Route 66 is considered one of the most important highway links from the 20th Century. Today, much of the road is decommissioned, yet some portions of the road still exist, also known as the Mother Road and America's Highway. The community of Strafford celebrates everything about the famous roadway during their annual “Route 66 Days” attracting driving enthusiasts as well as many of the 3000 residents of this Greene County town. Strafford’s piece of Old Route 66 provides an interesting piece of trivia found in Ripley’s Believe It or Not. The building that Family Pharmacy has occupied for over thirty years was noted by the publication as having two front doors; one the Route 66 side and one on the Pine Street side. Located at the hub of I-44 and Highway 125, Strafford has a history of being a center of the transportation industry, serving as home for many trucking and freight companies. Early pioneers came to this Greene County city on the railroad looking to find land outside the bigger Springfield area. Today, Strafford is a growing bedroom community with subdivisions dotting the rural landscape. Strafford is also the home of Wild Animal Safari which has a long history reaching back all the way to 1971. It was in the spring of that year that J.W. “Pat” Jones (father of Dallas Cowboy’s owner Jerry Jones) bought several thousand acres of land and relocated his family from Arkansas. Originally, the park filled over 500 acres and featured a 9 and ½ mile drive through the scenic landscape. It took 35 full time staffers to manage and run the park, which at its peak was home to over 3,000 animals! In 2008 the park was purchased by Parks! America in March of 2008. Over the course of time, Parks! America has invested over $1,000,000 to improve the grounds and enhance the experience of visitors. This unique park currently has a population of nearly 750 animals spanning over 70 different species. Wild Animal Safari provides an educational and fun destination for families and school groups. Another “must visit” in Strafford is Joe’s Route 66 Diner – a classic restaurant serving the many road warriors for over three decades. Route 66 BBQ and Catfish is also making a name for itselfalong the “Mother Road”. Bushmasters Rockin’ Race Place and Hot Rod Museum is set to reopen this years with menu and collectibles geared especially for Route 66 enthusiasts. Creation Museum of the Ozarks is also headquartered in Strafford featuring prehistoric dinosaur exhibits sure to interest youngsters. Jones Farm Pumpkin Patch near Strafford is a fall favorite with families enjoying hay rides, mazes and other fun events.The sport of softball is a dominate activity in Strafford with teams from throughout southwest Missouri competing at the Strafford Softball Complex. As a result, the Strafford Indians have produced many state championship teams over the years as well as other sports.
Longtime United States Senator Roy Blunt is proud to call Strafford his hometown and still owns property in the area. Blunts son, former Governor Matt Blunt, was raised here in the community as well.
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