The 1930s Phillips 66 Station on Route 66 fuels Cuba, MO’s history

At the end of the blog, feel free to leave personal reminiscences, forgotten years, or any information that adds to our knowledge. Often it’s the comments that make the facts “come alive.”

Cuba, MO Phillips 66 Gas Station.

L-R Ralph Wirz, Ervin Hendrickson, Homer Carr, and Paul T. Carr stand proudly in front of the successful business on the corner of Route 66. The station was a Mobil gas station at this time although the P for Phillips is still in place on the chimney. Paul T. Carr built the station in 1932 when the coming of Route 66 increased a mobile America’s need for fuel.

History of the Phillips 66 Station

The Paul T. Carr Years

Let’s go back to the history of Paul T. Carr’s Phillips 66 station that opened in 1932 to see how the station has added to Cuba, MO’s history at the 4-Way intersection.

Locals have long called the location “the four way,” because of the four stop signs that marked the busy intersection. Today, a modern traffic light serves that purpose.

Over the years, the little station on the corner of Highway 19 and Route 66 in Cuba, Missouri, became obsolete and sat empty as a quaint afterthought of grander times. Often, people would speculate what the P on the chimney stood for. Some thought the P was the initial of the original owner, Paul T. Carr. Others thought maybe it was for the Pontiac cars that he sold there.

The Station’s Beginnings and its Builder 1932-1960s

It was at the 4-way intersection, where the Midway Cafe & Garage were already doing business on the opposite corner, where visionary Paul T. Carr stepped onto the scene to build his gas station in 1932. He recognized the needs of the Route 66 traveler on the new highway that would span 8 states.

Longtime Cuba businessman Bob Coffman first met Paul Carr in 1958. Since Carr and Coffman were both active in the Masonic Lodge, they rode together to several Masonic activities in St. Louis. “That’s when he related to me how he came to have the gas station,” said Coffman. “Paul was working for Roy Earls in a garage where the Midway building is located (The Midway has since been torn down). Carr’s wife had passed away, leaving a young daughter Jeanne to raise. Since this was in the middle of the great depression, there wasn’t much money for anything but the barest necessities.”

However, Carr did not let adverse conditions stop him. He purchased the lot at the corner of Highway 19 and Route 66 in the center of Cuba.


We are wishing you a cool Christmas in Cuba, MO in 2012

We are hanging out the wreaths in Cuba, Missouri

Cuba, Missouri is ready for a “cool” Christmas season: the tree, the Christmas print, the History Museum, the parade, the lighting contest, the rocker, and more…

The Tree

Cuba, MO “Route 66 Mural City” has the “coolest” Christmas tree on Route 66. This blog entry from last year shows the tree during its first year that Chris Palmer created it. This year Chris has designed the condenser to look like a gift box under the tree, and he has refined his lighting system. It is located on Route 66/W. Washington. Take your camera for a family picture in front of the “coolest tree on Route 66.” Let’s see how many of those we can get on Facebook showing the location of the “coolest” tree on Route 66.

Chris Palmer's innovative Christmas tree made from AC coils

Some of our Cuba neighbors are innovative. Chris Palmer figured out how to use an air conditioner and coils to make this unique Christmas tree that he lit and displayed in the historic area for the first time in 2011. What will Chris dream up for 2012?

The History Museum at Christmas

Cuba’s History Museum’s special holiday artifacts and displays offer a festive glance at our history.

Cuba, MO History Museum 2012 Christmas

Check the History Museum’s website for updates and new info.

The Parade & Santa

If you need a little small town Christmas parade footage to go with the tree coverage, the Cuba Chamber of Commerce will have its Christmas Parade on December 8 starting at 6 pm. The parade begins at the historic landmark Wagon Wheel Motel on Route 66 and continues down Route 66 to Smith Street where it loops around to the Lions Den on Buchanan Street where Santa will be greeting the kids. This will be another photo opportunity. While at the Wagon Wheel Motel grounds, check out the vintage Nativity Scene that has been used at the historic motel since the 1960s.

Nativity scene at the Wagon Wheel Motel Cuba, Mo

The vintage Nativity Scene at the historic Wagon Wheel Motel has been used since the 1960s.

Cuba’s First Christmas Painting & Print

This is also the first year that Cuba has had its own nostalgic Christmas Over Route 66 Cuba, Missouri painting and prints. The Hwy 19 Peoples Bank will display the original painting during the Christmas season. Prints can be purchased at the bank or at Spirals Art Gallery on Route 66/East Washington, next to the East Office Bar & Grill. To see the genesis and evolution of the print, read this blog entry.

Cuba Christmas painting & prints at the Highway 19 Peoples Bank

Stop off at the Highway Peoples Bank to see the original Christmas Over Route 66 Cuba, Missouri painting. Drop off some canned goods for the Cuba Food Pantry.

Santa & the Christmas Over Route 66 Print

Santa poses with the Christmas Over Route 66 Cuba, Missouri print. Look for his key to the ’57 Sleigh.

The World’s Largest Rocking Chair at Christmas

You might want to drive 4-miles to the Guinness World’s Greatest Rocking Chair at Fanning to get a photo with the festive red & green seasonal lighting.

World's Largest Rocker at Christmas

The Guinness World’s Largest Rocking Chair on Route 66 lights up the night in seasonal colors.

The Lighting Contest

The Cuba Chamber of Commerce Lighting Contest is also in progress, so you might see some great light displays in some of our neighborhoods or at some local businesses.

Christmas lights in the Viva Cuba Garden

The Christmas lights are lit in the Viva Cuba Garden on Route 66.

Our Churches

Many churches and organizations in Cuba are also having special services and programs during the Christmas Season. Below are some events of the Cuba Ministerial Alliance that we borrowed from a Cuba Methodist Church listing. People who receive a food basket need to sign up with the Ministerial Alliance ahead of time and attend the service on Dec. 12.  Please feel free to post other church activities that are occurring in Cuba. Christmas is truly a season of giving, and we urge everyone to look to those in need, whether it is a gift tree for the children or our furry friends at the Cuba Animal Control facility. Or perhaps you know of a special family or situation that could use a little help this Christmas. Cuba is a giving town, and it goes into overdrive at Christmas.

Cuba Ministerial Alliance Christmas Schedule 2012

We borrowed the Cuba Ministerial Alliance Schedule from the Methodists, but many area churches participate in these events. Feel free to list your Christmas programs and services in the comments section of this post. People who receive a food basket from the Alliance need to sign up for one ahead of time and attend the Dec. 12 service.

We would be glad to have you enjoy Cuba during the Christmas season and view our new Christmas print, have a meal at a local restaurant, take a night drive by the murals, see our unique tree and rocker, and attend some of our Christmas events. You are welcome in the Mural City the year round.

Hayes Shoe Store at Christmas

Hayes Shoe Store always prepares a Christmas display.

The Garden and the Phillips 66 Station

Enjoy a drive through Cuba on Route 66 to see the murals at night and the Christmas lights.

Check the Cuba Free Press and the Cuba, Missouri Chamber of Commerce website for updated info area Christmas events.

Cuba, the small town with big ideas, features its own Christmas print

A Route 66 Missouri gift idea waiting for you…

Viva Cuba, the beautification group that commissioned Cuba’s murals, had long been wanting a piece of artwork with a Christmas scene. It didn’t seem right for a full-time mural. They discussed alternatives with Missouri artist Ray Harvey who was known for such scenes. Harvey had previously painted the Bette Davis and Phillips 66 murals for Viva Cuba. After about three years of discussion and several months of preparation, the print titled Christmas Over Route 66 Cuba, Missouri was introduced at Cuba Fest 2012, and it enjoyed brisk sales. Artist Harvey was at Cuba Fest to sign prints and talk to people as he also put on a carving demonstration of some whimsical pumpkins. This particular artwork is a $20 print that is available to all Cubans, past and present. It will fit in a stock 18 X 24 frame, so it doesn’t require custom framing. Viva Cuba is happy to offer this print that is accessible to all Cubans on a more personal level than a mural would be.

The Process:

1. Harvey met with Viva Cuba several times about how much could be included (not nearly as much as they wanted.

Artist Ray Harvey discussing the details of the print with Viva Cuba members.

Harvey spent several sessions working out the details with Viva Cuba members.

2. Local pilot Don McGinnis flew Harvey over Cuba for a “birds eye view.”

Route 66:West Washington Cuba MO

A bird’s eye view of Cuba showing W. Washington/Route 66.

3. Harvey photographed landmarks from the ground.

Harvey photographing the vintage Route 66 station

Harvey photographing the vintage Route 66 station in Cuba, MO. The station has been at the corner since the 1930s.

4. Harvey painted and tweaked details for Viva Cuba members. The painting was delivered.

Christmas over Route 66 Cuba, Missouri painting was delivered.

The original painting was delivered. It will be on display in People’s Bank prior to Christmas. Note how Harvey could provide the mini-murals in the print. The Frisco train 1522 chugs by in the background. The water tower with its crown of lights from the 60s  glow in their detail.

5. The digital image was made from the painting to create the prints. They can be purchased for $20 at the Hwy. 19 Peoples Bank or Spirals Gallery. At this time, a limited number of signed copies are available.  Or you can go online to order the print for a small $7.00 shipping fee for domestic orders. The prints are shipped in a cardboard shipping tube.

Framed Christmas over Route 66 Cuba, Missouri print

The print will be fit in a stock 18 X 24 frame or you can have it customed framed to fit your decor and tastes.

6. The print was introduced at Cuba Fest 2012 to brisk sales. Artist Ray Harvey was available to sign prints and meet with those interested in the print. Could that be…

Santa and Ray Harvey at Cuba Fest 2012

Santa dropped by to discuss the print with the artist. He had a rare weekend off before gearing up for the Christmas season.  Santa approved and bought some prints for the elves and reindeer. Even they like to get Christmas gifts.

With its Christmas over Route 66 Cuba, Missouri print, Cuba continues its reputation as a small town with big ideas.

 For more information on the artist, visit


Best of the Blog



Search the Blog

Find Us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter