Carthage was established in 1842 to serve as the county seat of Jasper County. As Missouri was sandwiched between the secessionist southern states and the abolitionist north, Carthage became a Civil War battlefield on July 5, 1861 and again in October 1863; pro-Confederate guerrillas burned much of the city in September 1864.
The current Jasper County Courthouse, built of Carthage stone in 1894, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The history of the Civil War sites in the Missouri-Kansas border region fills a book, "The Big Divide" ISBN 978-0976443414, published in 2013.
After the civil war, Carthage thrived as a rail town, a source for "Carthage marble" (a hard, polished limestone) and a highway crossroads when U.S. Highways 66 and 71 came to town in 1926.
By highway, Carthage is served by Interstate 44 (which bypasses Route 66 in the region) and by US Highway 71.
No public mass transit exists in Carthage, although the municipality operates City Taxi (8AM-6PM weekdays only, +1 417 358-9336). Conventional taxi service is provided by A to B Taxi (+1 417 358-8294) and McCoy Cab (+1 417 358-7552).
- Battle of Carthage Civil War Museum, 205 Grant St., ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 8:30AM-5PM Tue-Sat and 1PM-5PM Sun, year-round. Information and artifacts from the Civil War Battle of Carthage and the Civil War in southwest Missouri, including a wall-sized mural of the Battle of Carthage. By donation.
- 1 Battle of Carthage State Historic Site, East Chestnut Road, ☏ . Daily 8AM-6PM. The Battle of Carthage was one of the preliminary battles leading up to the much larger one at Wilson's Creek. Southern Missouri was fought over fiercely because of its rich lead and zinc deposits. Free.
- 2 Jasper County Courthouse, Courthouse Square, 302 South Main Street, ☏ . Constructed with local Carthage marble in 1894, the building's grandiose architecture includes turrets, towers, and arches. The building remains the county seat today; museum and guided tours are open to the public.
- Kendrick House, 131 E Northwoods St, ☏ . Oldest surviving house in Jasper County (built 1849), believed to have served as a Civil War field hospital complete with slave quarters. Various events, ghost tours.
- 3 Powers Museum, 1617 West Oak Street (on Old Route 66), ☏ . Tu-Sa 10:30AM-4:30PM summer/fall. Local history from the post-Civil War period to the 20th century with educational programs describing Missouri and the Ozarks region. Local archives, reference library and souvenir shop. By donation.
- Precious Moments Chapel and Gift Shop, 4105 South Chapel Rd., ☏ .
- 66 Drive-in Theatre, 17231 Old 66 Blvd., ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. One of the few remaining drive-in cinemas on Route 66, with neon signage of the era. Listed on the US National Register of Historic Places, its original 1949 design closely matches the "Radiator Springs Drive-In" in 2006 film Cars. $6 adults, $3 children 5-12, free for children under 5.
- CMC Gift Shop, 1900 S. Grand Ave, ☏ .
- Gringo's, 1123 W Central, ☏ . Fast food. Mexican.
- Iggy's Diner, 2400 S Grand Ave (Hwy 571 at the traffic circle), ☏ . Great diner style food
- Ranch House Restaurant, 2937 S Grand Ave, ☏ . Local steak house, great food, reasonably priced.
- Whisler's Drive-Up, 300 N Garrison Ave, ☏ . Classic old-style hamburger stand.
- Jim's Place, 325 E 4th St., ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- McMorrow's Triple L Irish Pub & Grill, 418 Grant St., ☏ , fax: .
- Best Budget Inn, 13011 State Highway 96, ☏ .
- Best Western Precious Moments Hotel, 2701 Hazel, ☏ . $70-130 (Doubles).
- Carthage Inn, 2244 Grand Avenue, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 1PM, check-out: 11PM. Wi-fi, outdoor pool, refrigerator, microwave, A/C, free local calls, HBO. $US 45-65/night.
- Econo Lodge, 1441 W. Central, ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Two-story hotel with 82 rooms, continental breakfast, wi-fi, free local calls. $60-140 (Doubles).
- 1 Boots Court, 107 S. Garrison Avenue (downtown, at former US66 / US71 crossroads), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Route 66 historic motel from 1939 streamline moderne era, hosted Clark Gable and other notables in its "radio in every room" heyday. Five of the thirteen rooms were restored to the 1949 era (before TV came to Carthage) and reopened in 2012; the original roof and neon were restored in 2013. $US 66-71/night.
- Guest House Motel, 417 E. Central, ☏ .
- Super 8 Motel, 416 W. Fir Road, ☏ . Internet, continental breakfast, hot tub. Additional charge for pets. $63 (Doubles).
Bed and breakfast
- Far Walkaway Farm, 13840 Kipper Lane, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Grand Avenue Bed & Breakfast, 1615 Grand, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. $74-94/84-109 (Su-Th/F-Sa).
- Ballard's Campground, 13965 Ballard Loop, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Big Red Barn RV Park, 5089 Country Lane 138, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. $19-23/night.
- Coachlight RV Park, 5305 S. Garrison, ☏ . $22/night.
- Precious Moments-Cubby Bears RV Park, 4321 Chapel Road, ☏ .
- T's Corner RV Park, 2807 S. Grand, ☏ . Convenience store, fuel, RV park on 12 acres.
|Routes through Carthage|
|Kansas City ← Lamar ←||N S||→ Joplin → Fayetteville|
|Tulsa ← Joplin ←||W E||→ Halltown → Springfield|
|Ends at ← Jct ←||W E||→ Halltown → Ends at|
|Ends at ← Webb City ←||W E||→ END|