Planning begins for Carthage Route 66 museum

Brad Belk of the Joplin Museum Complex is planning the creation of what will be the Jasper County Route 66 Transportation Museum, which will be on the first floor of the Jasper County Courthouse in Carthage, Mo., reports the Carthage Press.

“The consulting contract was approved and we’ll be in the preliminary design phase until April,” Belk said. “We’re planning on having a final design in August.”  […]

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, which is administering the grant, the museum will serve as a welcome center for people traveling Route 66.

Belk said he is visiting several other Route 66 museums as part of his preliminary planning to get ideas regarding the displays that should be shown in the Carthage museum.

“We’re going on fact-finding missions,” Belk said. “We’re going to the museum in Elk City and to the national Route 66 Museum in Clinton, both in Oklahoma. Last week we went to Lebanon to see the display in the Laclede County Library. We also interviewed Scott Springer, who rode the length of the road on a bike in 2006 to mark the 80th anniversary of Route 66.”

Belk said at this point in the process he’s just looking for ideas as to what the display should look like.

It seems like Belk is approaching this project the right way. But based on the honors he’s received, I shouldn’t be surprised.

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