Waynesville Downtown Walking Tour

Historic sites in Waynesville, Missouri

Waynesville Downtown Walking Tour

Waynesville, Missouri 65583, United States

Created By: Pulaski County Tourism Bureau & Visitors Center

Tour Information

Program powered by Pulaski County Tourism Bureau

Waynesville is rich with history from the Trail of Tears, Civil War to historic Route 66! Park the car and spend some time in Waynesville! Enhance this downtown walking tour with our brochure. Download it now or pick a copy up at the Pulaski County Visitors Center. 137 St Robert Blvd. Saint Robert MO.

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What You'll See on the Tour

July 10, 1990, Missouri became the first state to award the highway historic status. The legislative bill was sponsored by Missouri State Representatives Jim Mitchell of Richland and J. Dan Woodall of Springfield. It had won unanimous suppo... Read more
In the early days of Waynesville, the stretch going through town was named Commercial Street, and was noted for the ditch, said to be deep enough to hide a horse and rider, that ran down the middle of it.  Under pressure from the "good roa... Read more
FORMER HAYES CREAMEE, HISTORIC ROUTE 66 & HIGHWAY 17: In the late 1950s Dallas and Harold Wells opened a laundry pick-up/drop-off site in a small frame building at this junction. During the early 1960s, the building became Hayes Creamee... Read more
FORMER DOOLIN’S BLACKSMITH SHOP, HISTORIC ROUTE 66 & LYNN ST: Now a parking lot, this location once was home to Doolin’s blacksmith shop. In September 1911 John Doolin drove ten pounds of horseshoe nails. His brother, Cliff Doolin, ... Read more
GEORGE M. REED BUILDING, EAST OF 407 HISTORIC ROUTE 66: One door west of 407 Historic Route 66, hidden behind a false front and awning, is the two-story concrete block building constructed in 1911 by (at-the-time) Waynesville postmaster Geo... Read more
OLD STAGECOACH STOP, 106 N. LYNN ST: The original log building was built by William Walton McDonald in the mid-1850s. The original structure was two log cabins connected by an open “dogtrot.” One cabin was used as a residence and the ot... Read more
SECURITY BANK OF PULASKI COUNTY, 110 LYNN ST: After the old Waynesville State Bank went into voluntary liquidation, Waynesville Security Bank opened for business on February 1, 1936. In August 1957 Waynesville Security Bank contracted to pu... Read more
Talbot House was built in 1885 by Reverend Albert Washington Davis, a pastor of Waynesville Methodist Church.  He died in 1888, three years after building the house, at the age of 26.  His widow turned the house into a hotel that becomes ... Read more
Nichols Apartments occupy a portion of the former Waynesville USO club, built-in 1942.  The USO was a way for local communities to participate in the war effort during World War II, and the Fort Leonard Wood area was no exception.  As the... Read more
In 1886, a two-story frame building of two rooms was built at this location to house the Waynesville School.  In 1936-37, a brick building was erected by theFederal Public Works Administration to replace the frame building.  When Fort Leo... Read more
This church, formerly the Waynesville Methodist Church, was built in 1945, however, the first Methodist Church building to be constructed on this site was completed in 1887.  Organized before the Civil War, founder Wilson M. Tilley decided... Read more
FORMER TUTS CAFÉ NO. 1, 305 NORTH ST: During August 1943 “chef deluxe” Nelson “Tut” Royalty opened Tuts Café in the eastern half of this building, then known as the Brisch Building.  In 1948 Royalty moved to Columbia, Missouri to... Read more
This courthouse was built in 1987 giving room for the much need growth of Pulaski County.  Step inside to see the wall display. July 10, 1990, Missouri became the first state to award the highway historic status and legislation was signed ... Read more
On the evening of June 3, 1903, a lighting strike hit the Pulaski County Courthouse.  The ensuing fire destroyed the building. By his quick thinking the County Clerk, Edward G. Williams, was able to rescue many of the county documents and ... Read more
1903 COURTHOUSE, PUBLIC SQUARE: This, Pulaski County’s fourth courthouse, was built after a fire destroyed the previous courthouse in 1902. This courthouse was designed by Henry H. Hohenschild, Missouri’s State architect at the time. Br... Read more
Bloodland was once a thriving community situated in the middle of the area selected by the Department of the Army to build Fort Leonard Wood.  In 1941 there were three general stores, three filling stations, two churches, two barbershops, ... Read more
Great photo opportunity on the square in Waynesville!  Gather 'round this 8-foot x 8-foot Route 66 Shield for the perfect selfie or group photo.  The shield weighs over 1,000lbs.  The brainchild of Tim Berrier of Lone Oak Printing bec... Read more
World War I cannon made its return as a fixture on the square in December 2010.  Many years ago the cannon was removed by a group of local boys as part of a Halloween prank and was struck by an automobile and damaged.  Luther Thomas, a pr... Read more
FORMER PUBLIC HEALTH CENTER, PUBLIC SQUARE, NORTHWEST CORNER: Public health was a challenge in Waynesville in the 1940s. The small village was unequipped to handle the massive population boom that Fort Leonard Wood brought to the area. This... Read more
FORMER BAKER HOTEL, BENTON & NORTH ST: Originally a stick-built structure constructed before 1907 by a blacksmith, liveryman, and mail carrier, Lee Baker. The structure was rebuilt and enlarged to 26 bedrooms after a fire circa 1914. Du... Read more
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, 202 N. BENTON ST  Baptist churches were also among the earliest to be established in the Waynesville area.  The First Baptist Church was organized in 1880, and the first church building, a log structure, was located ... Read more
TALBOT BUILDING, 107 N. BENTON ST: This building was constructed in 1941 for Dr. Charles Talbot and was completed in September. Talbot operated City Drug Store on the lower level while Dr. Clyde Miller tended to patients on the second level... Read more
ROUBIDOUX PLAZA, 115 N. BENTON ST: The plaza’s footprint occupies two former storefronts. The southern half was once home to Dodd’s General Store building while the northern half housed Waynesville’s first movie theater. The Wayne The... Read more
RIGSBY BUILDING, 229 HISTORIC ROUTE 66: This building was constructed in 1951 by Claude Rigsby. It replaced a frame building that had been built in 1941 to house his wife’s (Evalina) beauty parlor. The new brick building’s first story h... Read more
RIGSBY HOUSE, 103 N. BENTON ST: Claude & Evalina Rigsby bought this house, which stands on lots 6 and 7 in block 4 of the original town of Waynesville, in 1924. The foundation is made of rough-hewn logs and was constructed in the 1870s ... Read more
Route 66 Mural located at Odyssey Scuba and Eclectic Originals. The mural depicts the beautiful roaring Roubidoux Creek, Bridge, and Historic Route 66.   The Why and How as told by Scuba Bob of Odyssey Scuba We purposefully did it in a fas... Read more
Tasty Grill was open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with Walt Preslar there every one of those days!  The Tasty Grill opened in 1951.  It has red tile floors, painted red wooden booths, and then later, red leather booths.  Before or aft... Read more
Waynesville’s second movie house, the Fort Wood Theatre, opened on April 17, 1941. It was on the banks of the Roubidoux where The Shop, Gun and Pawn was located. The theatre was still operating in 1972.  In 1980, the theatre closed and w... Read more
201 NORTH ST: Most likely constructed between 1941-1943, this building originally served as Waynesville City Hall & Fire Department. The tower-like structure atop the building housed a siren that sounded when there was a fire to alert f... Read more
Totem pole in Roubidoux Park. This work of art was created by members of a local woodcarving club in the late 1980s.
Roubidoux Creek is named for the family of French traders prominent in the early settlement of Missouri.  Around 1831, George Washington Gibson became the first "squatter" on the site of present-day Waynesville; he settled on land near the... Read more
ROUBIDOUX FORD & FORMER BRIDGE, W. NORTH ST: This site was the location where early pioneers and settlers crossed or forded, the Roubidoux before the steel bridge was constructed in 1911. Steel for the bridge was shipped by rail to Croc... Read more
ROUBIDOUX BRIDGE, HISTORIC ROUTE 66: This concrete arch bridge was built in 1923 as part of a State Highway 14 road improvement project. The bridge was designed by Missouri State Highway Commission and was built by Koss Construction Company... Read more
The Bell Hotel, on the banks of the Roubidoux River, in Waynesville. The hotel was constructed around a one-room cabin and parts of that structure are still visible inside the building today. The hotel began meeting the needs of auto touris... Read more
Bell Garage included a cafe and Sinclair gas station/garage next to the hotel.  The building has been repurposed and is a florist shop - Every Blooming Thing.
Russell and Mildred Dial purchase Clark Motel in 1960, moving to Waynesville in 1961 to operate the motel until the property was sold to the Pulaski County Library in 2001.  The home to the left was the office and the Dial's residence. ...
The Owl Cafe was in the front of Carl Brisch’s garage building on the south side of Route 66 in West Waynesville. It was operated by Mr. Martin, closed but reopened in 1943 when Lucille Ransdall bought the business. She operated The Owl u... Read more
ROUBIDOUX SPRING CHEROKEE CAMPSITE, LAUGHLIN PARK, SPRING RD: Long before Waynesville was platted, Joseph Roubidoux II, a French fur trapper and trader from New Orleans, built a camp cabin near this spring that is now named for him. Many ye... Read more
This was the site of the Cherokee encampment on the Trail of Tears.  You may want to visit our other tours, Trail of Tears Memorial and Interpretive Trail which was a partnered project with the National Park Service.  Within that tour, yo... Read more
BO PEEP CERAMICS, 106 HISTORIC ROUTE 66: The grand opening of Waynesville’s new Greyhound Bus Terminal was held July 11, 1963. The station included Traveler’s Restaurant, Phil’s Clothing & Jewelry, and room for another store. Vent... Read more
Victory Pub was established by Greek immigrant George Morris in 1942. The pub was beloved by neighboring Fort Leonard Wood soldiers and Route 66 travelers for almost 70 years before being demolished in 2011 to make way for the DMV building.... Read more
FORMER BANK OF WAYNESVILLE, 100 S. BENTON ST: Constructed in 1904 on land purchased from attorney Joe McGregor. The bank was housed in the lower level and the second story was divided into offices. George M. Reed’s abstract business was o... Read more
LONE OAK PRINTING, 300 HISTORIC ROUTE 66: This concrete block building was completed in 1906 by Waynesville grocer Joseph Martin Long. The first floor housed Long’s store and the post office while the second story contained the opera hous... Read more
This historic marker tells the story of this site.  In 1861 the Confederate flag lew above the courthouse, but in June of 1862, the Union's Thirteenth, Missouri State Militia marched into town, under the command of Colonel Albert Sigel.  ... Read more


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