Dad gum! The Baxter Springs Independent Oil and Gas Service Station in Baxter Springs, Kansas has been a Route 66 attraction since 1930. It not serves as a Kansas Route 66 visitor Center where you can learn about the past, plan your future travels, and maybe even meet a local celebrity.
The Baxter Springs Independent Oil and Gas Service Station dates back to 1930. It opened as an Independent Oil and Gas on Route 66 that year but, after a company merger, quickly changed to hold a Phillips Petroleum Company label that same year.
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The tudor revival cottage-style gas station resembled a house, with a quaint brick design. It was later modified in the 1940s to the L-shaped structure seen today.
Since the business stopped fueling gasoline in the 1970s, the property had been used for a variety of businesses: from a gift store to a dog-groomer’s shop to a chiropractor’s office.
In 2003 the building was both added to the National Register of Historic Places and was later acquired by the Baxter Springs Heritage Society. A series of grants along with volunteer labor allowed them to refurbish the building and reopen as a Kansas Route 66 Visitor Center in 2007.
Stop outside to see the structure and head inside to check out the memorabilia on display, pick up some brochures for the rest of your Route 66 road trip, and maybe even meet one of the most famous characters on Route 66. Dean “Crazy Legs” Walker. Crazy legs is known for two things: his ability to turn his legs completely backward and being partial inspiration for the character of Tow Matter in the Pixar movie Cars (the other inspiration can be found nearby at Cars on the Route in Galena, Kansas).
Looking for more Kansas Route 66 attractions? Be sure to also visit the Rainbow Bridge in Baxter Springs, the Dueling Pepsi and Coca-Cola Murals, Gearhead Curios Restored Texaco Station, and Nelson’s Old Riverton Store.
Baxter Springs Independent Oil and Gas Service Station/Kansas Route 66 Visitors Center
Address: 940 Military Ave, Baxter Springs, KS 66713
Cost: Free to See
Hours: Always visible, visitor center hours vary