A new look at the historic Route 66 in Carthage will soon be available.
As part of Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series, “Carthage 1940-1990” will be released Aug. 31 due to the efforts of the Powers Museum and Carthage resident Wade Utter. The book features more than 200 vintage and modern images documenting 50 years of Carthage history. A book signing is set for Saturday, Aug. 31 from 1-3 p.m., at the museum.
“Carthage: 1940-1990” begins after the hard times in the 1930s and focuses on the 1940s through the 1980s, when many schools, churches and industries expanded or moved to new quarters. Stores and businesses around the Jasper County Courthouse modernized and competed with new commercial centers developed in other sections of the expanding town.
By the time residents of Carthage celebrated the city’s centennial in 1942, the city had grown to a population of approximately 12,000 and sat at the intersection of two national highways nicknamed “Broadway of America” (US 71) and “Main Street of America” (US 66). As the county seat, Carthage was surrounded by bountiful agricultural prairies to the north and east, and the world’s lead and zinc center to the west. This geographic diversity contributed to the town’s vibrant economy and growth even in difficult economic times.
“Carthage: 1940-1990” is available at the museum, Oldies and Oddities, Mother Road Coffee, All Things Grand, Civil War Museum, Grace Church's book store. Or, by calling Arcadia Publishing at (888)-313-2665.
Author Wade Utter, 36, is a former columnist for The Carthage Press; his weekly column, “Zooming In,” focused on local history in Carthage. His fascination for his hometown's history led him to partner with Powers Museum's Michele Hansford for the book.
He graduated with the Carthage High School Class of 1995, then from Missouri Southern State University with a degree in business administration. He enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons, photography, fishing and the outdoors.
Michele Newton Hansford
Director of the Powers Museum Michele Newton Hansford, 58, is a native of Indianapolis, Ind., but has lived in Carthage since 1983. With the help of seven volunteers, Hansford oversees the operations and programs at the museum including community events, developing digital projects, rotating local history exhibits and hosting periodic traveling exhibits.
Hansford graduated from Anderson University in Anderson, Ind., with a bachelors of associates in American Studies, and a masters in historical administration from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill. She has been a member of the Missouri Humanities Council for seven years and is the current chairman of the board.