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Wagon Wheel Motel901 E Washington Blvd., Cuba, MO 65453
The Wagon Wheel has been an operating motel since it opened in 1934. That makes it the oldest continuously operating motel on Route 66. Starting with nine cabins it eventually grew to fourteen cabins by 1941. Originally there was a cafe and gas station operating here as well as the motel. The cafe building was and still is also the motel office, but the cafe itself is gone. The cafe space was being used as a gift shop when we were there in 2012. The former gas station building still stands next to the office & gift shop.
Here is one of the buildings housing rooms at the motel. As well as 14 guest rooms there were 12 carports and 2 garages by 1941. The garages were eventually converted to guest rooms.
In 1946 ownership of the property was split up. The cabins were owned by one couple, the cafe by another and the gas station was leased to Standard Oil. That changed again in 1947 when John Mathis bought the property. Mathis designed the neon sign and changed the name from Wagon Wheel Cabins to Wagon Wheel Motel in 1947.
In 1963 the place was sold again and the Ye Old Coffee Shop opened in the original office/cafe building. The Coffee Shop closed in 1980. Another sale in 2009 led to a complete renovation. In 2013 another Neon Sign was added and it faces west.
The Wagon Wheel Motel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.