Route 66 Times header image
Home > MO > Carthage >

Boots Motel

107 S. Garrison, Carthage, MO
Phone: 417-310-2989

East < GO > West

This is one of those vintage motels along the Mother Road that you might need to plan well ahead of time if you want to spend a night there. A sign proudly proclaims there to be "A Radio in Every Room" at the 1939 Boots Court. Named after the original owner, Arthur Boots, the motel opened with a Mobile gas station in front and four guest rooms connected by carports behind the station. The station was in what is the office today and served both the station and the motel business. The motel was enough of a success that four more rooms were soon added and the Mobil gas pumps out front were done away with.

x The motel changed hands a couple times in the early 1940s, once when Boots and his wife got a divorcé and she got the motel, then again in 1944 when she sold it to the Neelys.

In 1946 the Neelys added several more rooms in separate building at the back of the property. Those units didn't have carports between them, instead they had garages underneath each unit. The garages were accessible from the alley behind the building. The Neelys sold the motel to a Mr. and Mrs. Asplin in 1948. About that time the name was changed to the Boots Motel and the front two units were made into a manager's apartment. Mr. Asplin passed away in the mid-1970s and Mrs. Asplin continued to run the motel until her passing in 1991. Theirs was the longest period of ownership to date.

The next owners, Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson, converted the front two units into living quarters. They owned the motel for ten years before selling it. The next ten years are not quite as clear, but eventually, and thankfully, sisters Debye Harvey and Priscilla Bledsaw managed to buy the motel and begin rehabilitating in about 2012.

x This photo shows gable roof that was installed in the 1970s because of maintenance issues with the original flat roof. The gable roof was removed and the flat roof was restored in the spring of 2013. Removing the gable roof was a great improvement to the building.

x The motel features these rather unusual drive thru carports. Each carport serves two units.

x Also restored in 2013 was the neon sign which once again reads Boots Court.

xThe old Boots Motel sign was showing some wear by the time it was restored. The sign can on the top with the arrow wasn't included in the restoration. Neither did a sign can previously located below the main sign that held a neon "Air Conditioned" sign.

x A few years after his 1941 divorce Arthur Boots built the Boots Drive-In across the street from the motel. In 2016 it was being used as a Credit Union. The building barely resembles the what it looked like when new.

Photo(s): 2012 - 2013



x About Us We started traveling Historic U.S. Route 66 as a destination in 2009. It's like a 2,400 mile long drive back in time from Chicago to Santa Monica! more
xDid You Know: Many parts of the old 4 lane Route 66 were reverted to a 2 lane road after 66 was realigned to the interstate. In many places the abandoned lanes are still there.