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rudkipon66

El Camino Real In Missouri

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Hello: I am looking for directions to take the El Camino Real (Kings Highway or Royal Highway) from St. Louis to New Madrid MO...I know that 61 basically followed the route but is that the actual route or is the actual route actually drivable in and of itself. Feel free to email me at rudkip@sbcglobal.net, or I will keep in touch with posts on this site...Thanks! SGF, Kip

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I wasn't even aware of a Camino Real in Missouri although it seems natural once I thought about it. I can't help with any off-61 routings but did discover that the DAR put up some markers in the 1910s. Two identified on waymarking.com are in Benton and Kimmswick. There may be others.

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Hello: I am looking for directions to take the El Camino Real (Kings Highway or Royal Highway) from St. Louis to New Madrid MO...I know that 61 basically followed the route but is that the actual route or is the actual route actually drivable in and of itself. Feel free to email me at rudkip@sbcglobal.net, or I will keep in touch with posts on this site...Thanks! SGF, Kip

 

Tough question to answer, as you know. The El Camino Real in Missouri apparently did not become a recognized blazed trail, and therefore does not appear on the Rand McNally Auto Trails maps I looked at....acknowledging I didn't do an exhaustive search and that isn't the only source. (It may have been part of the Mississippi River Scenic Highway)

 

It was a historic route, and was sometimes known as the Illinois Road. There are several citations to it on Google Books (search: "El Camino Real" Missouri) but I didn't find a map. HOWEVER, Historic Map Works has county and regional maps from 1873 at

 

http://www.historicmapworks.com/Search/city.php?query=new+madrid&State=MO&x=40&y=2

 

which show an unnamed road which goes through the towns cited elsewhere as being on the El Camino Real. Ergo, it was probably the El Camino Real.

 

I only checked a few counties starting in New Madrid and going north. There US61 tracks the presumed El Camino Real well, but obviously not always on top the old track. I suppose it would take a couple of hours to satisfy yourself as to how closely the remainder of the old route followed US61 and it might make you the first guy in a long time who has looked carefully at the route in detail.

 

I'd do it for the fun of it if I lived in Missouri and could drive it....but alas that's not the case. But if I can help, let me know.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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It is marked as the Mississippi River Scenic Highway, at least from Cairo to Memphis, on a 1926 General Index Map that I got off e-bay a while back. This map shows all the named highways east of the Mississippi River, and south of New York state, that were in use at the time.

 

Some that are listed are the Bankhead Highway ( B ), Lackawanna (sounds like my ex-wife) Trail (LT), Lakes-to-Sea Highway (LS), Bee Line Highway (BL), Dixie Bee Line (DB) and several others.

 

I'm not all that familiar with U S 61 north of New Madrid - but have really looked at it between Blytheville and West Memphis. Have driven over it once or twice between New Madrid and Blytheville. It's interesting around Steele - it sort of goes up hill (going north thru Steele), makes a right turn - and just sort of disappears!!! Doesn't really disappear - it turns into AR 164/U S 61 to I-55 and then co-signs with -55 over to Portageville, where it continues north on it's own. I haven't dug around that area, yet, to see if any of the old road still exists. It may in the form of frontatge roads and a couple of local routes.

 

Hudsonly,

Alex Burr

Memphis, TN

Edited by Alex Burr - hester_nec

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Thanks to the three of you...the Mississippi River Scenic Highway appears to pass through all the towns that the El Camino Real followed (I found pix of the markers Denny Spoke of as well as others). I pulled up the 1873 map that shows a route that pretty much follows the Scenic Highway and US 61. I note on an early 20's map of Missouri that the Scenic Highway Route pretty much follows US 61 to Hayti, then jogs around a lot between there and Steele, East of where it is now. There is a section of HY 61 that you get to after crossing I-55 on SR 164, that was a newer alignment. The Route from the 30's on pretty much followed what is now the west outer road from Portageville to Hayti.

 

When you are down there, make sure you cruise down 61 through the Arch that crosses US 61 on the Missouri Arkansas Border--that is about as awesome a piece of roadside attraction as you will find anywhere and you will find pix of it in Tim Steil's book "Highway 61 Revisited". SGF, Kip

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Thanks to the three of you...the Mississippi River Scenic Highway appears to pass through all the towns that the El Camino Real followed (I found pix of the markers Denny Spoke of as well as others). I pulled up the 1873 map that shows a route that pretty much follows the Scenic Highway and US 61. I note on an early 20's map of Missouri that the Scenic Highway Route pretty much follows US 61 to Hayti, then jogs around a lot between there and Steele, East of where it is now. There is a section of HY 61 that you get to after crossing I-55 on SR 164, that was a newer alignment. The Route from the 30's on pretty much followed what is now the west outer road from Portageville to Hayti.

 

When you are down there, make sure you cruise down 61 through the Arch that crosses US 61 on the Missouri Arkansas Border--that is about as awesome a piece of roadside attraction as you will find anywhere and you will find pix of it in Tim Steil's book "Highway 61 Revisited". SGF, Kip

 

 

If you locate a driveable route between STL & New Madrid that is different from old U.S. 61 please share it, as I would be interested in driving all or part of it. I was not aware there was an El Camino Real in MO. However, being a native Bootheelian, you know there are numerous county blacktops and gravel routes close to the Mississippi which, I guess, could be part of what you're looking for. Interesting.....Bliss

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Don't know if anybody has tripped over this site - http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM500C_El_Camino_Real_Kimmswick_MO - I found it with the usual Google search.

 

Also found this one - http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM46FC_El_Camino_Real_Marker_Ste_Genevieve_Missouri

 

File in the "for what it's worth" file folder.

 

And anybody driving 61 into Arkansas drop me an email @ NEChesternec37@yahoo.com (drop the NEC) - south of Blytheville there's a section of old alignment that is still driveable. But there's nothing out there - except a now defunct radio station in Stacy that's closed.

 

Hudsonly,

Alex Burr

Memphis, TN

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Thanks about all the info on the Real...will have to visit all these markers!

 

As far as US 61 goes, Tim Steil wrote a really cool picture book called "Highway 61 Revisited: 1699 miles from New Orleans to Pigeon River" with some good information and cool pix of the highway between Memphis and the Missouri Border. At the missouri border there's a magnificent arch across the road that is worth a very long drive to see, and as you get into Blythville there is (or was) a neat hamburger stand on the left side of the road.

 

On a side note about Blytheville, back in the early 70's we ate at a restaurant there that served Kentucky Fried Chicken. Before Harlan opened his restaurants, he sold the formula to restaurants and showed them how to prepare it...twas really neat as a kid being able to order Kentucky Fried Chicken off the menu.

 

SGF, Kip

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Nice thing about that arch on the AR/MO border is there is room enough to park a half-dozen 18 wheelers if you want to take a closer look at it.

 

And if you're following 61 south from the I-55 thru Steele you won't be going out of your way at all. In fact following 61 from I-55 in Steele all the way to Left, er, West Memphis you are literally paralleling 55. In fact I doubt if you're ever more than 5 miles from it. Like U S 70 from West Memphis from Little Rock running along I-40.

 

Hudsonly,

Alex B

Memphis, TN

Edited by Alex Burr - hester_nec

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