Owned and operated by Larry TAMminen, a 44-year resident of Carterville, this unique business features a 30-year collection of Superman memorabilia and a display of Route 66 signs, photos and more. Open in April. phone 417-673-7750
This business is a member of the MO. Route 66 Association, and Larry Tamminen is President of the
Carterville Route 66 Committee.
Scroll down to see photos of a recent
Route 66 event here.
Covered picnic pavillion
& stage for groups >
< Looking toward Carthage from 66 East of Carterville. Business 71 cut 66 in half here. You can see it resume in the background. There is an overpass/bypass before you get to this point.
Heading west into Carterville on
Found in Carterville at Bulger's Used Cars (On 66 since '46).
Mater ? ....Is that you?
Could be with a little more rust!
A 1948 Greyhound "Silver-Side" (As seen on Route 66). Converted to RV. Not there now. Buses like this once stopped at the Hudson filling station, now the home of the Visitors Center.
Carterville's Annual Hog Roast on 66 Held at "Superman on 66".
Tom Pike, President of the Missouri Route 66 Association speaks to the audience.
Beautiful old Fords were parked on Main Street (Old 66), some restored & others are a work-in-progress.
Singer Duke Mason entertains the crowd.
Windy and mid-90's !
Carterville recently celebrated it's 125 th. Anniversary with one of the largest parades ever held.
Recent pruchases of property on Carterville's Main Street (Old Route 66) indicate that this small community's pro-active Route 66 spirit is being recognized by businessmen who desire to restore and open new shops that cater to Route 66 travelers.
This Diner is presently closed, and will soon be an Antique business.
.......... Preserving a true Route 66 Main Street.
Left: This 1950 Chevrolet wrecker has been owned by the Bulgers (on Route 66) since 1946.
Right: Mickey Bulger with Dean Walker, who inspired Mater's backwards driving in "CARS". (check his feet)
The old First National Bank building is for sale. It could have a restaurant on the first floor, a bed and breakfast on the second and the grand ballroom on the top floor could be utilized as well. Needs lots of work though.
This is the shoulder patch worn by the Carterville Police, and shows the pride in that community's Route 66 history.
Carterville, MO. History
Visitor's from the U.S. and overseas seem to be especially interested in the older and smaller towns that reflect the values of America's Main Street and Route 66, and Carterville, Missouri is just such a place.
Having celebrated it's 125th. Anniversary, Carterville's colorful history was born in the early 1870's and later prospered during the lead and zinc mining boom of the turn-of-the-century. In those days, the town's population soared to over 5000. Two trolly tracks ran down the middle of Main street, and business thrived. Overcrowding and wealth, full employment, social clubs and the rowdy miners were common in those days, but the city did not diversify and depended on the mining industry for it's survival. By 1920 the boom turned to bust, and Carterville's miners moved on, leaving a dwindling population to deal with closing businesses and fewer income opportunities. The Great Depression would have finished the town off, except for one thing, a new federal road known then as Highway 66.
Carterville's Main Street bustled once again with automobile and truck traffic. In spite of losing over half of it's population, the town now had ten filling stations in operation. Old buildings that once housed department stores, newspaper offices and banks were converted in hotels, auto service garages and cafes. Even though the town suffered another set-back when Route 66 was decommissioned in the mid 1980's, Carterville had evolved into a quiet, friendly community...and seemed to be content. It can also be said today that Carterville owes it's very survival to the Mother Road, Route 66.
Today, interest in this most famous of all American highways is surging, and Carterville wants to show it's pride in, and respect of, Route 66. Local residents display the symbol of Route 66 on their homes, businessmen have placed Route 66 banners on Main Street poles and painted the shield on the pavement for all to see. A Route 66 flag flies beneath Old Glory and events are held in the Fall to celebrate being a part of America's Main Street.
Carterville is now home to "Superman on 66", a Superman memorbelia museum and ice cream parlor. The first Route 66 Visitors Welcome Center in southwest Missouri opened it's doors this year in a 1937 era filling station, and several other old buildings have been purchased for a Route 66 themed Bed and Breakfast and restaurant. Plans are also underway to purchase a city block for use as a Route 66 Festival site to attract more regional visitors, and other Route-themed activities are being considered by the new "Festival Committee".
Everyone seems to be jumping on the Route 66 bandwagon, including the town's police officers whose uniform shoulder patches sport the Route 66 emblem. Could it be that Carterville has the same spirit as the fictional town residents of "Radiator Springs" in the Pixar movie "CARS" had?
Come to Carterville and discover what "America's Main Street" really means.
The building on the right was perhaps the first to be built where the old Sinclair Filling station is today.
The Carterville Opra House was on the second floor.
The next structure was this Sinclair Filling Station shown under construction in 1937.
70 years later, the 66 Visitors Center would occupy this building.
The Carterville Hotel (above) was directly across Main Street from where the Sinclair would later be built on the "old" Opra House site many years later. These photographs were likely made in the early 1900's. Note the double trolly tracks that ran down the middle of the street. This was during Carterville's mining boom days.
Above: And even further back, in 1880, Carterville had yet to become a mining boom town, and these homes stood where the hotels and three story brick buildings would later be constructed.
This Main Street would later become U.S. Highway 66 in 1926, and the filling station above would follow 11 years later.
Totem Pole is on 66 entering
Carterville on Pine Street
This is Carterville's newly-dedicated "COMETS ON ROUTE 66" , which fills a full City Park. Located on West Main Street (Historic Route 66) , the park is open to the public and is a great place for touring Route 66'rs to stop for a picnic, or just relax in the shade.