were built in the chaotic times of 1935 when the nation was barely out of the depression and the dust bowl had destroyed millions of acres.
Robert W. & Margaret Martin where the first owners of the Wagon Wheel Cabins, purchasing the land in 1934. The Martins hired Leo Friesenhan to do the building. Records show they worked on all the buildings at the same time and the local farmers carried the stone to him. Leo's combination of stone, design, and nearly indestructable mortar recipe has endured for over 88 years, giving the Wagon Wheel its spot on the National Registry of Historic Places.
After World War II in 1946 the property was split: the cabins sold to a partnership and the cafe and station to another couple, with the station being leased to The Standard Oil Co. This only lasted one year when John & Winifred Mathis purchased the cabins and William & the notorious "Sadie Mae Pratt" took over the cafe.
Most important, John designed the famous Wagon Wheel Neon Sign at his kitchen table changing the name to Wagon Wheel Motel instead of cabins. He added the block building containing 4 units, the laundry and storage and also built a good reputation along Rte 66.
Connie Echols purchased the motel from Harolds' son in Sept 2009. Updates and restoration have been non-stop on some of the most unique buildings left on Rte 66 today. The Cafe houses Connie's Shoppe and also serves as the motel office where the same check-in cards and desk are still used today.
The Wagon Wheel Motel
901 E Washington St.
Cuba, MO 65453
Phone: 573- 885-3411
July 16-20, 2024
October 19 and 20, 2024.
Taste of Cuba, Rte 66, Wine Tasting, Crafts, Trolley rides, Music and more.