Five people from the Route 66 town of Lebanon, Mo., were honored Thursday with Community Achievement Awards. One of them was the late Arthur T. Nelson, who was one of the key forces who brought Route 66 through the city.
Here’s a tidbit from the Lebanon Daily Record that tells of Nelson’s big claim to fame:
Nelson’s most famous achievement may have been the Nelson Dream Village, the design of which came to the entrepreneur in a dream. Completed in 1935 near what is now the corner of Jefferson and Elm, the business was decades ahead of its time with a fountain with dancing waters and a light show, Adkins said.
Nelson Dream Village has been the subject of several magazine articles, was detailed in the book “Route 66: The Empires of Amusement,” and its postcards are a common item with collectors of Route 66 memorabilia. Vintage pictures of Nelson Dream Village are here and here.
Accepting the award Thursday was Nelson’s granddaughter, Mary Elizabeth Owen.