America’s Maple Leaf City – Carthage, Missouri

America’s Maple Leaf City – Carthage, Missouri

  • Travel
  • December 31, 2022
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America's Maple Leaf CityAmerica’s Maple Leaf City

Experience a unique intersection of history, art and culture in Carthage, Missouri, America’s Maple Leaf City. Carthage welcomes travelers from all over the world and is located at the intersection of historic US Route 66 and the Jefferson Highway. You can wander through Red Oak II and experience a city that dates back to an earlier time. Book your night at Boots Court Motel, where notable clients such as Clark Gable and Mickey Mantle have stayed. This iconic hotel was built by Arthur Boots in 1939 and now shines in its original glory. If you’re planning your trip during the warmer months, be entertained by popular Hollywood movies at the Route 66 Drive-In Theater. Enjoy a double feature under the night sky and during the intermission take a stroll around the 1949 building where you can admire the original neon sign out front along with the ticket office and concession stand.

Route 66 drive-in movie theaterRoute 66 drive-in movie theaterBoots Court MotelBoots Court Motel

history buff? We’ve got you covered. The Battle of Carthage was the first full-scale land battle of the Civil War, taking place eleven days before Bull Run. The state of Missouri was a battleground state that saw a tug-of-war between Confederate and Union forces that ended with the city being destroyed by fire in 1864 and rebuilt at a later date. Plan a visit to the Civil War Museum, where entry is free, and learn about the Battle of Carthage from knowledgeable staff. Then, take a trip to the Battle of Carthage State Historic Site, which includes a still meadow and spring, making it a perfect camp for Union and Confederate troops during the battle.

Fascinated by historical buildings and architecture? The architecture is one of the most outstanding features of Carthage. The Jasper County Courthouse, the city’s “crown jewel”, was built in 1894-95 and is decorated with the famous Carthage marble. Considered the second most photographed building in Missouri, it sits at the center of Historic Carthage Square. Inside you’ll find a wrought-iron cage elevator that’s still in operation today; a display depicting the history of Route 66; and Forged in Fire, a mural by famed artist Lowell Davis depicting the history of Jasper County.

Jasper County CourthouseJasper County CourthouseHistorical housesHistorical houses

Stroll the square and learn about the history of the buildings and their original owners from the late 18th and early 19th centuries on a self-guided walking tour. Unique merchants and restaurants now fill these historic buildings, making it the perfect shopping and dining experience. A unique retailer – The Pie Safe – gives customers the opportunity to dine in a delightful atmosphere while enjoying a selection of a unique selection of teas and cakes.

Your Carthage experience is not complete without a tour of Carthage’s historic homes. Just a few blocks south of Historic Town Square is a residential neighborhood that grew as bankers, mine owners, lawyers, doctors, and merchants flocked to the city. Examples of Italianate, Romanesque, Queen Anne and Eastlake architecture can be seen.

Fall in October is our favorite month, but to be more precise, on the 3rd Saturday of October, the Maple Leaf Parade welcomes over 80,000 visitors to the city. Part of the week-long Maple Leaf Festival and named for the beautiful fall foliage in Carthage (hence the name America’s Maple Leaf City), this week-long pre-parade event features classic hometown events such as a band festival, a lip-synching contest, Arts and crafts vendors, car and tractor shows, a quilt show, chili cook-off, food vendors and live entertainment.

Carthage is more than a planned visit, it is an experience. Visit to find out more.

Photo credit: Holmes Photography

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