Not much is left of the town of Paris Springs. Just a church and a few houses. The town was settled before 1850. In the mid 1920’s, Route 66 was built less than a mile south of the town. One enterprising man decided to build a filling station, or gas station in today’s vernacular.
The station was built at the intersection where the road from Paris Springs met the new Route 66. He joined several other businesses that had already opened at that location, and the community of Paris Springs Junction was born.
The filling station was doing quite well until a fire destroyed the business in 1955 and shortly afterward Interstate 44 was built about 2 miles to the south. When I-44 bypassed Paris Springs Junction the community dwindled.
Many years later the property was purchased by Route 66 enthusiasts, Gary and Lena Turner. Gary rebuilt a new station with the character of a 1930’s Sinclair Station. He filled the area with a collector’s dream of memorabilia.
Not rusty old vintage things, but signs and items that look new enough that a visitor is transported back in time to the 1930’s.
Mr. Turner is known to sit in his office inside the station and talk to anyone who stops by. He doesn’t sell anything, he just gives away free information.
We have never met the owner because we take our drives at sunrise, way to early in the morning, however, we do plan on taking another drive to Paris Springs Junction on a Saturday afternoon this spring because we would truly like to meet Gary Turner and chat with him for a while.
This special little community is a Must See for any historian, Route 66 fan, or anyone just out for a drive. See it, you’ll be happy you did. (and don’t forget your camera).
Directions: Paris Springs Junction lies about 20 miles west of Springfield, Missouri, about 3 miles west of Halltown. The easiest way to get there is to get on I-44 at Springfield and head west to the Avilla/Hwy 96 exit. Travel west on 96 for about one and a half miles, turn right on Highway 266. Drive about 150 feet and turn left onto Route 66 road (turning right will take you to Halltown). Paris Springs Junction is only about one and a half miles down the road.
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