One of the Ozarks’ Route 66 icons is offering guests a trip back in time – sans television

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Boots Court, located on old Route 66, is shown in May 2015.

When sisters Priscilla Bledsaw and Deborah Harvey rolled through Carthage on a trip down Route 66 in 2006, neither of them knew just how life changing the day was destined to be. The southwest Missouri stop offered them an introduction to the Boots Court, a 1930s motel which was sadly a run-down shadow of its former self. “We felt so bad for it, and we took lots of pictures of it because we figured it wasn’t going to last very long,” says Deborah, looking back.

The significance of that day wouldn’t be realized until five years later. The duo finished their trip and headed home – Deborah to Georgia, Priscilla to Illinois. But in 2011, that day at the Boots would come rushing back: Deborah noticed in a Route 66 magazine that the Boots had been foreclosed upon and was going up for sale. After telling her sister the news, Deborah got somewhat of a shocking response: “And she texted me back and said, ‘We could buy it!’”

It wasn’t a natural career jump: Neither of them has a background in motel management. Then there’s the fact that they both lived far away from the Ozarks. “But for some reason, it all worked out,” says Deborah. “It was almost like Kismet. Things just fell into place.”