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  A Welcome Place in America's Heartland



  Route 66

  Ft. Leonard Wood


Pulaski County...

Pulaski County has a rich and diverse heritage. Pioneers from Kentucky and Tennessee settled our area of the Ozark Mountains in the early days of Missouri’s statehood. Settlers harvested the timber and first homesteaded along the fertile Munger-Moss Sandwich Shop, now Elbow Inn Bar & BBQ, is still sought out by hungry travelers searching for lip smacking barbecue.valleys of the Roubidoux, Gasconade and  Big Piney Rivers. Although pioneer life was never easy, the area’s natural resources including the many springs and caves eased the challenges of the frontier life.

During December 1837, and again in March, 1839 Pulaski County played an unfortunate part in the removal of the Cherokee Indians. Because of government orders, bands of starving Cherokee Indians were forced from their homelands, across southern Missouri, and into Indian Territory. During their march camp was made very near Roubidoux Spring in Waynesville. Today, this site is one of only seven sites on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail in Missouri.

Missouri, and Pulaski County, had divided loyalties and sympathies during the Civil War. Many Pulaski Countians chose sides, joined up and went off to fight -in some cases against their brother, neighbors, and friends. Although no major battles were fought within the county boundaries, the area was strategically important.  Fort Waynesville, a Union camp, sprang up overlooking Telegraph Road that ran between Saint Louis and Springfield. From that vantage point, pickets were deployed to ferret out the “bushwackers” who conducted their war from the cover of the rugged landscape.  During this time the Waynesville Stagecoach Stop served as a Civil War hospital.

After the war, when the railroads resumed their westward expansion, they began laying their tracks in Pulaski County. Our railroad towns, Dixon, Crocker, Richland were born along those lines in 1869. Later, the Frisco railroad was instrumental to the area’s first tourism boom. Droves of people rode the rails to the town depots and then traveled via ‘hacks” to the areas many fishing resorts and hunting lodges, many continue to operate to this day.

In the late 1920’s, people took to the roads to “motor west” along Route 66. Auto courts and tourist camps dotted Pulaski County and each proprietor had their pitch to encourage travelers to pull off the road, fuel up, eat and spend the night at their roadside enterprise. Pulaski County entrepreneurs used handcrafted baskets and hillbilly crafts, fried chicken and even petting zoos as their lures.  Tourists traveling this segment of internationally renown road can learn more about the rich history by downloading the Route 66 Driving Tour.

In 1940, Pulaski County experienced what might be its biggest transition to date. In a matter of months, Fort Leonard Wood was carved from the virgin timber. United States troops trained here before being shipped out during World War II. Millions of US Army careers have begun in Pulaski County. Today, FLW trains service members from all branches… Army, Marine Corps., Navy, Air Force, even Coast Guard.

Please submit your photo for the #VeteranThanks project. Details are available at:

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Pulaski County Tourism Bureau
137 Saint Robert Boulevard - Suite A ~ Saint Robert, Missouri (U.S.A.)  65584
Phone:  573.336.6355 / Toll Free:  877.858.8687

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