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Boots Court motel relights the neon - KOAM TV 7

Boots Court motel relights the neon

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CARTHAGE, MISSOURI -

Like something out of a movie, girls in poodle skirts and retro cars surrounded Carthages historic Boots Court Motel on Saturday night in eager anticipation of light.

Boots Court sits on Route 66 and has been a figure of historic beauty to the area, especially in its prime in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. Several celebrities of the era stayed at the motel. But in recent years before its new ownership, Carthage almost lost its piece of Route 66 history.

"We could easily right now be standing on the lot of a Walgreens. They were wanting to buy these pieces of property and tear them down," president of the Route 66 Association of Missouri, Tommy Pike said.

Through a 50/50 match grant with the National Parks Service, the motel was able to reignite the light it is known for in its neon green hue. Debye Harvey and her sister took ownership of the motel several years ago, and in February of 2015 were struck with an idea.

"All the sudden we thought, we could put this neon up. Lets just do that. so we wrote this grant and we were accepted," Harvey said.

Speakers at the re-lighting event emphasized the grant process as extensive. The grant is strictly for historical preservation efforts. A specialist had to be brought in from St. Charles for the installment, according to Harvey.

"The neon color changed in the 80s, so he gave us a color that was from before the 80's. And oh my goodness it's bright," Harvey said with a laugh.

Route 66 enthusiasts gathered to re-light the neon, celebrating with light-up pens, shoes and event shirts before counting down at sundown.

"It almost makes you want to cry, you know, it's just thrilling to have this particular project completed. Because it really makes the Boots the way it was in the 40's, in so many ways," Harvey said.

The motel will remain lit up in neon green for the foreseeable future.


 

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