossed.
In 2003 a former cottage gas station, which was popular following the Great Depression, was added to the National Register of Historic Places, and now serves as the Kansas Route 66 Visitors Center.
The Baxter Springs Heritage Center and Museum contain twenty thousand square feet of exhibits celebrating the history of the city. Included in the exhibits are Native American, The Civil War, 1870’s Boardwalk, World War I, Boardwalk of the 1930s, World War II, The Black Experience, Baseball History, Historic Route 66, and many more. The museum is free of charge and usually only takes an hour to walk through.