Americana #2 Cuba Fest, Chili, a Trolley, and more

Boy Scout flag raising Cuba Mo

The Boy Scouts and their flag raising ceremony was accompanied by the Cuba High School Band's patriotic music.

Americana expresses the heart and soul of our country and its cultures. Small town festivals display Americana on many levels, and Cuba Mo’s 2010 Cuba Fest is no exception.  The two day Cuba Fest displayed our likes, our traditions, and our love of fun with the whole family including our pets participating. The Tri-C organization once more organized another great event.  Darlene Cape’s variety show at the Methodist Church, and the art show/music at the Country Club were added attractions this year.

Most of the photos below are from Viva Cuba‘s events, but we included a few random shots as well. We’re sorry we can’t give comptlete coverage because of our involvement in our own activities, but the Cuba Free Press included some photos in this week’s paper.

2010 Chili Cook Off Cuba MO

We love our chili in the fall. This year's chili making car guys served up chili for the annual event.

Gary Richards of Cuba Auto Parts walked off with the Master Chili Chef silver ladle at the end of Viva Cuba’s Chili-Cook Off. With his spicy concoction of chili, Richards beat out the other contestants in this year’s Nuts-n-Bolts chili competition.

Other contestants were John Schwab, O’Reilly Auto Parts; the two Tim Ringeisens of Tim’s Auto Service & Sales; Tim Blessing of Midwest Petroleum; Jim Montgomery of Jim Montgomery’s Body and Paint; and David McLain of McLain’s Automotive Machine Shop.

 Mural Trolley Tour Cuba MO

The Viva Cuba Trolley Tour of the murals is a popular Saturday event at Cuba Fest. Here the trolley pulls onto Route 66.

The Saturday Trolley Tour is a pupular event on Saturday. The colorful 1904-style trolley makes a hit with locals and visitor, young and old. Even an occasional pet makes the tour. The trolley drives by each of Viva Cuba’s murals while a Viva Cuba member narrates the history behind the murals. Riders find out the stories behind Harry Truman, Bette Davis, and Amelia Earhart visiting Cuba. This year, there were also a couple of mural tours on Sunday.

Dog on Trolley Tour

Even a few well behaved pets enjoy the trolley tour.

Since there are three dogs in Viva Cuba’s public art, the  dogs find something of interest in the tour.

Sock Monkeys at Cuba Fest

The sock monkeys managed to hitch a ride on the mural tour. The driver Esther enjoyed their company.

Methodist ladies at Cuba Fest

The Methoidists whipped up a lot of turkey dinners and sloppy joes at Cuba Fest.

History Museum Cuba Fest

The Crawford County History Museum drew a lot of visitors during Cuba Fest. It was good to see a lot of young people enjoying the exhibits.

Veterans Memorial Recklein Commons

The Veterans Memorial drew respectful contemplation from some.

To understand the significance of the Veterans Memorial read “Two Brothers Spark Remembrance of Cuba, MO veterans.”

Cuba High School Drill Team Cuba Fest

The Cuba High School drill team and band brought out the crowd.

Taste of Cuba at Cuba Fest

The Taste of Cuba booths were popular as were the outside vendors.

Crafts at Cuba Fest

Inside Recklein arts and crafts ruled.

Art and music

Saturday night a new Cuba Fest event was a Colin Shaw & Matt Isbell Art Show at Cuba Lakes Golf Club. Myles Shaw played his acoustic guitar at the event. Here Colin and Matt pose with Camille Ogden, their high school art teacher.

Ozark Ed Cuba Fest

Ozark Ed's handcrafted lures were available.

Dancers at Cuba Fest

Miss Lisa's dancers brought their crowd with them.

Wacky Fashion Show Cuba Fest

These budding designers used innovative materials for the Wacky Fashion Show.

The Recklein Commons area came alive for the annual Cuba Fest. This is only a small sampling. When William Recklein donated this area to the city, he wanted it to be used for civic events. That has certainly proved to be the case. To read how the Recklein Commons area came about, read “Recklein Commons creates an area of community spirit in Cuba, MO.”

The annual Cuba Fest is the 3rd weekend of October. Mark your calendar for 2011. If you love Americana, this event is for you.

Echoes from Cuba, Missouri’s Past: Viva Cuba Cemetery Tour 2010

Each trolley had a full passenger load for the Cemetery Tours.

On Sunday, October 17, as part of the Cuba Fest activities, Viva Cuba presented its second annual Kinder Cemetery Tour “Echoes from the Past.”  Area volunteers dressed in period costume and assumed the role of some of Cuba’s distinguished citizens from times past.  The event was both entertaining and informative as these citizens told their stories.

Viva Cuba’s 1904-style trolley took tourers from the Cuba Fest area over the streets of Cuba to Kinder Cemetery on the west edge of town. Some historical homes were noted along the way. All the citizens portrayed on the tour were buried in Kinder. While the characters gave a dramatic rendition of their citizen, the roles were historically accurate.

The figures walked from their graves to meet the trolley to tell their story

As Longfellow said in his poem: Lives of great men all remind us.. We can make our lives sublime and ; and departing leaves us…Footprints on the sands of time.

The historical figures and cast

Lightening Rod Smith, a salesman of lightening rods and civic figure, played by Gary McGrath

James and LIzzie Green, prominent citizens, roles assumed by Larry and Margie Dearing

Marie Marr, an artistic citizen, portrayed by Martina Eidson

Lulu “Bob” Kinder’s, daughter of an early family, part narrated by Barb Stogsdill

Eunice Jane Jamison Wilson, from one of the founding families of Cuba, was acted by Patty Campbell

Napoleon Fowler, steamboat captain and soldier in Havana, Cuba, was brought to life by Gary Durbin.

Alexander Glassey , an early settler and horse trader,was musically rendered by the talented Dan Calkins.

Audrey Ove, an early musical talent of Cuba, was charmingly enacted by young Hillary Temple.

Marie Marr

Audrey Ove and Marie Marr-just a couple of free spirits out for a stroll.

Alexander Glassey

The trolley is a perfect vehicle for the tour.

Lightening Rod

Lightening Rod Smith

Lightening Rod Smith

Eunice Jane Jamison Wilson

Kids learning their history...

Napoleon Fowler

Young tourers with Napoleon Fowler

The Greens

The Greens

Lulu was dubbed Bob by her father.

The tourers enjoyed the presentations.

Eunice Jane Jamison Wilson

Audrey Ove

It was a beautiful day for a trolley ride...

Canadian artist Michelle Loughery update #2…

Artist Michelle Loughery

Michelle Loughery's murals of celebrities have brought her into contact with many Country & Western stars.

In May, we published, “Mural artist update for Canadian artist Michelle Loughery.” Loughery is the Canadian artist who helped Viva Cuba begin the Cuba, MO mural project.

Michelle Loughery’s latest commission in Vernon, Canada is pictured in this article. A look at this mural will show a similarity in style to some of Cuba, Mo’s murals.

When  Loughery was in Cuba, she called her style heritage murals, for they included the history, individuals, and culture  of the area where she was painting.

Loughery painted the A.J. Barnett mural in Cuba, assisted by local artist Shelly Smith Steiger, and the Gold Star Boys mural in Cuba, again assisted by Steiger. Oversized characters in her murals are a trademark.

Since her work in Cuba, Loughery has continued her work in the international arena.

A.J. Barnett Mural Cuba MO Loughery artist

Michelle Loughery helped make Cuba's first mural a reality. It was a commission of People Bank to commemorate its 100th anniversary.

Americana #1, Cuba, Missouri: We like our cars, trucks, & motorcycles…

Lions Club T-shirt

Darlene Mullen and her husband Bob are a driving force behind the Lions Club September Car & Motorcycle Show.

Americana deals with the the culture and artifacts that Americans hold dear. We like our cars, trucks, and motorcycles. Since Hernry Ford figured out how to make them accessible to the masses, we have never turned back. They have fueled our economy and the growth of a nation, and made our hearts race.

The Lions Club Show in September has grown into a major community event centered around our love of things that go fast. A few scenes from this year’s show will illustrate how those who love to show their cars, trucks, & bikes and those who love to look at them helped create a beautiful day in the neighborhood.


Motorcycles were added to this year's show

Classic Cars

What's under the hood as well as design draws lookers.


Motorcycles lined the street from Main Street Cafe to Frisco's.

Lions Club BBQ Cuba MO

Gary Killeen of Lions Club can cook up some mean BBQ. The Lions served a lot of hungry Cubans and visitors.

Kids activities

This year's show even had some activities for the kids.

classic cars

There were streets full of great looking machines.

Artist David Judd

David Judd's artist booth was popular with the car lovers and others.


The mural district provided a colorful backdrop for the equally colorful cars.

Civil War Murals/Cars

The Civil War guys could had covered land faster in these babies.

Lions Club T-shirts

The new Lions Club t-shirts showcased some of the classic vehicles of Lions members.

Route 66  Booth Cuba Mo

The Missouri Route 66 group was on hand. Bob Gehl is talking to some travelers from New Zealand.

The Cuba Arts Council Booth

The Cuba Arts Council was whipping up Root Beer Floats at their booth.

Old Cuba MO Firetruck

The Cuba Fire Department has its own contribution to the show.


The Spurgeons were selling pumpkins, mums, and other fall decor.

Monster Truck Cuba MO

The Monster truck was a big hit too. A.J. Barnett, who is pictured in the mural, owned the first Model T in Cuba and owned Barnett Motor Company.

There were many vendors, participants, and onlookers to make the day a success. Lions Club Members worked hard to make things go smoothly. Next year Darlene Mullen has even more ideas to top this year’s car, truck, and motorcycle show. This is an annual event to mark on your calendar.

125 years old and still beautiful…Wallace House then and now…

Route 66 Historic building Cuba MO

Wallace House was built by John M. Wallace in 1885. The Wallaces hosted many social events.

Cuba, Missouri landmark preserved…

The site of historic Wallace House in Cuba, Missouri had a place in history even before the building of the private home of John M. Wallace.

Wallace House at the corner of Smith and W. Washington (old Route 66) was the site of a log fort in 1861. The fort quartered 60 scouts, who engaged in a skirmish with General Joe Shelby of Price’s Army on September 30, 1864. Later, on the site, a man named Peace ran the Pease Hotel. It probably burned in a fire that destroyed many buildings in the business district.

In 1885, John M. Wallace and his wife Virginia bought lots one and two of the block and built a sturdy brick home on the corner of Smith and Washington. Mr. Wallace was a merchant who owned stores in the central area of Cuba. He and his wife were prominent citizens and hosted many entertainments and special events during their day. Ten years later, he moved to Joplin, Missouri.

In the 1920s, the Wallace, daughter also named Virginia, sold lots one and two to the Methodist Episcopal Church. The church added on a sanctuary and bell tower that was joined to the house on the west side.  This new configuration was dedicated in 1928. The first floor of the original house was used for Sunday school rooms, and the second floor was the parsonage. Joyce Stewart’s grandparents Jake and Florence Dorf were in the congregation that purchased Wallace House to use as a church, and her grandfather purchased the old church to use as his hardware store.

Historic Methodist Church after 1928 Cuba MO

The Methodist Church of Cuba bought Wallace House in 1928 and originally owned the entire block where it is located.

Historic Methodist women's group Cuba MO

The Methodist’s women’s group was an important force in the church. They were probably some of the staunch believers that kept their church alive during tough times.

Although the church was growing in 1928, the Depression in 1929 brought tough times to the town and the church. Church records show offerings on June 20, 1937 of $1.61 and on June 27 of $1.62.  In January 1938, the church had only 37 cents in the treasury to begin the new year. The district superintendent encouraged the church to close, but the Methodists refused to give up on their church. They didn’t have money, but they did have extra land in the center of Cuba. The church sold off a portion of its land to the Roberts-Judson Lumber Company and was able to continue.

In 1940, church history and United States’ history coincided when Harry S. Truman came to town when he was running for the senate. Truman stopped along the busy Route 66 and stood on the steps of the Methodist Church perched on a Coca-Cola box to speak. However, the citizens passed by without stopping. Truman asked two local Democratic workers Frank Askins Sr. and Harvey Taff, why no one was stopping. They told him that everyone was going to the Homecoming, which was what the Cuba Fair was called then. Truman was reported as having said that he would go to the fair too, so he took his Coca-Cola box and moved on to the fair to make his speech. Local legend has it that he had to pass the hat for campaign money to get to the next town on his stop.

It is this scene that Viva Cuba commemorated in the mural on the Roberts-Judson building next to the property today.  The scene also highlights 4-H cattle as the 4-H organization was 100 years-old when the mural was painted, and this organization has been important to the rural children around Cuba.

Cuba MO Truman Mural

Harry Truman attemped a speech on the steps of the Methodist Church in 1940.

Although the Methodists loved their historic church, growing numbers forced them to build a new church farther up W. Washington/Route 66 and to sell the building that they loved. The old bell tower atop the worship hall was removed as it had developed termite problems. David and Chili Workman were contracted to build the new church in 1981 and later the new parsonage that sat nearby. The church arranged for the stained glass windows in the historic building to be removed and installed in the new church.

When the church moved to its new building, five couples banded together to buy the old church and remodel it as an office building: Charles and Wanda Kolb, Art and Willa Gross, Norman and Betty DeLeo,  Bob and Joyce Stewart, and Marilyn and Bob Wilson. Then as Hwy. 19 was developing, and the commercial area seemed to shift, the building was again put up for sale. For a time, it looked as if they were going to have to sell it to Roberts-Judson and Mace Grocery to be torn down for use as a parking lot.

Joyce Stewart, who had been married in the church said, “Both of my boys were raised in the church, with my aunt Rose Wiggins Smith as their Sunday School teacher. I was a Sunday school teacher there too, and one Halloween, my high school class students transformed the attic and dirt floor basement into a “haunted house” that was very successful.”

With memories like that, they couldn’t bear to see the old church and historic building torn down. Joyce’s son Roger Stewart was upset by this development and contacted his cousin David Workman and asked him to see if the builidng was worth renovating. David, a building contractor and lover of old buildings, was interested in taking on the project. The building seemed to have the proverbial nine lives.

In the 1993 to save the building from being torn down, several couples banded together to buy it,  A decision was made to call it Wallace House as it had been originally. Under David Workman’s direction and supervision of his building crew, the building was returned to its previous glory  as a private residence and is rented to people to host special events in their life such as showers, anniversaries, special dinners, and sometimes for small retreats or conferences. The owners, serving tasty homemade food, are caterers and servers for the events.

The ownership shifted  a little over the years, but Wallace House is now owned by Judy and David Workman, Dave and Tricia Workman, Chili and Frieda Workman, and Bob and Joyce Stewart.

Today, the interior is beautifully restored. The downstairs of the house has a formal parlor, two large open rooms that adjoin,rest rooms, and a kitchen, and hallway with stairs to the upper floor. Most of the furnishings are family pieces, except for an antique organ donated by Jeff Bouse, and an antique oil lamp donated by Audrey Hayes.  A large antique serving table works beautifully for buffets. Upstairs, there are three bedrooms decorated in antiques and two modern bathrooms. The upstairs rooms are not rented out, but sometimes used by family members of the owners. The original-style front porch has been added back to the house. Local photographers use Wallace House as a backdrop for photos, and tourists often stop by to photograph the mural and Wallace House.

Wallace House has survived, and thanks to some Cuba citizens who value its history, is preserved for future generations and, just as it did when the Wallace’s lived there in the 1800s, social events take place and laughter reverberates in the historic building. Joyce and Bob Stewart were able to celebrate their 50th Anniversary in the building that meant so much to their family and others. Wallace House is a building with soul that has a legacy that continues for a new generation.

Cuba MO Interior Wallace House

Today, the Wallace House and former Methodist Church has been restored and is rented for special events such as this baby shower.

Cuba MO Christmas at Wallace House

Once again, Christmases are celebrated at Wallace House.

Cuba MO Wallace House

Viva Cuba leads a group of children on a tour of the murals. A new generation is learning the history of Wallace House, Harry Truman, and the old Methodist Church.

Cuba MO Tourists at Wallace House

Tourists come on motorcycles and in cars to photograph the Truman Mural and Wallace House. Some of the cars are classics like those seen here..

To rent the public rooms of  Wallace House, you can contact Joyce Stewart or Judy Workman.

To learn more about the history of the Methodist Church in Cuba visit the history section of the church’s website.

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