Brush fires Wednesday west of Rolla, Mo., destroyed what was left of the long-closed Beacon Hill Motel that operated on old Route 66, reported The Rolla Daily News.
The newspaper reported:
A handful of homes were threatened by the fire in the later stages of the battle, but firefighters were able to save them all.
One building was not saved — the former Beacon Motel on the north side of Interstate 44 near the exit for Sugar Tree Road.
The motel had not been inhabited for many years, and is only accessible by foot. It sat on Old Route 66, and when the Interstate was put in, that portion of the road was closed.
The Beacon Hill sat in unincorporated Phelps County. Depending on who you asked, it had an Arlington or Newburg address.
According to the late Skip Curtis’ “The Missouri U.S. 66 Tour Book,” the Beacon Hill Motel was built about 1935. Curtis said:
Named for its airline beacon atop a tower, the Beacon Hill Tourist Camp was comprised of nine unheated cabins, with community toilets available. A filling station and restaurant were added later (both razed for new 4-lane 66 – 1953). The cabins were then connected and a new restaurant built. After access was lost to I-44 (in 1968), the business closed.
About 2001, what little service-road access the owner had to the property was cut off completely when Interstate 44 was re-routed through that area.
(Postcard image of Beacon Hill Motel, circa 1950s, courtesy of 66Postcards.com)