America's Maple Leaf City
Founded in 1842, Carthage is filled with rich history, architecture and art. There is something for everyone to EXPERIENCE when you journey to Carthage.
For the Route 66 travelers, Carthage is located right on the Historic Route 66. One of the first concrete-paved portions of Missouri's highway system was the stretch of road west of Carthage to Joplin laid in 1920, in 1926, the route became part of the national highway called U.S. Route 66. You can travel to Red Oak II and experience a town restored from an earlier time. On your way back into town, you can book your overnight stay at the Boots Court Motel which has been restored to its former glory and if your stay in Carthage during the warm months of the year, you can catch a movie at the Route 66 Drive-In.
Architecture is one of Carthage's most prominent features. The Jasper County Courthouse, built in 1894-95, features the famous Carthage marble and is the second most photographed building in Missouri. The Courthouse is open to the public. Inside, visitors can view the wrought-iron cage elevator that still operates today along with an array of artifacts and mining specimens that are on displayed with the "Forged in Fire" mural by Lowell Davis. His art portrays the history of Jasper County.
The City is filled with Victorian era homes that have been preserved and maintained that come together for a Historic Homes Driving Tour.
For the history buffs, the Battle of Carthage was the first full scale land battle of the Civil War. The state of Missouri was a battleground state which had a tug of war between Confederate and Union forces, which ended in our town being destroyed by fire in 1864. Only the Kendrick House was spared from destruction, and still stands today.
You can visit the free Civil War Museum and take advantage of the knowledgeable staff to learn more. You can also checkout the Battle of Carthage State Historic Site to see where the battle took place.