General Attractions Attractions
"Building the Lincoln Highway" Sculpture
1610 Plainview Rd, Crest Hill Illinois 60403 This statue depicts a 1915 Joliet road worker pouring concrete. The sculpture and associated interpretive panel are located across the street from the Crest Hill Municipal Center. Hours:
"Reisch Beer" Mural
Wall mural for 1894 building that served as an outlet for the Resich Brewing Company from Springfield. It was painted in June, 2003 by Letterheads.
"Wisteria Cafe" Mural
Mural for the Wisteria Cafe & Confectionery, a place for ice cream soda, cigars, and candy in the 1920s. The mural was painted in June, 2003 by the Letterheads.
1908 Race Riot Self-Guided Historical Tour
Tour starts at corner of 7th and Jefferson Streets, in downtown Springfield. Visit the Springfield CVB for map and info - 109 N. 7th Street, Springfield IL. Visitors to Springfield can take a self-guided tour of nine historical markers that describe key moments in the Springfield Race Riot of 1908. As a direct result of the Springfield Race Riot, a coalition of black and white citizens established the NAACP in New York City on February 12, 1909, Lincoln's birthday. Hours: Tours can be taken year-round. CVB (for maps) open Mon - Fri 8:30am - 5:00pm. Rates: Free
Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery
W. Hoff Road, Elwood Illinois 60421 phone:
815-423-9958 Established in 1999 on 982 acres of the Joliet Army Ammunition Plant, the cemetery has many monuments and garden niches that make it well worth a visit. The cemetery was dedicated by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration, and was named after President Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States and founder of the National Cemetery system.. Adjacent to the main entry is a monument to ammunition workers killed in an explosion. This grim memorial is testament to the wartime manufacture of munitions. Hours:
Open daily during daylight hours.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
112-212 N. 6th Street, Springfield, Illinois phone:
217-558-8844 web: www.alplm.org
This 200,000 square foot complex includes an Archive, Library, and Museum. It features interactive exhibits, lifelike statues of Lincoln's life, and innovative theater presentations. It is over 50% larger than any other presidential library, and is the most visited. Hours:
Open daily, 9 am - 5 pm. Rates:
Fee for entrance and shows.
Atlanta Public Library and Clock Tower
100 SE Race St, Atlanta, Illinois 61723 phone:
217-648-2112 Built in 1908, this octagon-shaped building is on the National Register of Historic Places. It features 1840s neo-classic details such as high ceilings, a domed rotunda, high narrow windows, the original solid oak woodwork, and an old fashioned fireplace. A Seth Thomas clock tower is on the library lawn; it must be hand cranked every 8 days. A museum was established in the basement in 1973 that houses pieces of local history. Hours:
Tuesday and Thursday 12:30- 8pm, Wednesday and Friday 12:30 - 4:30pm, Saturday 9am - 3pm.
Bank of Dwight
132 E Main St, Dwight, Illinois 60420 www.il66redcarpetcorridor.org/dwight.html
The Bank of Dwight, opened in 1855 by David McWilliams, is the oldest state chartered bank still in operation under its original charter and the third oldest bank in Illinois. The current building was built in 1910 and features an original dome mural painted by Viennese artist, Oskar Gross.
Beer Nuts Factory and Company Store
103 N Robinson Street, Bloomington lllinois phone:
309-827-8580 Today's BEER NUTS Peanuts were originally called "Redskins" because they were prepared with their red skins intact. The peanuts were sold over the counter and were occasionally offered at no charge to entice patrons of the original Caramel Crisp shop to buy the homemade orange drink. The company continues to produce BEER NUTS using the original 1937 recipe. All BEER NUTS products are produced by the James A. Shirk family business at a single 100,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Bloomington, Illinois, where visitors may purchase nuts at the company store and view a video tour of the manufacturing process. Hours:
Monday-Friday 8 am - 5 pm.
201 W. Jefferson Street, Joliet Illinois 60432 phone:
firstname.lastname@example.org Built along the river on land that had been Joliet's first street, Bicentennial Park was developed in 1976 to celebrate the nation's 200th birthday. The park features a beautiful Riverwalk Promenade with views of Joliet's bridges, metal silhouette sculptures and interpretive panels that describe Joliet's history, a lighted fountain named "Frannie," and an entertainment stage. Hours:
Bird Haven Greenhouse & Conservatory
225 N. Gougar Road, Joliet Illinois phone:
815-741-7278 Lord & Burnham designed this historic greenhouse featuring a tropical house, cacti-room, shows. Hours:
Daily 8 am - 4:30 pm. Rates:
Built in 1927 in Grant Park, its design is based on a Versailles Palace fountain. This is one of the largest fountains in the world. Daily music and light displays during the summer make this a popular attraction. Constructed one year after Route 66, it is the nostalgic and symbolic starting point of the road.
Catherine V. Yost House Museum
298 W Water St, Pontiac, Illinois 61764 phone:
815-844-5847 web: www.il66redcarpetcorridor.org/pontiac.html
A Queen Anne style home built in 1898 by Z.F. Yost, an attorney. The museum contains most of the Yost family possessions dating back to the 1850s. Catherine Yost was an artist who traveled and painted in both Europe and the U.S. Her artwork is on display at the museum. It is maintained by the Livingston County Historical Society. Hours:
Open by appointment.
Chatham Railroad Museum/Depot
100 N. State Street, Chatham, Illinois 62629. phone:
217- 483-7792 web: www.chathamrailroadmuseum.org
The first train from Alton to Springfield went through Chatham on September 9, 1852. The current station was built in 1902 to replace an earlier station that had burned. Western Union Telegraph and United States Express services were both available at the station and local residents could ship and receive freight such as furniture and farm supplies. After 70 years of service, the station was closed in 1972. The station is owned by the Village of Chatham and was restored by the Friends of the Depot in 1991. In 1999, the Chicago & Illinois Midland Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society signed an agreement with Chatham to re-restore the station and create the Chatham Railroad Museum. Hours:
Open 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month 2 pm - 4 pm. Or by appointment.
209 S. Green Street, Chenoa Illinois phone:
815-945-4211 Schuirman's Drug Store was founded in 1889. It was inducted into the Route 66 Hall of Fame in 2005. The building now houses Chenoa Pharmacy.
Chicago & Alton Railroad Depot/Dwight Historical Society Museum
119 W Main St, Dwight, Illinois 60420 phone
: 815-584-1652 web: www.dwighthistoricalsociety.org
This limestone structure, built in 1891, was designed by famed Chicago architect Henry Ives Cobb. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The depot continues to serve Amtrak passenger traffic between Chicago and St. Louis. It also serves as the Dwight Historical Society Museum, which preserves the history and culture that pertains to the Dwight area. Hours:
2nd & 4th Saturdays 10:00 am - 1:00 pm. Groups by Reservation
On Historic Route 66, 500 Speedway Blvd, Joliet Illinois 60433 phone:
State of the art 75,000 seat, 1.5 mile superspeedway hosting the NASCAR Winston Cup, Indy Racing League, NASCAR Busch Series, ARCA RE/MAX Series and International Race of Champions events. Hours
: see website for race schedules.
Collins Street Prison
201 N. Ottawa Street, Joliet Illinois An exhibit at the Joliet Area Historical Museum (201 N. Ottawa Street, Joliet, IL) interprets the prison. Also known as the Joliet Correctional Center, the prison was built here in 1858 by prison labor. Its 25 foot, 5 foot thick walls are made of pure Joliet limestone. It operated until 2002, having housed up to 1,300 inmates. The classic prison architecture and atmosphere has been the set for several movies and television productions including the Blues Brothers. Hours:
Historical Museum: Tuesday -Saturday 10 am - 5 pm. Sunday Noon - 5 pm.
Country Classic Cars
2149 E. Frontage Road, Staunton, Illinois phone:
618-635-7056 web: www.countryclassiccars.com
A family owned and operated business along historic Route 66 that features classic cars and trucks displayed outside and in an indoor showroom. The gift shop is loaded with reproduction collectable and Route 66 memorabilia. Hours:
Monday - Saturday 9 am- 5 pm. Rates:
$1.00 fee to view the cars.
300 East Lawrence, Springfield Illinois phone:
217-782-6776 A famous Frank Lloyd Wright prairie-style home, open for tours. In 1902, architect Frank Lloyd Wright was commissioned to design a home for Susan Lawrence Dana, a forward- thinking socialite in Springfield. The building is the best preserved and most complete of the early prairie-style homes. It contains the largest collection of site-specific, original Wright art glass and furniture. Wright traveled Route 66 with his entourage of students to reach Taliesin West (in Arizona), and would periodically stop by the house. Hours:
Wednesday - Sunday 9 am - 4 pm.
Dargon Park Sculptures
Large metal sculptures entitled "All Things Change and We Change with Them" depict the changes that humans experience while growing. Barry Tinsley, sculptor and artist, completed the design, construction, and erection of the figures in 1998.
David Davis Museum State Historic Site
1000 Monroe Drive, Bloomington Illinois phone:
309-828-1084 web: www.daviddavismansion.org
Also called Clover Lawn, this Victorian home was built in 1872 for U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Davis. In his early days, Davis rode the circuit with Abraham Lincoln. As president, Lincoln appointed Davis to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Davis mansion served as a focal point for the social, cultural, and political life of Bloomington. Today, it is operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. Hours:
Wednesday-Sunday 9 am - 4 pm. Call ahead to confirm hours. Group tours by appointment. Rates:
Suggested donation of $4/adult and $2/child
This park was created by the Illinois legislature in 1869 to give Chicagoans a nature area on the edge of the city. Several early 20th century Prairie School structures designed by landscape architect Jens Jensen and others include the Flower Hall and Reflecting Pool, the Pergola, and the Georgian style Field House. Route 66 (W. Ogden Avenue) bisects the park. A visit to this "prairie park" makes one aware of the historic growth of Chicago west into the open countryside.
100 Water Street, Wilmington, Illinois 60481 The Eagle Hotel was built as a stage stop and hotel by David Lizer in 1836. Since then it has also been a warehouse, tavern, bank, and storefront. When repairs are made from a 1990 fire, it will serve as the Wilmington Area Historical Society Museum. The hotel may be one of the oldest commercial structures on Illinois Route 66.
This beautiful wooded 1874 cemetery is the last resting place of Captain Adam Borgardus, expert marksman and performer in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, John Dean Gillett, the cattle baron, and Governor Richard Oglesby. It is said to be haunted by the ghost of Emma Gillett Oglesby.
Elkhart, IL A glacial moraine that rises above the surrounding prairie. Native tribes used this natural landmark for navigation. It was once owned by John Dean Gillett known as the "Cattle King" of Illinois.
424 N. Monroe Street, Litchfield, Illinois Located in downtown Litchfield, this ornate former Elks Lodge was built by Oliver Steigemeyer in the early 1900s in the Classical Revival style. It features an elk head statue above the main entrance.
Elwood Children's Garden
Half mile east of Mississippi Street in Elwood on Chicago Avenue phone
: 815-423-6861 This community garden has many delightful botanical nooks and mazes for children based on themes, including nursery rhymes, alphabet, and pizza ingredients. It reflects a community pride that is characteristic of the small rural towns on Illinois Route 66. Hours:
Fairmount Park Racetrack
9301 Collinsville Road, Collinsville IL phone:
618-345-4300 web: www.fairmountpark.com
Opened in 1925, this popular horse racing track is the only one in Illinois outside of the Chicago metro area. It currently offers 90 live racing days per year. Hours:
April - September
15701 S. Independence Blvd, Lockport Illinois phone:
815-836-5038 Patrick Fitzpatrick constructed this house in 1848. He was a laborer who helped construct the I&M canal. The house is made of the same limestone as that quarried for the canal. By 1860, this was one of the largest estates in the Lockport area. It is a solitary structure that has always been a Route 66 landmark. Today, it serves as the Lewis University Alumni Relations Development Office.
Flagg Farmstead B&B
500 Old Tipton School Road, Sherman, Illinois 62684 phone:
888-611-FLAG web: flaggfarmsteadbandb.com
This attractive historic home is surrounded by stately oak, maple, and hickory trees. The Farmhouse was built in 1871 for Cornelius Flagg, one of four entrepreneurs who platted the town of Sherman. The Italianate structure offers four antiqued finished bedrooms with private baths. The Flagg Farmstead is in the National Register of Historic Places.
Funk Gem and Mineral Museum
10875 Prairie Home Ln, Shirley, Illinois 61772 phone:
309-827-6792 web: www.funksgrove.org
The museum houses a large number of fossils, petrified wood, Native American artifacts and rocks that Lafayette Funk II collected from all over the world. It also interprets the Funk Brothers Seed Company. Eugene Funk, son of Lafayette, pioneered the use of hybrid corn. Hours:
Tues - Sat, 9 am - 4 pm, or by appointment. Closed January and February. Rates:
Funk Prairie Home
10875 Prairie Home Ln, Shirley, Illinois 61772 phone:
309-827-6792 web: www.funksgrove.org
This is the restored 1864 home of one of McLean County's most famous citizens, Lafayette Funk. Lafayette was co-founder and director of the Chicago Union Stockyards and served as an Illinois State Senator. The house features memorabilia and antiques owned by the Funk family, including a working Victrola and first ever electric kitchen island. Hours:
Tuesday - Saturday, 9 am - 4 pm, or by appointment. Closed January and February.
Funks Grove Cemetery
7054 E 535 North Rd, Mc Lean, Illinois 61754 web: www.funksgrove.org
A beautiful site nestled beneath the large maple trees of Funk's Grove. It includes an outdoor "Chapel of the Templed Trees." Visitors can enjoy the sanctuary-like peace of the grove and stroll through the cemetery and get a feel for the span of generations that have called this place home.
Gateway Classic Cars
5401 Collinsville Road, phone:
800-231-3616 web: www.gatewayclassiccars.com
Classic car consignments sales house that sells cars for private owners, collectors, and estates. The 105,000 square-foot showroom and museum houses hundreds of classic cars. Hours:
Monday - Friday 10 am - 5 pm, Saturdays 9 am - 5 pm
Gateway International Raceway
700 Raceway Blvd, Madison, Illinois phone
: 618-482-2400 web: www.gatewayraceway.com
In 1967, an eighth-mile drag strip was built on swampy land and called St. Louis Raceway Park. The big names in drag racing attracted 8,000 fans to a facility designed for 3,000. In 1971, the track was expanded to a quarter-mile strip and renamed St. Louis International Raceway. In 1997, the new Gateway International Raceway was opened to sellout crowds. Today, it is the site of more than 250 racing events.
200 West 8th Street, Lockport IL 60441 phone:
815-588-1100 The oldest remaining commercial building in the I&M Canal National Heritage Corridor, the limestone Gaylord Building was built in 1837 to store canal construction materials. It was acquired by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is now operated as a museum by the Canal Corridor Association. Hours
: Tuesday - Saturday 11 am - 5pm, Sundays Noon - 5 pm.
Gillett Memorial Arch Bridge
Commissioned by former Illinois first lady Emma Gillett Oglesby in 1915 as a memorial to her brother, this cast-concrete bridge serves as a link between the family cemetery and the grounds of the historic estate. The single- arch bridge is a unique visual feature along a scenic stretch of roadway. Over the years, family members and local residents have made efforts to maintain the bridge, which shows only minimal signs of wear.
Glen Carbon Covered Bridge
The bridge was constructed in 1976 to celebrate the 200th birthday of the United States. Today, it serves as a Village focal point.
Grant Park/Millennium Park
Built from landfill on the lakeshore, this park hosted the Columbian Exposition and contains many attractions including Millennium Park, the Art Institute of Chicago, Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum of Natural History, and Adler Planetarium.
Green Diamond Rail-Trail Depot
The wooden Waggoner Depot was restored in 2000 and now serves as a trailhead for the Green Diamond Rail-Trail. This is the first bicycling/pedestrian trail in Montgomery County, and it's an easy, flat ride. At 4-miles long, the trail is paved and free from motorized traffic, making it an enjoyable path for bicylists, walkers and runners.
Historic Downtown Collinsville
Collinsville's downtown has a well preserved historic district with quaint shops and beautiful architecture. Visitors can experience the area by taking a self guided tour that interprets a 1908 Bull Durham Tobacco sign, the 150 year old Blum House, the D.D. Collins House, and the old Miner's Theater.
Historic Structures in Plainfield
Joliet Road, Plainfield Illinois Three structures are listed in the National Register of Historic Places: Plainfield House (1836), Flanders House (1841), and a Standard Oil Gas Station (1928). Located within the Village are numerous Greek Revival, "upright and wing" cottages, a school built in 1847 (which may be the oldest surviving "one-room schoolhouse" in Illinois), and a number of early-19th-century homes.
3910 Berrypoint Road, Lyons IL phone:
708-442-4500 Built in 1908 by a local brewer as a centerpiece for his Des Plaines River recreational business, the tower now houses the Lyons Historical Museum. Hours:
Open during summer months.
Horseshoe Lake State Park
3321 Highway 111, Granite City Illinois phone:
618-931-0270 This 2,960 acre park is situated around an oxbow lake formed from a cut-off meander of the Mississippi River. This was an important resource for Native Americans. The park is an ideal place for bird watching. A 4-mile self guided nature trail on Walker Island features several observation areas. Fishing, boating, picnicking, and camping are popular activities.
Humiston Woods Nature Center
Located just outside Pontiac, north of 2100 N St. on the east bank of the Vermillion River. web:
www.il66redcarpetcorridor.org/pontiac.html This 400 acre natural area has bottomland and mesic forests along with a 15 acre restored prairie. It is known for its spectacular display of spring flowers, dominated by Virginia Bluebells. It features six trails, including a wheelchair accessible trail. Hours:
I&M Canal Museum
803 W. State Street, Lockport IL 60441 phone:
815-838-5080. Will County Historical Society operates a canal museum in the old I&M Canal Commission headquarters building. Here, engineer William Gooding designed the canal and supervised the contractors who hired thousands of immigrant canal workers. The original one-story building was constructed in 1837, with the two-story addition built in 1876. Docents in period dress will guide you through canal and local history exhibits. Hours:
Daily 1 pm - 4:30 pm.
Illinois State Capitol
2nd and Capitol, Springfield Illinois phone:
217-782-2099 The capitol has served the people of Illinois since 1877. Many murals, plaques, paintings and statues depict significant people and events in Illinois history. You can watch the legislature when in session. Hours:
Monday - Friday, 8 am - 4:30 pm, Saturday - Sunday, 9 am - 3:30 pm. Rates:
Illinois State Fairgrounds/The Railsplitter Giant
801 Sangamon Avenue, Springfield Illinois phone:
217-782-6661 The Fairgrounds, as well as some of the exhibition buildings, date to 1894. Located on the state fairgrounds, "The Railsplitter" Abraham Lincoln giant statue was created and built by Carl W. Rinnus in commemoration of the State of Illinois' 150th Anniversary of its statehood (1968). Hours:
Admission fee required during State Fair dates and during other events. No charge for admission during off hours.
Illinois State Museum
Capitol Complex on the corner of Spring and Edwards Streets, 217-782-7386 Houses interactive exhibitions that tell the story of the land, life, people, and art of Illinois. Hours: Monday - Saturday, 8:30 am - 5 pm, Sunday, noon - 5 pm. Rates: Free
Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation and Museum
Honors the men and women who have served on Illinois' highways since their establishment in 1922. Route 66 ("Bloody 66" as it was called) was a major patrol venue. The museum has pictures, uniforms, equipment and vintage cars dating back to the earliest years of the Illinois State Highway Patrol.
Isle a la Cache Museum
501 E. Romeo Road, Romeoville Illinois 60446 phone:
815-886-1467 This museum is situated on an island in the Des Plaines River. Meaning "Island of the Hiding Place," it is a historic fur trade site operated by the Forest Preserve of Will County. Kid-friendly hands-on exhibits deal with the fur trade of the late 18th Century including trade items and the lifestyles of the Native American people and the voyageurs who traded for animal pelts. Hours:
Tuesday - Saturday 10 am - 4 pm, Sunday Noon - 4 pm.
J.H. Hawes Grain Elevator Museum
301 SW 2nd Street, Atlanta Illinois phone:
217-648-2056 or 217-648-5077 web: www.haweselevator.org
Built in 1904 to serve area farmers, the elevator continued to operate until 1976.The City of Atlanta purchased it in 1988 and completed full restoration in 1993. The wooden grain elevator is the only one of its kind in the State of Illinois and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.Today, this museum demonstrates the unique systems used to empty horse-drawn wagons, and later unload grain trucks. Grain elevators are a signature landmark of Illinois Route 66.They were the beacons that marked towns and a promise of gas, food and lodging. The museum also includes a brick engine house and a wooden scale house/office. Hours:
Sundays 1-3 pm, during June, July and August. Or by appointment.
J.M. Judy and Sons Grocer mural
J.M. Judy operated a grocery store in Atlanta in the 1890s. This mural is a reproduction of a mural that adorned the side of this building. It was painted in June, 2002 as part of the "Route 66 Firecracker Walldog Jam" by Letterheads.
Joliet Iron Works Historic Site
927 Collins Street, Joliet Illinois 60432 phone:
815-727-8700 Follow a 1-mile walkway through the site on a self-guided tour through exhibits explaining the iron making process, and just as importantly, describing the men who worked there. Hours:
314 East Madison St., Pontiac Illinois phone:
815-844-5847 web: www.il66redcarpetcorridor.org/pontiac.html
A Gothic Revival brick house built in 1858. It is named for Henry C. Jones, founder of the Pontiac Ice & Fuel Company, and is the oldest brick home in Pontiac. It is maintained by the Livingston County Historical Society. Hours:
Open by appointment.
K Mine Park
448 S. Kankakee Street, Godley Illionis phone:
815-458-6133 This large community recreation park is named for the mine that created the community of Godley. It has a children's zoo, playground, and statues of children at play. It also has pavilions, a community recreation center, and jogging trails.
Keeley Institute/Fox Development Center
134 W. Main Street, Dwight Illinois 60420 web: www.il66redcarpetcorridor.org/dwight.html
The former Keeley Institute for the treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction is known for its stained glass windows (depicting the five senses) and for the rich and famous patients treated there. With prohibition and the downsizing of the Keeley Institute, the building served as a Veteran's Administration Hospital from 1926-1966. The building today serves as the William W. Fox Development Center.
Krotz and Sons Antiques & Stuff
1010 N. Kickapoo, Lincoln IL Originally built in the early 1900s, some of the materials were salvaged from the 1858 Logan County Courthouse where Abraham Lincoln practiced law. G. Frank Krotz bought the building in 1919, and created the "Krotz and Sons Grocery Store," which operated until the early 1970s. Today, this curiosity shop is more of a historic museum, displaying vintage auto parts, merchandise from other bygone businesses, and old photos of the city of Lincoln.
Leclaire Village Historic District
In 1890, industrialist N.O. Nelson chose a tract of land just south of Edwardsville to locate his plumbing manufacturing company. He would also create a model "utopian" village here called Leclaire, where everyone had their own home, access to schools, parks, lectures, recreation and employment. Nelson believed in profit-sharing and all employees had a stake in the company. Nelson was a visionary and is considered to be a renaissance man, years ahead of his time. Today, the Village of Leclaire has been incorporated into the City of Edwardsville. It remains a vibrant area with a beautiful lake and park, baseball field, the Edwardsville Children's Museum that is located in the former Leclaire Academy, and the factory buildings that are now the home of Lewis and Clark Community College. In 1979 the village was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Each year in October, the "Friends of Leclaire" host an annual Parkfest with food, live music, activities, a tractor parade, pony rides, a book sale, and much more.
Lewis & Clark State Historic Site Visitors Center
One Lewis and Clark Trail, Hartford, Illinois phone:
618-251-5811 web: www.campdubois.com
This state-of-the-art interpretive center is located at the winter camp area of the Lewis and Clark expedition. It focuses on the often- untold Illinois story, where the expedition was prepared and launched. The focal point exhibit is a 55-foot full-scale replica of the expedition's keel boat. This is the starting point for the National Lewis and Clark Heritage Trail. Hours:
The visitors center is open Wednesday -Sunday 9am-5pm.
Lexington Route 66 Park
A small wayside park along Route 66 that provides information about historic Lexington and serves as a trailhead for the "Lexington Parkway" Route 66 Bike Trail. Hours: Year-Round.
Lincoln Christening Site
101 N. Chicago Street, Lincoln, Illinois The site where Abraham Lincoln christened the town with the juice of a watermelon on August 27, 1853. A watermelon statue and interpretive panel mark the site at the intersection of Broadway and Chicago Streets.
Lincoln City Hall
700 Broadway Street, Lincoln Illinois Built in 1895, the red brick for the building came from the Lincoln Coal Company. A unique telephone booth on the roof was added later and was used by weather spotters to phone in sighted storms. Lincoln City Hall anchors the downtown National Historic Registered District and is one of the city's most visible symbols.
Lincoln College Museum
300 Keokuk Street, Lincoln Illinois phone:
217-735-5050 web: www.lincolncollege.edu/museum
The museum is a repository of a large collection of manuscripts, artifacts, and other memorabilia relating to the life of Abraham Lincoln. The college also houses the Museum of Presidents, to honor the Chief Executives from Washington to the present day. Hours:
Monday - Friday 9 am - 4:00 pm, Saturday - Sunday 1 pm - 4 pm
10th & Monroe Streets, Springfield Illinois phone:
217-544-8695 or 788-1356 Three months after his election in November 1860, Abraham Lincoln left Springfield from this depot for Washington, D.C. to become the 16th President of the United States. The special train that would take him there left the Great Western Depot on the rainy morning of Monday, February 11, 1861, the last day Lincoln spent in Springfield. Hours:
May - August. Open daily. 10 am - 4 pm. Rates: Free
Lincoln Memorial Gardens
2301 East Lake Shore Drive, Springfield, Illinois Phone:
217-529-1111 Founded in 1936 as a living memorial to Abraham Lincoln. All plants in the garden are native to the three states Lincoln lived in— Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. Located on Lake Springfield, the gardens were designed by famed Chicago landscape architect, Jens Jensen. Because of this association with Jensen, the gardens were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992. A nature center and gift shop are open every day except Monday. Hours:
Year-Round. Sunrise to Sunset.
Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices
6th St & Adams St, Springfield, IL 62701. 217-785-7960 Lincoln and his partner, William Herndon, occupied this building from 1843-1852. This is the only surviving building where Abraham Lincoln worked as a lawyer. It has been restored and tours are provided. Hours: Open daily May 15 – September 7. Rest of the year: Saturdays only. 9 am - 4 pm. Rates: Free
Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site
15588 History Lane, Petersburg, Illinois phone:
217-632-4000 About 2 miles south of Petersburg and about 20 miles northwest of Springfield is a reconstruction of the pioneer village where Abraham Lincoln spent his early adulthood. The six years Lincoln spent in New Salem formed a turning point in his career. Twelve log houses, the Rutledge Tavern, ten workshops, stores, mills, and a school where church services were held have been reproduced and furnished as they might have been in the 1830s. Daily demonstrations and special events make this a wonderful half- day visit. Hours:
Year-Round. Wednesday - Saturday 9 am - 5 pm.
On the day President Lincoln died, April 15, 1865, Springfield citizens began raising funds to build a memorial. On May 3, the body was delivered to Springfield and stored in a receiving vault at Oak Ridge Cemetery. The tomb, built of granite with a 117-foot high obelisk, was completed in 1874. This is the final resting place for Abraham Lincoln, his wife Mary Todd, and three of their four sons.
This former "borrow pit" was excavated for the expansion of Route 66 into a four- lane highway. In the early 1990s, it was transformed into a small park with fishing, picnic tables, a playground, and walking path.
Litchfield Carnegie Public Library
400 N State Street, Litchfield, Illinois phone:
217-324-3866 web: www.litchfieldpubliclibrary.org
The public library is housed in an original 1904 Carnegie building. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. Hours:
Monday, Wednesday & Friday 10 am - 5 pm, Tuesday and Thursday 1 pm - 8 pm, Saturday 10 am - 2 pm.
Livingston County Courthouse
112 W Madison St, Pontiac, Illinois 61764 web: www.il66redcarpetcorridor.org/pontiac.html
Located on the square, the courthouse was built in 1875 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. J.C. Cochrane designed the historic edifice of the county's third courthouse. An Abraham Lincoln statue on the south side of the courthouse lawn memorializes the numerous visits Lincoln made to Pontiac between 1810 and 1860.
Livingston County Poor Farm Cemetery
The cemetery is completely surrounded by farm fields. Livingston County residents that had no money were buried here from 1877 to 1934. The site was part of the Almshouse, built by the county in 1859 to provide a home for people who were poor, mentally or physically ill. In 2004, the cemetery was restored by local citizens, which included a marker along Old Route 66.
Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve
Route 53 (Broadway) and Division Street, Lockport Illinois phone:
815-726-3306 web: www.fpdwc.org
Located in the Des Plaines River Valley, adjacent to Route 66, with an open view toward Lockport, this Will County preserve is a 254-acre surviving remnant of the rare "wet dolomite prairie" habitat. Shallow limestone restricts the prairie plant's roots, and the site is notable for its high number of federal- and state-threatened and endangered species. 0.4 mile trail. Hours:
April - October 8 am - 8 pm, November - March 8 am - 5 pm.
Logan County Courthouse
601 Broadway St., Lincoln, Illinois 62656 phone:
217-732-8687 Erected in 1905, the courthouse is located on the square, which is a historic district. The stone, three-story, domed structure is considered the second most architecturally spectacular historic courthouse in Illinois' 102 Counties (after Carlinville in Macoupin County, another Historic Route 66 town). It houses a statue of Lincoln, murals, plus historical display cases.
Loomis House Hotel
Main and Broad Streets, Carlinville, Illinois web: www.carlinvillechamber.com
A former 50 room hotel designed by E.E. Meyers, the architect of the "Million Dollar Courthouse." Judge Thaddeus Loomis contracted with Meyer for the construction of the hotel at the same time that he oversaw the construction of the controversial courthouse and jail. When the $50,000 construction project began to spin out of control, people publicly charged Judge Loomis with corruption. Although never fully responding to the charges, Loomis did admit that the hotel limestone was indeed taken from the courthouse project—but only from the leftover scrap! He survived the scandal with his reputation somewhat intact. His town clerk and associate, George Holiday, skipped town at the peak of the controversy, never to be seen again. A 1909 pharmacy on the first floor is beautifully preserved.
Macoupin County "Million Dollar" Courthouse
Block between East and High Streets, Carlinville, Illinois web: www.carlinvillechamber.com
Designed by E.E. Meyers in 1867, the court house began as a $50,000 project supported by bonds and taxes. By the time it was completed in 1870, the cost was over $1.3 million, and it was one of the largest courthouses (second perhaps to one in New York) in the U.S. It took 40 years for the county to pay it off. The scandalous cost inspired the nickname of "Million Dollar Courthouse." It is recognized as the most magnificent courthouse in Illinois.
Macoupin County Historical Museum
432 Breckenridge Street, Carlinville, Illinois phone:
217-854-8916 or 217-854-8500 web: www.macsociety.org
Housed in the Victorian-style Anderson Mansion, the museum consists of two stories of antiques and collectibles from Macoupin County's past. Hours
: Wednesdays during April - November, 10am-2pm or by appointment.
Macoupin County Jail
215 East Street, Carlinville, Illinois Across from the courthouse. web: www.carlinvillechamber.com
The historic jail was open from 1869 to 1988. This Gothic Revival stone structure has cannonballs embedded within the walls to help prevent jail breaks. Only one person ever escaped and was apprehended a few blocks away.
Madigan (Railsplitter) State Park
1366 1010th Ave, Lincoln, Illinois phone:
217- 735-2424 Formerly known as Railsplitter State Park, the land was acquired by the State of Illinois in 1970 from the Department of Mental Health. It is home to the largest sycamore tree in Illinois. Seven miles of trails, picnic tables, shelters, and playground equipment are available to visitors. The park was renamed in 1995 to honor Edward R. Madigan. Hours:
Open year-round. Sunrise to sunset.
Magnuson Grand Hotel and Conference Center
I-55 & IL Route 108, Carlinville, Illinois This hotel is located several miles east of Carlinville on the 1940-77 alignment, just off of I-55 between Waggoner and Litchfield. A large paddle boat called the Carlin Belle is located in a pond on the hotel grounds. The owner has a passion for boats, which shows in the decorating scheme and restaurant names ("Captain's Table," "Yacht Club Lounge").
13 Franks Lane, Litchfield Illinois Established in the 1850s by Michael Mankse, an immigrant from Prussia, the site has some of the region's most complete examples of 19th and early 20th-century farm architecture including several barns, a granary, a brick smokehouse and a windmill that has been part of an Oklahoma State University study on the subject. The farm was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.
121 S. Main Street, Wilmington Illinois 60481 phone:
815-476-4662 web: www.the-mar.com
Built in 1937, the building has only been used as a movie theatre. The original auditorium comfortably seats 300 moviegoers with a new second auditorium accommodating 64 patrons. Outside, the original marquee is still used to inform moviegoers of current shows. The Mar is still a first run theatre and is one of the oldest and the only privately-owned operating movie theatre in the Will County Area. Hours
: Daily showings. Call or visit website for show times.
Matthew T. Scott Home
227 North First Street, Chenoa Illinois phone:
815-945-4555 web: www.chenoail.org/scott_house_brochure.html
The home of agriculturalist, Matthew T. Scott and wife Julia Green Scott, one of the founders of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Scott established Chenoa in 1854. Hours:
Sundays 2 - 4 pm, or by appointment.
Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish & Wildlife Area
IL Route 53 and Huston Rd, Braceville Illinois phone:
815-237-0063 web: www.dnr.state.il.us
Built on an old strip mine, the area consists of 1,017 acres dedicated to fish and wildlife management. Mazonia is well known among fossil collectors for its Pennsylvanian fossils. The maze of finger lakes created from surface coal mining is well worth a visit—a rare chance to experience the dramatic physical changes that mining has on the landscape. Hours:
McKinley Bridge Roadside Park
Located on the east side of McKinley Bridge, this small roadside park commemorates the history of McKinley Bridge and Madison County. A kiosk with interpretive panels describes the region's cities, transportation, geography, and industry. A modest interpretation of Route 66 is included in the panel text. A tall metal sculpture called "Salute to Steel" is topped with intertwined rings (that represent Venice, Madison, and Granite City). The park also features benches and picnic tables. The sculpture and park were dedicated in November, 2007 when the McKinley Bridge was re-opened.
McLean County Courthouse and Museum of History
200 N. Main Street, Bloomington Illinois phone:
309-827-0428 web: www.mchistory.org
The museum is housed in the Old McLean County Courthouse, built in 1900, which served the McLean County Circuit Court until 1976. This example of monumental architecture is well preserved. National award winning exhibits guide visitors through the county's history. It is also one of the top five genealogical reference libraries in the country. Hours:
Monday & Wednesday -Saturday 10 am - 5 pm, Tuesdays 10 am - 9 pm.
Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie Preserve and Welcome Center
30239 S State Route 53, Wilmington, Illinois phone:
815-423-6370 web: www.fs.fed.us/mntp/
The 18,000 acre Midewin Tallgrass Prairie extends from Elwood to Wilmington. The Welcome Center is two miles north of Wilmington along Historic Route 66. It has exhibits and a bookstore. Welcome Center Hours:
Daily 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. The Prairie Preserve encompasses 18,000 acres of the former Joliet Army Ammunition Plant, this is the largest tallgrass prairie restoration in North America. Historic Route 66 bisects the preserve. The immensity of this open grassland contrasts with the urban landscape of Chicagoland. It is a visual introduction to the prairie farmland of Illinois Route 66. Preserve Hours:
Daily Sunrise - Sunset. Rates:
Miller Park and Zoo
1020 South Morris Avenue, Bloomington Illinois phone:
309-434-2250 web: www.cityblm.org
Located in the southwest part of Bloomington, the park features a restored 1906 pavilion, lake, war memorials, and a preserved steam locomotive, coal car, and caboose from the Nickel Plate Railroad. The zoo has an indoor tropical rain forest that houses exotic birds and an outdoor exhibit with lions, red wolves, snow leopards, and more. Hours:
Open daily 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.Rates: Adults $4.50, Kids 3-12 $3.50, Kids under 3 free.
Mother Jones Monument
Located in the Union Miner's Cemetery, the granite monument was added in 1936. Mary "Mother" Jones is buried here at her own request, as is Alexander "General" Bradley who organized the strike leading to the October 1897 riot in Virden.
National Shrine of St. Therese and Castle Eden
8501 Bailey Road, Darien, Illinois phone:
630-969-3311 or 630-969-4141 web: www.saint-therese.org
Castle Eden, built in 1903, is a 1/10 scale model of the White House. The former 50 acre estate on which it stands is now the National Shrine of St. Therese and Carmelite Retreat Center. The shrine has a museum and gift shop. The chapel holds the largest religious wood carving in the country, hand carved in Italy of lindenwood. Hours:
Open Monday - Friday. Call ahead for tour and mass times.
Niehaus Cycle Sales
718 N Old Route 66, Litchfield, Illinois phone:
217-324-6565 web: www.niehauscycle.com
A family-run business since the early 1970s, Niehaus Cycle Sales sells motorcycles, trailers, clothing, and accessories. It is housed in a retro building with exterior neon trim, themed to Route 66. The owners plan to create a cycle museum in the building.
209 North Street, Normal Illinois phone:
309-454-9720 or 309-454-9722 web: www.normaltheater.com
The theater has been completely restored to its original condition when it opened in 1937. The first theater designed for sound films, today it shows classic films and hosts live theater and music. Hours:
See website for show schedule.
Normal Water Works Tower/Fell Park
Fell Park, East Willow Street, Normal, Illinois 61761 web: www.normal.org
Created in the mid-1850s, this is the oldest park in Normal. Over the years, the park has served as a cow pasture and religious gathering space. The town constructed the Normal Water Works Tower in the park in 1898 to provide water in times of emergency. The brick sidewalks surrounding the park were constructed in the early 1900s. Hours:
Norton Building/Illinois State Museum Lockport Gallery
201 W. 10th Street, Lockport Illinois 60441 phone:
815-838-7400 The Illinois State Museum Lockport Gallery is located on the first floor of the historic Norton Building, a limestone structure built by Hiram Norton around 1850. Strategically placed at the edge of the I&M Canal, the large, arched portals were used as access points for storing, processing, and packaging barrels of grain. Hours:
Tuesday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm, Sunday Noon - 5 pm.
Old City Hall Shoppes
321 N Main Street, Pontiac, Illinois Located next to the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum are several craft and antique shops in Pontiac's Old 1900 City Hall. The shops offer Route 66 souvenirs. Hours:
Tuesday - Saturday 10 - 5. Sunday Noon - 4 pm.
Old Gillett Farm
The Old Gillett Farm is an historic seventh generation farm on Elkhart Hill. It covers 700 acres with beautiful gardens, the Elkhart Grove Forest Preserve, and open fields. Accommodations are available in the Brick House guest house. Tours of the Big House and Chapel, complete with stories about family associations with notable Illinoisans including Abraham Lincoln, are available by appointment. Visit oldgillettfarm.org for rates and reservations.
Old State Capitol
112 N 6th St, Springfield, Illinois 62702 phone:
217-785-7961 This is considered by many to be Lincoln's capitol as it was here that he argued cases before the Illinois Supreme Court, served in the state legislature, first confronted Stephen Douglas, and where he delivered his famous "House Divided" speech. Hours:
Tuesday - Saturday, 9 am - 5 pm. Rates:
Oughton Estate Windmill
101 West South Street, Dwight Illinois 60420 web: www.il66redcarpetcorridor.org/dwight.html
The windmill is a prominent landmark on the John Oughton estate property. The 5-story, eight-sided, steel-framed windmill was built in 1896 to help pump water for the Oughton estate, which included the buildings that now house Country Mansion Restaurant and the Public Library. The estate, including the windmill, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. This entire property is an inviting public space. Hours:
Oughton House/Country Mansion Restaurant
101 West South Street, Dwight, Illinois 60420 phone:
1-800-892-5969 web: www.thecountrymansion.com
Built in 1891 on a different site, the Scott Boarding House was moved to the Keeley Estate in 1894. The building was remodeled into a home for John Oughton, a co-founder of the Keeley Institute. When Oughton died in 1925, the home became lodging for patients of the Keeley Institute. When the institute folded in 1965, Oughton's grandson converted the building into a restaurant. The handcrafted oak and maple woodwork and original fireplaces in the lounge area can be seen while eating lunch or dinner. Hours: Restaurant:
Open Tues - Sunday. Call or visit website for daily hours.
North Cherry Street, Lexington Pool Park, Lexington, Illinois 61753 phone:
309-365-3091 Located in P.J. Keller Park, the cabin was built by the area's first settler, John Patton in June, 1829 with the help of the Kickapoo and Delaware Indians. This cabin is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Hours:
Open every Sunday in June, July and August from 2-4pm.
Pioneer Gothic Church
201 N. Franklin Street, Dwight Illinois 60420 phone:
815-584-1959 web: www.il66redcarpetcorridor.org/dwight.html
The church was built in 1857 and is known for its rare example of wooden "Carpenter Gothic" architecture. Restored in 1968, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Prince of Wales, future King Edward IV, participated in worship here in 1860.
201 W. 10th Street, Lockport Illinois 60441 phone:
815-838-7400. Behind the Illinois State Museum on the site of the canal Public Landing, is the Pioneer Settlement. These historic structures were moved here from different parts of Will County when they were threatened with demolition in the 1960s. They are reconstructed to give the impression of an early village. Hours:
Pontiac Swinging Bridges
Chataqua Park, Play Park, Humiston-Riverside Park, Pontiac Illinois web: www.il66redcarpetcorridor.org/pontiac.html
Pontiac is the only city in Central Illinois with three swinging bridges. The bridges span the Vermilion River and were originally built so residents could get to work. An 1828 bridge connects Riverview Drive and Play Park. It was first built of iron in 1898 but today is a wooden structure. A 1926 bridge connects Play Park and Chautaqua Park. A 1978 bridge connects the south side of the city with Humiston-Riverside Park.
Post Office Mural by James Daugherty
The Virden post office has a New Deal-era mural painted by James Daugherty entitled "Illinois Pastoral" is in the U.S. Post Office on Route 4. It is the only post office mural by Daugherty, a noted author and illustrator.
Postville Courthouse State Historic Site
914 Fifth Street, Lincoln Illinois web: www.postvillecourthouse.com
The building is a reproduction of the first Logan County Courthouse in use from 1840 to 1847 where Abraham Lincoln served as a lawyer on the Eighth Judicial Circuit. Hours:
Tuesday-Saturday, noon to 5:00 pm during March - October, noon to 4:00 pm during November - February.
Prairie Aviation Museum
2929 East Empire Street, Bloomington IL. phone:
www.prairieaviationmuseum.org Features a collection of preserved aircraft, revolving aviation exhibits and memorabilia, and a mini-theatre. Exhibits include a Bell Sea Cobra, Huey Helicopter, and F-14 Tomcat. The museum's DC-3 Flagship is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Hours:
Tuesday - Saturday 11 am - 4 pm. Sunday Noon to 4 pmAdults: $4 Children 6-11: $2, 5 and under: free
North Prairie Avenue, Dwight IL. Renfrew Park is a nearly 20-acre parcel deeded to the Village of Dwight by David McWilliams in 1897. It was named for Baron Renfrew, the title used by future King Edward VII on his visit to Dwight in 1860.
102 N. Chicago Street, Joliet Illinois phone:
815-726-6600 web: www.rialtosquare.com
On May 24, 1926, the Rialto Theater opened, unveiling a stunning reflection of Greek, Roman and Byzantine architecture. Serving the public for years, the theater underwent a complete restoration in 1980 and continues to offer a wide selection of performances today. Hours:
Tours available on Tuesdays at 1:30 pm. Group tours by appointment. Rates:
Tours $5 per person.
Riverside Landscape Architectural District
10 Pine Avenue, Riverside, Illinois phone:
708-447-2542 web: riversidemuseum.net
This charming village is the site of many homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan and other prominent Chicago architects. The entire village is designated a National Historic Landmark. It is also one of the first planned suburban communities in the country, designed by noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. A community tour is available online through the outstanding Riverside Historical Museum. This beautiful community has graced Route 66 for its entire existence. Hours:
Riverside Historical Museum: Saturdays, 10 am to 2 pm. Also on designated evenings during the summer months, or by appointment.
Route 66 Classic Motors
6420 S. Joliet Road, La Grange Hlds IL 60525 phone:
708-588-1560 Houses a 6,000 square-foot showroom with extensive and varied collectible automobiles. It was given dealership status in 2002 and is staffed by collector car enthusiasts. Hours:
call ahead for hours.
Route 66 Raceway
500 Speedway Blvd, Joliet Illionis 60433 phone:
815-722-5500 web: www.route66raceway.com
A high-octane entertainment facility featuring concerts, motorsports, and more, including NHRA National Drag Racing events and Demolition Derbies. Hours:
see website for event schedule.
This cemetery contains graves from 1850-1916. Restoration began in 1981. The scattered headstones were gathered together to create a monument on a gravel pad.
A skyscraper constructed in 1973 by the Sears, Roebuck & Co. At the time, it was the tallest building in the world. Today, it continues to be the tallest building in the United States at 1,451 feet tall. The Sears Tower Skydeck located on the 103rd floor, 1,353 feet up, is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Chicago, and provides a commanding view of Ogden Avenue and the Southwest suburbs of Route 66. Eastbound motorists are lured to the downtown by its towering height. Sears Tower is symbolic of the big, bold, and booming City of Broad Shoulders
Skyscrapers and Historic Buildings
Many significant structures line the inbound and outbound Route 66 corridors of West Jackson Blvd and Adams Street. Of special interest to travelers are the Sears Tower, Marquette Building, Chicago Board of Trade, Union Station, and Old St. Patrick's Church. You have the sense that you are in the nation's economic hub as you walk through the narrow concrete canyons. The monumental buildings and dense traffic provide a contrast to the open farmland on the rest of Illinois Historic Route 66.
Smiley Water Tower
Atlanta's bright yellow water tower with a smiley face painted on it is an inviting welcome to Route 66 travelers.
Springers Creek Winery
817 Hillsboro Avenue, Edwardsville, Illinois phone:
618-656-0815 web: www.springerscreekwinery.com
Owned and operated by Sam Makler, The Springers Creek Winery is housed in a historic 1910 storefront grocery and an adjacent historic house. Many classic decorative features still exist, including an awning over the entrance with original pressed metal enhancements. The residence has a unique copper Lincoln head embedded into its front steps. Locally produced wine, like a semi-sweet Route 66 blush, is served and sold in this cozy, restored environment. The old building is full of antiques, comfortable spaces, and a wine garden where the owner, a professional musician, provides evening entertainment with acoustical instruments. This is an opportunity to interact with locals and travelers in a friendly atmosphere. Hours:
Thursdays noon - 9 pm, Friday & Saturday noon - 10 pm, Sunday noon - 7 pm
St. John the Baptist Chapel
In 1890, John Dean Gillett's wife, Lermira, had a chapel built in the Elkhart Cemetery in honor of her husband. This chapel, known as Chapel of St. John the Baptist, is the only privately owned chapel in the state of Illinois.
St. Louis Street Historic District
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in the 1880s and 90s, the homes on St. Louis Street represent several architectural styles. Located on St. Louis Street, just west of where Route 66 turns to the east.
Standard Addition/Sears and Roebuck Mail Order Houses
Around Charles and Rice Streets, Carlinville, Illinois phone:
This largest U.S. collection of 156 Sears and Roebuck mail order houses, built in 1918 for the mine workers of the Standard Oil Company, can be toured using a guide available from most shops. The neighborhood is known as the Standard Addition and 152 of the 156 homes are still standing.
Stateville Correctional Center
Crest Hill, Illinois This prison has a historic 1925 "roundhouse" design and is still in operation. While not open to the public, it has an ominous presence for Route 66 travelers and has many stories to tell. The U.S. government tested malaria vaccines on prisoners during WWII. Leopold and Loeb, two university students who murdered a boy in 1924 to prove they could commit the perfect crime, were incarcerated here. And serial killer John Wayne Gacy was put to death here in 1994.
Sugar Creek Covered Bridge
This historic 1880 bridge was built by Thomas Black. It spans 60 feet across Sugar Creek. The bridge has been restored and is open to foot traffic. A quaint park adjacent to the bridge and creek is an ideal place for a picnic.
Sugar Grove Nature Center
4532 N. 725 East Road, Funks Grove Illinois phone:
309-874-2174 web: www.funksgrove.org
The center is located among over 1,000 acres of high quality natural areas. Funks Grove is the largest remaining intact prairie grove in the state of Illinois. It contains four dedicated nature preserves and has been designated as a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. Department of Interior. Over five miles of well maintained trails take visitors through prairie, forest, and riverine habitats. The center has interpretive exhibits, sensory displays, and live animals. Hours:
Nature Center: April - October : Tuesday - Friday 9 am - 5 pm. Saturdays 10 am - 3 pm. November - March: Tuesday - Saturday, 10 am - 3 pm. Trails are open year-round, dawn until dusk.
The Chicago Architecture Foundation
Located in the historic Santa Fe Building where the Road began and ended in 1926. Visitors are offered exhibits, tours and Chicago memorabilia. See Foundation website for list of tours and times.
The Holy Dormition of the Theotokos Russian Orthodox Church
300 North 4th Street, Benld, Illinois 62009 Benld is noted for its Italian and Russian miners, and the picturesque onion-domed Russian Orthodox Church was established there in 1907. The parish has become a historical site because it is the only Russian Orthodox Parish under the Moscow Patriarchate in the state of Illinois.
Three Roses Bed and Breakfast
209 E. Howard Street, Pontiac, Illinois phone:
www.threerosesbedandbreakfast.com This charming B&B operates in the Jamison House, a Victorian home from about 1890. The owners, David and Sharon Hansen, are strong supporters of Route 66.
Three Roses Bed and Breakfast
209 E. Howard Street, Pontiac, Illinois phone:
www.threerosesbedandbreakfast.com This charming B&B operates in the Jamison House, a Victorian home from about 1890. The owners, David and Sharon Hansen, are strong supporters of Route 66.
Historic Highway 66, Towanda, Illinois 61776 The largest Italianate Farmhouse in McLean County, Towanda Meadows was built in the late 1860s by livestock businessman William R. Duncan nearly a decade after the Civil War. Duncan built his home just east of the Chicago and Alton Railroad Line, situated on the low hill near Towanda and intended for people to admire it. James H. Scott purchased the mansion from Duncan's heirs. Later owners included D. W. Kraft of Normal and his daughter Helen Kraft. It is currently undergoing restoration. South of Towanda, visible from I-55.
Two-cell Jail and Christiansen Memorial
Christian Christiansen was born in Norway in 1859, immigrated to the U.S. in 1881, and was ordained as a Lutheran preacher in 1888. He served as a pastor of churches in the Gardner area for much of his life. At the age of 83, his knowledge of the Norway landscape helped defeat Nazi Germany. He showed the Allies a route that allowed commandos to destroy Nazi atomic bomb plants. The King of Norway cited him for his valuable war effort. The Gardner two-cell jail was built in 1906 and is a popular photo opportunity for travelers. A memorial adjacent to the jail honors Rev. Christian Christiansen for his contributions that helped prevent the construction of Nazi atomic bombs.
Union Miners Cemetery
Miners killed in the Virden Mine Riot were denied burial in the established cemeteries. In response, the local union purchased a one acre site and the bodies were moved to the new Union Miners' Cemetery in 1899. Over the years, additional land was acquired and a monument was dedicated on October 11, 1936. The cemetery is the final resting place of Mary Harris "Mother" Jones, a fierce advocate for the rights of both miners and children. Before her death at the age of 100 in 1930, Mary Jones requested to be buried with "her boys" – the coal miners that she championed for decades. The cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Union Station Visitors Center
500 E. Madison, Springfield Illinois (adjacent to the Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library Complex) phone:
217-557-4588 Designed in the Richardson Romanesque style in 1896 as a combined passenger terminal for several railroads serving Springfield. The station closed in 1971 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building has been extensively restored, including its beautiful three-story clock tower, as a state visitor center. Hours:
Open daily 9 am - 5 pm.
Virden History Mural
A mural on the side of the Sav-Mor Building depicts events in the history of the town, including Route 66.
Virden Miner's Riot Memorial/Central Park
The town's central park has a large granite and bronze three-dimensional memorial depicting the 1898 Virden Miner's Riot. The memorial was dedicated in October of 2006. The park has a historic bandstand that recalls an era of Saturday night band concerts and ice cream socials. A Soldier's Monument commemorates local veterans who served in WWI.
Walker Store and Historic Depot
The Walker Store was a grocery store and gas station until the late 1970s, when it became an antique store. The abandoned rustic storefront complete with rusting gas pump is a nostalgic introduction to the community. Across the road is an abandoned historic depot that was moved from Shirley. The original Funks Grove Depot is located at the Maple Sirup Camp.
War Memorials: WWII, Korean and Vietnam
Oak Ridge Cemetery, 1441 Monument Ave, Springfield, Illinois 62702 The World War II Veterans Memorial
Oak Ridge Cemetery, 1500 Monument Ave, Springfield, IL 62702. This memorial was dedicated on December 4, 2004 to honor the 987,000 men and women from the State of Illinois who served in the war, including 22,000 who lost their lives. The design centerpiece is a globe 12 feet in diameter with metal buttons that show the locations of major battles. The Korean War State Memorial
Oak Ridge Cemetery, 1441 Monument Ave, Springfield, IL 62702. This memorial was dedicated on June 16, 1996 to honor the 1,748 Illinoisans killed during the war. It consists of a 12-foot tall bronze bell mounted on a granite base with a carillon system that plays music. The Illinois Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Oak Ridge Cemetery, 1441 Monument Ave, Springfield, IL 62702. This memorial was dedicated in 1988 to honor the 3,000 Illinois troops killed or listed as missing during the war. The center of the monument is an eternal flame supported by five vertical gray granite walls. Hours:
Memorials available for viewing year-round.
Washington Park Botanical Gardens and Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon
1740 West Fayette Ave, Springfield Illinois phone:
217-753-6228 web: www.springfieldparks.org
The Botanical Gardens is a domed conservatory with tropical foliage and more. The Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon is one of the largest carillons in the world, and one of the few open to the public. View bells and playing mechanisms during a narrated tour with video presentation. Hours:
Year-Round. Monday - Friday, noon - 4 pm. Sat - Sun, noon - 5 pm.
Watt Brothers Pharmacy
830 N. Grand Avenue East, Springfield Illinois phone: 217-522-3711 First open in 1938, Watt Bros. is the oldest pharmacy in the Springfield area. Located on the north side of the city, near the Ill.State Fairgrounds, it was inducted into the Route 66 Hall of Fame in 2001.
Willoughby Heritage Farm and Conservation Reserve
631 Willoughby Lane, Collinsville, Illinois phone:
618-346-7529 web: www.collinsvillerec.com
This 40-acre farmstead dates from the 1900s and is the last significant tract of open space along the Collinsville bluff line. It is currently being restored and maintained by the Collinsville Area Recreation District (CARD). The goal of the project is to educate the public about the family farm of the 1920s-50s, as well as the region's natural history. A restored barn, historic farm house, chicken coop, gardens, and interpretive trails are located on the site. This is an opportunity to experience local farm heritage and feel the geographic transition from Illinois prairies to Mississippi bluffs. Hours:
Daily 10 am - 4 pm.
Yanda Log Cabin
148 S. Main St, Glen Carbon, Illinois 62034 web: www.glen-carbon.il.us
This historic cabin is believed to have been built by blacksmith William Yanda in 1853. William Yanda (1818-1885) and his wife Annie Zeola (1823-1901) were immigrants from Bohemia, Austria. William and Annie and their ten children lived in the cabin. Frank (1846-1912), their oldest son also became a blacksmith. He practiced his craft in other towns in the area and eventually moved back to the "homeplace" in 1882 with his wife Anna Benda (1845-1912). Frank and Anna raised eleven children in the cabin. Frank sold the cabin to his son Frank Jr. (one of the early mayors of the Village of Glen Carbon). Frank Jr. did not have any children. He sold the cabin and eventually the Village of Glen Carbon bought the lot and cabin in 1989. A cabin renovation was begun the 1989 and was concluded in time for the Village's Centennial Celebration in June 1992.