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Route 66 News

Spindles from old Route 66 bridge to be sold Sept. 22

About 100 limestone spindles, or balusters, taken from a now-demolished Route 66 bridge in Carthage, Missouri, will be sold for $250 apiece on Sept. 22.

The Joplin Globe reported the balusters will be sold by the nonprofit Vision Carthage organization during the Art Walk event in Carthage’s downtown square.

There are no per-person limits. and they will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis, the organization said in a statement.

The balusters are in complete condition but display various signs of wear and tear, including chips and cracks. They will be sold as-is. […]

People interested in purchasing balusters will be asked to pay with cash or local checks at the event.

In July, the Carthage City Council voted to give the balusters to Vision Carthage with the stipulation that the proceeds be used for city improvement. Road crews removed the balusters in February.

More details about the sale can be found by calling (417) 358-2373.

The Joplin Globe in another story a month ago explained how the handmade balusters were made by the Carthage Marble Corp.

Construction of a viaduct in the northeast side of Carthage began in 1934 as part of a Public Works Administration project. Local limestone was used in the bridge project to help keep workers employed during the Great Depression.

An accident on the Missouri 96 bridge in 2002 gave the city the idea the balusters might have value. A bus drove off the bridge and wrecked about 60 feet of guard rails. Several residents scooped up the balusters lying on the roadway during the crash cleanup.

The bridge closed in early September 2016 after an inspection showed serious and rapid deterioration.

(Screen-capture image of one of the Missouri 96 bridge balusters via KODE-TV report)

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4 thoughts on “Spindles from old Route 66 bridge to be sold Sept. 22

  1. Michael Brown

    Anyone have a good photo of the bridge (pre-demolition, obviously) they could post that would show those pieces in place?

  2. Eric Hayman

    How pleasing to see such common sense, rather than destroying them. I just hope they all get taken. I would think any not taken could be incorporated into a public building or structure, to retain their link with the area. A cemetery in which one of my great-grandfathers and his wife are buried is to remove – and destroy – any unclaimed headstones, etc, on the grounds that the cemetery is needed for new burials and the previous grave areas are excessive by today’s standards. The suggestion that the headstones could be placed around the perimeter of the cemetery – as seen elsewhere – has been dismissed as impractical. How would I transport the headstone, and where would I put it?

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