The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

March 7, 2013

Star Motel buildings have new home at Red Oak II

By Roger McKinney

— A Route 66 fixture in Duquesne has a new home at Red Oak II.

Lowell Davis, who established Red Oak II, said some of the duplexes that were part of the Star Motel and Trailer Court were moved overnight Tuesday, to avoid traffic.

Alice and Pedro Pantoja owned the motel at the southwest corner of Seventh Street and Duquesne Road. It will soon be the location of a Casey’s General Store. The Pantojas bought the corner, including the motel, in 1973.

Davis said by phone on Wednesday that the Pantojas agreed to donate the motel’s buildings to Red Oak II, a reassembled town out of the past just north of Carthage.

“They’re real cute,” Davis said of the motel buildings. “I’ve loved them for a long time.”

He said the buildings have the look of 1920s buildings, his favorite time period.

“That’s what we’re looking for,” he said. “The ’20s were my favorite years. They were the peak of architecture, the peak of art, the peak of everything before the Great Depression.”

Davis, an artist, created Red Oak II by moving buildings from his home community of Red Oak, which had become a ghost town, to a cornfield near his farm outside of Carthage.

“I’m an artist,” Davis said. “To me, my cornfield was a big blank canvas.”

The Pantojas didn’t immediately return phone calls for this story.

Davis is retired and no longer owns Red Oak II, but he said he still oversees activity at the tourist attraction.


Red Oak II is on County Loop 122 at Kafir Road outside of Carthage.