Carthage Missouri

Our time in Carthage Missouri is nearing it’s end for this trip.  Carthage is located in southern Missouri on the edge of Joplin Missouri. Our stay at Coachlight RV Park will have been three weeks before we leave this Monday. The weekly rate at the park is $200 total. The monthly is around $525 plus electric.  Had we known the stay would be this long I might have taken the monthly rate and “left early.”  We have booked a two week stay in Branson Missouri at  American’s Best Campgroup which is a highly recommended park, near town and with reasonable rates. The manager of our park here in Carthage lived in Branson and recommended America’s Best as well as a few friends who were on their way to Branson. I would have been happy to stay at Table Rock Lake State Park outside Branson where they even have full-hookup spots.

New friends we met while parked in Kansas City are a couple weeks ahead of us in their travels in the same direction. It is nice to get with them on route planning and more. My sister Mary is meeting us for a weekend in Branson where she is bringing an RV. We booked our spot for two weeks and then we are on to Hot Springs Arkansas.  This might be our first trip pulling the trailer in hilly country.  The trip through the Ozark Mountains and northern Arkansas is going to be beautiful this time of year with the changing fall colors. The drive alone is worth the trip.

Karen and I are both ready to get on with our life after the murder trial I testified at in Platte City Missouri turned into a seven day ordeal. Moving into an RV and continuing to live some parts of one’s past lifestyle – sucks!  Especially when one person (me) is busy working away from home and the spouse (Karen) is left behind. When I read in other’s blogs the term “hitch itch” I wonder if rather than meaning we are getting antsy to leave they are really meaning “it was terrible to have had to stay here so long and lets get on to something more interesting for God’s sake.”  Please don’t think Carthage is not worth a few days stop however.

There were some different moments when I made the trip back north of Kansas City for the trial. I stopped to enjoy the changing fall tree colors at the post office located atop a hilly area. And the last day I woke to snow on the truck. If my truck could talk it would ask what the hell is this cold stuff on my hood. It was built in Texas and I’ll bet that was the first time snow ever touched it. And I know for sure I never intended to see the white stuff for a long time.  No worries, I brought my rain jacket. I layer clothing underneath to include a fleece and wear a stocking cap. I ditched the winter coat thing years ago. Dressing in layers rules, especially as the same clothing can be worn in warmer environments and takes up little space in our RV closet.

Changing fall colors in Platte City Missouri

I briefly thought about lacing in a few RV tips as I continue in this blog post. We are learning a lot and could use advice at all times. I’ll get to those tips in the next post in a week or so. I’ve got plenty to write about to include; receiving mail, getting a hair cut, dealing with cold temperatures, RV maintenance, killing flies in the fifth wheel, new purchases and more.

When I think back we did do a few fun things in Carthage despite taking time out for a working trip. And for me at least, part of the fun stuff was finally getting a chance to not only tour the City of Carthage Missouri but also taking time for RV maintenance now that we have owned the rig for six months. Even cleaned the roof.

The short list for Carthage fun was; Karen’s first ever rodeo, visiting a civil war museum, eating Italian food outside the Precious Moments location, viewing fall colors at a large tree filled graveyard (on Halloween day) and touring the town square’s wonderful court house. And of course spending time with friends at the Escapees Ozark Chapter Campout which was the reason for the trip to Carthage located at the southwest corner of Missouri just off Interstate 44.

I have to appoligize for some of quality of my pictures. I’ve gotten lazy and forget the better camera at home. I most regret not getting better photos of the Jasper County Courthouse which is a marvel and includes a first floor museum to include displays about the historic route 66 which is a big thing around here.

It was fun watching Karen’s reaction to events at the rodeo although most of events were less then professional grade. An uncle to one of the bull riders was sitting next to us and the conversation was good. Unfortunately his nephew came off the bull in about two seconds.

The nighttime temperature was cool. It was nice the rodeo was inside a large building. It happens to be located along a road traveled by Union solders as they retreated from the Confederates during the battle at Carthage.

Carthage is the home of Presious Moments figurins that I understand to be collectable. I toured the grounds and chapel in the past.

Jasper County Courthouse in Carthage. Rebuilt in early 1900’s. The town was burnt to the ground and became lawless during the civil war.

I had no idea the outlaw Belle Starr was from Carthage Missouri. Late in the summer of 1964, before Carthage was burned, the family moved to Texas near present day Dallas. Among her friends were Frank and Jesse James. Around these parts of Missouri the initials G.T.T. were commonly used and sometimes painted on abandoned houses. It means Gone to Texas. The Union army as well as bushwackers made the place unlivable and those refusing to fight for the Union or having become refuges fled south.

Bet you did not know, and neither did I, that the Battle of Carthage was fought on July 5, 1861 and was the first full scale land battle of the Civil War, preceding First Bull Run by 16 days. At issue was if Missouri would stay in the Union or join the Confederacy. In the spring of 1865, more than three months after the surrendor at Appomattox, Confederate Major General Shelby led his entire “Iron Brigade” across the Rio Grande into Mexico on July 4th, 1865 — exactly four years from the day he joined the Missouri State Guard column north of Carthage. He planned to convince Emperor Maximilian to set aside a Mexican state as a new Confederate Nation and retake Texas from the Union. Within two years Shelby was home, setteling in Aullville Missouri. I’ve been to his grave in Kansas City Missouri.

But enough about the Civil War visit in Carthage. You must come to Missouri if you are a true war buff.

The courthouse on the square included a working old-time elevator. The operator was handing out candy to kids for Halloween and provided us with the location of the cemetery in town where we could see the wonderful fall tree colors.

Displays inside the court house included information about historic Route 66. Crossing three time zones and eight states, Route 66 linked communities from Chicago to the Southern California coast. Posted on the wall at the court house museum was a list of significant dates relative to Route 66. This includes in 1947 the hundred millionth motor vehicle was produced. In 1956 the passage of the Federal Aid Highway Act signed by President Eisenhower, signaled the beginning of the end of Route 66 as modern highways were built. By the 1960’s most of Route 66 was too narrow to handle modern trucks and automobiles.  And a survey in 1950 found that half of Americans over the age of 30 acknowledged having had premarital sex in autos:)

Call us strange, but Karen and I enjoy visiting interesting cemeteries. So why not go see some pretty trees on Halloween day. An older lady we met from Oklahoma told us about the cemetery trees, adding a comment that she has never seen such a clean cemetery mausoleum.  Better check that out for ourselves says us. I’ll close this post with the photos:


12 thoughts on “Carthage Missouri

  1. We love Branson and go there often. I offer this link:

    to a blog post describing one of our favorite visits, especially to the Big Cedar complex. (Eat at the Devil’s Pool Café), and another good eating joint is the Flat Creek Café (a nice drive outside Branson). There are so many things to do and see there, I know you will enjoy it. We stay at Treasure Lake, a large and very nice park for $20 a night if you’re a member of Resort Parks International (RPI). If you would like to see more of my posts on Branson, just search for “Branson” in the blog. Have a good time!


    • Thanks for the link. This will be Karen’s first time in Branson. So much to see. I still can’t believe we are spending two weeks there. Something I would have never been able to do when working fulltime.

      We have friends with membership at Treasure Lake. I knew it was a membership park but not that it was connected to RPI. Although we are staying away from signing up for memberships right now, I’m heading over to check that out also. We have joined Escapees for the mail service and Good Sam’s for the discounts as well. Probably joining Passport America soon and getting our America the Beautiful lifetime pass as Karen qualifies for it.

      I’ll link my spreadsheet line item to your blog post on Branson. I’ve got a few other links for northern Arkansas that I added years ago. Planning to take advantage of others trips in the area by referring back to their posts to include the trip to and from an area.

      I’m researching route planning from Branson to Hot Springs Arkansas right now to make sure there are no surprises.

      Thanks for following and all the great comments/info.



  2. Great post, with a few things we need to check out when we visit Carthage again. I’m thankful too the trial is over and you can get on to what this adventure is all about. Was great spending time with you and Karen. Enjoy your time in Branson. Looks like the weather is going to improve some. Many of the things we planned to do while there were changed due to the rain, but there is always something to do in Branson. See you down the road!


    • I received an email from my cousin Kathy who lives in Mt. Vernon. She pointed out there is a mural in the court house with our great great grand parents on it. They apparently settled the area in the 1830’s. Darn, I missed that at the museum but at least it prompted Kathy to send the note.

      Carthage is an interesting place if you look close.

      This park at Coachlight has worked out well. I’d caught you had to make changes down in Branson in your blog post. Looks like we should be okay for the two week stay. I definitely don’t want to hit any snow or ice on the way out.


  3. When you get up VT way check out Hope Cemetary, great to place to see some really different granite artisan work. Glad the trial is over and you’re ready to roll. Safe travels!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting brawnerology. Karen could live in a state park or Corp of Engineer park. I don’t mind “parking lot” or wide open commercial RV spaces every now and then, especially if they are closer to the sites we want to see. Every now and then I like those three to four week stops to catch up on maintenance items.

      Liked by 1 person

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