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I drove the whole road by myself this summer and this section is an interesting one. Like somebody else mentioned, the I-44 used to pass here, but was rerouted a few years ago. The part of the 66 that the old I44 used to follow is now abandoned, as you can see. To follow its path, you need to take Arlington Rd, which I guess was the south frontage road for the Interstate. The west end of the road ends in Arlington and doesn’t rejoin the new I44’s frontage road. It is not advertised like the other parts of the 66 through Missouri, because it is a dead end.
The motel you see advertised on those signs is the Vernelle’s Motel. It used to be bigger, but part of it had to be destroyed to make space for the Interstate when it was built. Still, with the I44 it had some visibility (see the big “exit now” sign). But now with the bypassed I44 alignement there is absolutely no way of knowing it is there unless you learned of its existence through another source. And the most fascinating part of that is that it is still open for business.
Right next to the Vernelle’s are the remains of John’s Modern Cabins (originally called Bessie’s Place). It used to be a small motor court built in the 1930’s I think. IIRC the original owner murdered his wife (Bessie) there. It remained closed for some time and then some John guy bought the place and renamed it. Every year the cabins’ condition gets worse. In a few years they will probably be nothing left… The whole area had some strange creepy and sad vibe going on, unlike anything else I experienced along the Main Street of America. Thanks OP for posting this, it remembers me of my trip!
Pictures I took of the area:
[A better view of the Vernelle’s Motel](http://i.imgur.com/jTSoQPU.jpg)
[Standing in the old I44’s roadbed](http://i.imgur.com/Ck3fSea.jpg)
[Same picture spot as OP’s, but looking the other way (southwest)](http://i.imgur.com/mACjzWZ.jpg)
[Remains of John’s Modern Cabins](http://i.imgur.com/aaR2DNG.jpg)