Boots Court in Carthage officially put up for sale

The historic Boots Court motel along Route 66 in Carthage, Missouri, officially was put up for sale Wednesday with an asking price of $210,000.

The Route 66 landmark at 107 S. Garrison Ave. is listed by The Hunter Team of nearby Joplin.

The description:

Boots Court, on Historic Route 66 in Carthage, MO. Is for sale! This institution was established in 1939 and was converted from a gas station into four units of courts. The location was selected due to it’s being at the intersection of paved highways 71 and 66, often referred to as the ”Crossroads of America”. This establishment has a great view of the Jasper County Courthouse and has guests stay routinely from many countries around the world as well as USA visitors. The Courts were expanded to 13 units over the years. The current owners purchased the property with intent to restore to historically correct status. Currently there are 8 units that are available to rent for overnight stays. Some progress has been made on the remaining units. The original signage and the restored neon make the buildings an icon to travelers of parts or all of the historic Route 66 from Chicago to LA. A list of upgrades and intended plans is available to interested parties. There is adequate parking and everything needed to operate this turnkey operation.

The Realtors emailed an impressive list of the restoration work done on the property in recent years. You can download the PDF here.

ROUTE Magazine originally reported on Facebook the impending sale of the Boots Court a few days ago. A source close to the owners in a follow-up email said they were meeting with a real estate company but still were uncertain whether they’d go through with putting it on the market. That uncertainty apparently dissolved in the last day or so.

Co-owner Deborah Harvey talked to a local TV station a few weeks ago about the motel suffering from a drastic downturn in revenue because of the coronavirus pandemic and a European travel ban.

The Boots Court was built in 1939 by Arthur Boots. Actor Clark Gable stayed there several times during cross-country trips from his native Ohio; he rested his head in room No. 6.

The Boots became the Boots Motel during the 1950s. The current owners restored it to its 1940s appearance — including “a radio in every room” and no television sets — and reverted to its original Boots Court name.

The motel came close to being knocked down in the early 2000s when its owner, citing poor health, sold it to a local developer. Speculation ran rampant the motel would be razed for a Walgreens. But an outcry from the Route 66 Association of Missouri, Friends of the Mother Road and other preservationists scared off the developers.

The current owners bought the property in 2011 and reopened it to overnight guests in 2012 after months of renovations. They began a painstaking process to restore the motel, including removing a latter-day gabled roof to show the Boots Court’s original flat roof.

UPDATE 5/15/2020: The Joplin Globe caught up with the sister-owners:

“I know the timing makes it look like it’s because of the coronavirus, but my sister and I are getting up in age,” Harvey said. “We polled our children and nobody wants it. You feel like at this age you should get your estate in order.” […]
“The coronavirus isn’t the reason, but it was the trigger,” Harvey said.

(Image of the Boots Court in Carthage, Missouri, via The Hunter Team)

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