Step Back in Time at Gary’s Gay Parita: A Route 66 Gem

The romance of the open road and the echoes of the past are palpable at Gary’s Gay Parita, a destination that offers far more than a mere pit stop along historic Route 66. This iconic spot is not just a place to fuel up your car; it’s a journey into the heart of Americana, a tangible connection to the days when the Mother Road was the main artery of travel across the United States.

Gary’s Gay Parita proudly stands as a testament to the golden age of the American road trip. Originally built as a gas station in 1926, the station met an unfortunate fate when it burned down. However, its spirit was far from extinguished. In 1955, Gary and Lena Turner breathed new life into the site, reconstructing the station and surrounding buildings, though the Turners have since passed on. The torch has been passed to their daughter, Barbara, and her husband, George, who lovingly maintain this slice of history.

This charming gas station is but one of several structures on the property. A welcoming pavilion offers visitors a spot to relax and savor simple pleasures like refreshing ice cream or juicy watermelon on warm days. Nearby, a garage houses a collection of vintage vehicles that are not mere museum pieces; many of them can still roar to life, ready to hit the road once more. These automobiles, along with the common items from yesteryear, create a vivid tableau of the past.

Barbara, who works at an information center at the airport in nearby Springfield, ensures that the legacy of Gary’s Gay Parita is shared with travelers from near and far. George, on the other hand, can often be found greeting visitors with a warm smile, ready to indulge in a leisurely chat on the front porch of the little store that acts as the heart of this nostalgic oasis.

For those with a thirst for exploration, George is an invaluable resource. His list of must-see local destinations is a treasure map for the curious. These include the quaint town of Spencer, merely 3 miles east on Route 66, which offers its own slice of history. There’s also Lottie’s in Avilla, a little further afield, where travelers can experience more local charm. For a touch of artistic reclamation, Red Oak II, just west of Carthage, showcases an entire town, lovingly restored by artist Lowell Davis. The Boots Court in Carthage offers a night’s stay in a restored 1930s hotel, while gearheads can revel in automotive nostalgia at Gear Heads in Galena.

Gary’s Gay Parita is more than a waypoint; it’s a destination in its own right, a living museum where every artifact has a story. It’s a place where the past is not just preserved but celebrated, where stories of the road live on, and where the spirit of Route 66 continues to thrive. Whether you’re a history buff, a car enthusiast, or simply in search of a slower pace and a friendly face, Gary’s Gay Parita is a stop that should be on every traveler’s itinerary. Come for the history, stay for the hospitality, and leave with memories that are as timeless as the road itself.

Author: Margaret

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.