A couple of miles northeast of Carthage, Missouri and just off Route 66 is Red Oak II – a ghost town, but not really. But, it has authentic old buildings, and an old cemetery, and it looks like a ghost town. Well, it is and it isn’t.
Red Oak II was actually the brainchild of artist Lowell Davis who grew up in the "real” Red Oak, Missouri, about 18 miles northwest of the "new” Red Oak II. The original Red Oak, like many other rural agricultural towns across the country, started to fade sometime after World War II, when people began to move to the cities in earnest.
After Davis had left the area for a number of years, he returned in the 1970’s to find his home town had become a ghost town.
In 1987, Davis was living on a farm near Carthage that was little more than an empty cornfield. His creative inspiration soon led him to turn his acreage into a tribute to his home town and before long Red Oak II was born. He began to buy homes and businesses from the original townsite and other rural ghost towns, painstakingly moving them to the new site and restoring them to their original "grandeur.” Referred to as the "Norman Rockwell of Rural Art," Davis has a love for the simpler times of the past that are reflected, not only in his "new" town, but also in his paintings and sculptures. Of his re-created town, he said: "Red Oak II is a combination of a painting and a sculpture, and it is just made from things that someone else threw away."
Quote from: Legends of America
|Phillips 66 station, Red Oak (1:25)|