Main Street USA
you’ll soon enter
Waynesville with its quaint downtown district that epitomizes Main
Waynesville got its start in 1831 when a man named G.W. Gibson
"squatted” on the land where the town sits today. Just one year
later Pulaski County was formed and
Waynesville was soon designated as the county seat. In 1835,
James A. Bates opened one of the first stores in the settlement, which
also served as a temporary courthouse. In 1839, the town was platted
and a post office opened, named after famous General "Mad Anthony" Wayne,
the daring Revolutionary War hero and Indian fighter.
Like much of
declared itself as "Confederate” during the
Civil War, flying the rebel
flag over its courthouse. However, this was short lived due to hits
strategic location on the Wire Road. On June 7, 1862, Federal troops
marched in, taking over the town and building a fort to protect the Wire
existed due to lumber and agricultural interests until
Route 66 came through
and developed into more of a tourist community.
Route 66 and Highway
17 you officially enter Waynesville. On the historic square are several historic buildings including the Old
Stagecoach Stop, which first served as a stage waystation and post office
when it was built in 1850. During the
Civil War, it was commandeered
by the Federal Army and used a hospital as the Union forces built the fort
on the south side of the square. Later it would serve as a hotel,
boarding house and a private residence. More than a century later,
it had fallen into sever disrepair and was condemned by the city in 1982. However, Waynesville
citizens rallied and saved the building. Today, it is listed on the
national Register of Historic Places. Also on the square is the Old
Courthouse Museum, built in 1903 and serving Pulaski County until 1989.
Route 66 and Benton
Street, you can see a building that was originally the Rigsby Standard Oil
Route 66 travelers in
its heyday. Continuing on, you’ll see the Victory Pub on the left
that has been serving up a brew by family members since 1942.
As you begin to head out of town
the Witmor Farms Restaurant continues to serve up delicious to fare to
travelers, and across the street sits the small Pleasant Grove Church
which has been serving its congregation since 1926. Just a bit
further down the road sits the building that once housed the Hillcrest
Grocers & Station, pumping KanOTex gas in 1932.
Route 66 takes a
right turn on County Road P, where you will drive through the old town of
Laquey (pronounced "Lakeway.”) Continuing to follow the old route,
you’ll soon see signs of the area once called Gascozark and the small town
of Hazelgreen before reaching
Lebanon. Along this stretch, keep an eye out for a number of historic buildings
that once catered to travelers along the old highway.
of America, updated October, 2012.