maureen lunn

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Overview

Carthage is centrally located in the southwest corner of Missouri within easy driving distance of Branson, Kansas City, Joplin and Springfield. The centerpiece of this pristine town is the massive Romanesque style Jasper County Courthouse that was built in 1895. Constructed of marble that was quarried in Carthage, the courthouse is now on the National Register of Historic Places. It is worth a visit to admire the building’s beautiful architecture of towers and turrets and the small museum of military artifacts and mining equipment inside. The Lowell Davis mural on the inside walls depicts the history of Carthage. Several of the town’s ...

Carthage is centrally located in the southwest corner of Missouri within easy driving distance of Branson, Kansas City, Joplin and Springfield. The centerpiece of this pristine town is the massive Romanesque style Jasper County Courthouse that was built in 1895. Constructed of marble that was quarried in Carthage, the courthouse is now on the National Register of Historic Places. It is worth a visit to admire the building’s beautiful architecture of towers and turrets and the small museum of military artifacts and mining equipment inside. The Lowell Davis mural on the inside walls depicts the history of Carthage. Several of the town’s stunning Victorian homes are also on the National Register and can be viewed on the self-guided Victorian Home Driving Tour. During the Civil War, several decisive battles took place in Carthage and the town was occupied by Union and Confederate troops. In 1864, Confederate guerrillas burned Carthage to the ground; the only remaining structure was the Kendrick Place, which now is open to the public for tours. In 1920 the first concrete portion of Missouri’s highway system was laid west of here. The route stretched from Carthage to Joplin (15 minutes away). Six years later this route became part of the national highway system, America’s historic Route 66. Sites of interest along this portion of Route 66 are the 1939 Boots Motel where actor Clark Gable stayed, Kellogg Lake for swimming and fishing, the Powers Museum with Route 66 memorabilia, the Municipal Park and the Route 66 Drive-In Theater that is open in summer.

Frances Folsom
About the Expert

Frances Folsom is the author of CitySpot Palermo, a contributor to the Reiskits guides to Milan and Italy's Lakes Region, and Thomas Cook's Independent Traveller USA.

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    The optimal time to visit is in the autumn when the maple trees in the surrounding countryside are ablaze with color.