2015 Route 66 Cuba Fest: Viva Cuba’s Best of the Best Chili, Murals Trolley Tour, & Cemetery Trolley Tour

Trolley tours on Route 66 in Cuba, MO the 3rd weekend of October

A popular activity during Cuba Fest are the trolley tours. The Murals Tour is on Saturday, and the Cemetery Tour is Sunday.

The Tri-C organization’s Route 66 Cuba Fest is an annual fun-filled event the 3rd weekend of October. In 2015, October 17th & 18th brings businesses, organizations, and individuals together to provide a family weekend of music, food, crafts, dancing, and activities. The Viva Cuba community beautification organization’s mural tours, cemetery tours, and chili cook-off will feature Cuba’s history, present, and future of maintaining its historical murals.

2015 Cuba Fest offers the best of Cuba.

The 2015 Route 66 Cuba Fest offers family entertainment.

The Viva Cuba Chili Cook-Off on Saturday from 11:00-1:00 features past Grand Champions for the Best of the Best Chili. Get your tickets from your favorite cookers or show up at the Cook-Off to taste some Championship Chili.

Best of the Best Chili in 2015

Past Champions of the Chili Cook-Off will vie for the Best of the Best Chili title in 2015.

The Viva Cuba Trolley Tours bring a vintage-style trolley from St. Louis to provide Narrated Mural Tours on Saturday and Cemetery Tours on Sunday. These are popular tours and fill up quickly. They are free, but you must pick up a ticket from our ticket agents to reserve you space on the trolley. Trolley tickets and loading for the trolley are in front of the Catholic Church on N. Smith Street. Donations for tours are accepted to help maintain the murals.


Trolley Tour donations to be matched by an anonymous donor.

Trolley Tour donations will help fund the Osage Legacy Project. All Saturday & Sunday tour donations will be matched by an anonymous donor. The Osage Legacy Project will fund a sculpture of an Osage family traveling west.

On Sunday, during the Cemetery Tours, it’s all aboard for a trolley tour to Kinder Cemetery on the west edge of Cuba. Characters in historical dress will board the trolley to tell their stories. Stories are both humorous and bittersweet. During the trolley ride, the character Jake will narrate items of interest. Jake was a Native American Osage who stayed behind when the Osage moved to Oklahoma. He lived on the prairie, and when others wanted to visit him, they would say, “Let’s go up to Jake’s Prairie,” thus the name of that area today.

Other characters include:

Lawrence H. Lewis, born in New York and came to Crawford County in 1871. He was a civic leader, politician, and businessman man. He ran a sawmill and opened a blacksmith and wagon making shop. We will let him tell you about the Lewis Opera House in Cuba in 1882.

The stone of Lawrence H. Lewis Cuba, MO

The stone of Lawrence H. Lewis Cuba, MO

Henry Cap Souders, one of the most prominent citizens of Crawford County, was born in Indiana in 1832 and came to the county with his parents in 1839. As a judge, captain in the Civil War, and father of 15 children, he has some stories for you.

George McSpadden was a photographer, and his photos promised “The New Aristro Finish that would not fade.” Did they?

These photos were guaranteed to never fade.

These photos were guaranteed to never fade.

Leo Freisenhan was a stone mason who is known for his work designing and building the Wagon Wheel Motel in the 1930s. But some of his and wife Anna’s family distinctions led to their inclusion in the Ripley’s Believe it or Not in 1950.

Mary Brandenburger, a 40+ year teacher, started in a one-room country school. She saw many changes and has many insights into the times. Don’t miss her dramatization.

Viva Cuba Merchandise

At the 2015 Route 66  Cuba Fest, the sales of Viva Cuba Merchandise will also be matched by an anonymous donor to provide funds for the Osage Legacy Project. Merchandise includes Christmas Over Route 66 prints & post card bundles, t-shirts, patches, & art cards of the murals.

As usual, this year’s Route 66 Cuba Fest will offer something for everyone, beginning with the early morning starts for this year’s bicycle and foot races. Then it’s a day of apple butter making the old-fashioned way and two days of food, frolic, and fun.

Visit Route 66 Cuba Fest on Facebook for updates and details.

Just a simple map of Cuba, MO

Just a simple map of Cuba, MO     The Visitor Center is at Exit 208.




What in the world is a Cuban Gravel Crisis?

Bikes will travel the rural backroads of Cuba, MOduring the 1st Annual Cuban Gravel Crisis.

Riders will challenge themselves in the Cuban Gravel Crisis, on the 3rd weekend of October.

Are we out of gravel in the Cuba area? How could we be deficient in gravel with so many nearby rivers and creeks?  Well, rest assured that we have plenty of gravel on hand, and some of it is packed on the beautiful back roads of Cuba in Crawford County and Gasconade County. During Cuba Fest (the 3rd weekend of October) cyclists will challenge themselves in the 1st Annual Cuban Gravel Crisis (website).

The race will begin in historic Cuba on N. Smith Street next to the Cuba City Hall. This is on the same street where other Cuba Fest events will take place later. Riders will sign in at Cuba Senior Center parking lot. 

The Cuba Gravel Crisis race in conjunction with Cuba Fest will offer activities for the whole family. Come to town and spend the weekend.

Bikers will challenge themselves in the Cuban Gravel Crisis, on the 3rd weekend of October.

The flyer may say Top Secret, but the secret is out and male and female riders of all ages are signing up for this challenge. Choose your torture: a 20, 50, or 100 mile course.See the race’s Facebook page for continuing updates and information.


Osage Trail Legacy Project creates historical sculpture

Osage Sculpture in Cuba, MO will tower 30 feet

The Osage Legacy sculpture will tower 35 feet in the air in the area next to  the Cuba Visitor Center and depict an Osage family traveling westward on the Osage Trail. Curtis Tutterrow photo.

Cuba, Missouri is preparing to create an Osage sculpture with the members of an Osage family and their dog  traveling Westward on the Osage Trail. The trail ran along the Osage Plateau in the Cuba area. The Osage nation has approved the project, and with a $100,000 start, a committee has been formed to continue to raise funds and oversee construction of the sculpture that will celebrate the Osage Nation nation’s history and legacy. After months of planning and approval of the city council, construction begins in 2015, and the project is expected to take two years.

The statue was the brainchild of artist Glen Tutterrow. Aided by his son Curtis, the two have created a model that allows the viewer to get an idea of  the finished steel sculpture, which will be 35 feet tall, 20 feet wide, and 80 feet in length. It will stand on land adjacent to the Cuba Visitor Center at Exit 208. This moccasin photo below gives an idea of the scale of the Ozark Legacy Project. Parts of the sculpture will be fabricated off-site and then assembled at the site. (more…)

Cuba Lakes Golf Club began with a love story

Cuba Lakes Golf Course and Club House

Lush greens and fairways enhance the setting for the historic clubhouse.

A well-run golf club is a community asset for the small Cuba, MO town of 3400. Cuba Lakes Golf Course provides a source of recreation, dining, and draws visitors for a round or two of golf. Under the management of Brad and Renee Voss the club has evolved its onsite lunch dining with daily specials and catering (both on- and offsite) and improved the course, driving range, and cart house. The Sunday Brunch is becoming increasingly popular in the area. With an eye on the future, Cuba Lakes has developed special programs for the young people of Cuba.

Cuba Lakes provide a wide-range of dining choices.

Daily specials in the dining room, Sunday brunch, and catered events meet a wide-range of dining choices. Pictured is the site of the Sunday Brunch, an increasingly popular event.

The history of the golf course begins with a love story.

In 1902, William Recklein married Ida Rau. Recklein was a successful banker and investor and a veteran of the Spanish-American War. In 1906, the Reckleins moved from South St. Louis to a farm 1 1/2 miles South of Cuba to what is now 241 Highway O. They built a beautiful home framed with native rock and planted trees to enhance the landscape. After Ida’s death, Recklein built the Cuba Memorial Library to honor his wife’s memory. He also purchased the old school buildings and grounds across from the library on North Smith Street in Cuba. He then donated the buildings and grounds to the city of Cuba to be used for education, culture, and recreation. Today, Recklein Commons  is the site of the Crawford County History Musuem and Recklein Auditorium. (more…)

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