Arlington, Missouri

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Arlington is a ghost town in western Phelps County, Missouri, United States, along a county road that was once U.S. Route 66. The town found its prosperity in the mid-19th century. Located near Rolla on the Ozark Plateau, all that remains of the once-booming town is a caravan park.

History

Founded by Thomas Harrison and James Harrison circa-1867 and named for the former Robert E. Lee plantation (later a cemetery) at Arlington, Virginia,[1] Arlington was once a popular resort served by the Pacific Railroad. The last section of U.S. Route 66 in Missouri to be paved in 1931, the tiny community would serve as point of departure for fishermen on the Gasconade and Little Piney Rivers.[2]

Stony Dell Resort would capitalise on traffic from U.S. Route 66 and the nearby Fort Leonard Wood military base to grow in the 1930's and early 1940's from a small group of tourist cabins to a popular oasis which included a stream-fed swimming pool, a restaurant, service station and bus stop, offering tennis, dancing, boating and fishing.[3]

By 1946, the town was in decline due to re-routing of a widened US 66; the town site would be purchased that year by R. E. Carney. The original 1923 US 66 road bridge, bypassed when the road was widened to four lanes in 1952, would be demolished when Interstate 44 bypassed the town in 1966-1967. This would leave the original two-lane US 66 as a dead-end. Most of the Stony Dell Resort was lost to demolition during freeway construction; the restaurant and a handful of cabins would remain, now abandoned.[4] Even the 1952 four lane bridge was demolished and replaced as part of a 2005 alignment of I-44.[5]

At the turn of the millennium, one lone business remained in operation in Arlington, an RV park (Arlington River Resort, 13003 Arlington Road). The only road access to the townsite is I-44 to Newburg, Missouri then back on what's left of the original two-lane US 66 roadway (now the Arlington Outer Road, a dead-end). No longer easily accessed by rail and road, Arlington is now a ghost town. [6]

References

Coordinates: 37°55′13″N 91°58′16″W / 37.92028°N 91.97111°W / 37.92028; -91.97111