A historical book was recently published about a popular lookout along Route 66 located in Pacific.
The book,“Jensen Point, Stop and Reminisce,” was written by Wayne Winchester. He owned the property from 1991 to 2016.
Jensen’s Point is a roadside outlook located at 1096 E. Osage St. It includes a stone gazebo that overlooks Ozark Mountain foothills.
In 2015, Jensen’s Point was sold to the city of Pacific. On May 30, 2016, many were invited to the dedication ceremony and grand reopening of the outlook 75 years after the inaugural dedication.
Buying the Land
Winchester is originally from southern Missouri and currently lives in St. Albans. In 1991, he said he was searching to buy property for his business WINTEC Pharmaceutical located at 1043 E. Osage.
The seller, Wayne Smith, told him that Jensen’s Point was part of the property deal. Winchester said although he had no intention of purchasing Jensen Point, he quickly fell in love with it.
“Once I bought that property, I knew that Jensen’s Point had to be saved for posterity,” Winchester said.
“It’s just a beautiful, beautiful place on the Old Route 66.”
Stop and Reminisce
His book has been 20 years in the making, according to Winchester. He said the idea of a book started when the great-grand daughter of Lars Peter Jensen, the person the outlook is named, visited Winchester and brought him old photographs.
The book, which is dedicated to Winchester’s late wife Terri, has nine chapters filled with vintage photos and information on the outlook’s history including Lars Peter Jensen, the original inauguration and dedication, Henry Shaw Gardenway, Winchester’s family photos and memories, stories gathered from bystanders/visitors and more.
“I just hope people enjoy Jensen’s Point the way people did years ago in the way my family did when we wre in possession of it,” Winchester said.
By reading the book, Winchester said he hopes people understand the importance of Jensen’s Point to Pacific and the general area.
He added that his favorite chapter in the book is the one about the Civilian Conservation Corps. The Commission built Jensen’s Point and the Henry Shaw Gardenway park that surrounds it, which was completed in the 1930s.
The CCC was a work relief program for young men during the Depression Era. The organization “saved a lot of families from extreme poverty,” he said.
“We have photographs from the original camp that was in Pacific inside and out,” he said.
He mentioned that Jensen’s Point was used during the Civil War.
“It was used by both the North and the South during the Civil War, so I’ve been told. It’s right at the end of the (Meramec) River and you have a nice view upriver and downriver.”
Part of the proceeds from the book will go to his daughter and her husband’s organization called Moving Kids on the Spectrum and to help restore Jensen’s Point.
Winchester said Moving Kids on the Spectrum is a charity that helps pay for medical bills for families who have autistic children.
“It’s really a good organization,” he said. “I prefer small charities because all of the money goes to the charity. There’s no CEO making a $1 million a year.”