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McLean County Museum of History Expands Outreach while Shelter in Place Continues
Mar 27, 2020
As the spread of COVID-19 became a reality, following the recommendations of health officials the Museum responded by closing our doors to the public the week of March 14. Since then the staff has been meeting regularly, using the Zoom App, and only essential staff have been working in short shifts on site to ensure facilities are sound and the archives and collections remain safe. The staff continues to communicate with members and community partners concerning event and programming rescheduling and cancellations.
Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway Announces New Executive Director
Mar 11, 2020
The Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Casey Wichmann as the organization’s Executive Director. Wichmann brings to the Byway a wealth of knowledge and an extensive background in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. She brings more than a decade of non-profit experience to the organization including work with the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield and most recently, the state-wide Illinois Association of Park Districts. An experienced Director of Marketing and Development, Wichmann also brings years of experience in event planning, financial and human resource management, fundraising, grant writing and strategic planning to the Byway. Wichmann is a 1998 graduate of Western Illinois University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management.
Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway Unveils New Route 66 Display at State of Illinois Stratton Office Building in Springfield
Feb 21, 2020
On February 18, 2020, a new Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway display was unveiled at a ceremony at the State of Illinois Stratton Office Building in Springfield, Illinois. The display features thematic sections of the current Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway visitor guide. Over 125 attractions, businesses and tourism partners are represented in the display. Highlights include museums, iconic restaurants, giant statues, breweries, neon signs and downtown districts along Illinois Route 66. Prominently featured is a copy of “The Green Book”, which was an essential guide for African American safe travel during the Jim Crow era. Also included is an example of the Illinois Route 66 specialty license plate, which is available for cars, light trucks and motorcycles in the state.
Gemini Giant Lighting Ceremony a Glowing Success!
Jun 17, 2019

Holly Higgins Barker and Tully Tornado Garrett have done it again! After a phenomenal Ribbon Cutting Ceremony that recently marked the re-opening of The Launching Pad, the duo has set their sites on restoring The Gemini Giant to its glory and beyond. 

Ambler Becker Texaco Gas Station Sets Attendance Record at Red Carpet Corridor
May 06, 2019
A record 892 people signed the guest book at the Texaco Welcome Center this past weekend at the 13th annual Red Carpet Corridor Festival. Visitors signed in from Chicago and its suburbs to the Quad Cities, from Peoria to Park Ridge, from Wisconsin, Indiana, Canada, the Czech Republic, England, Poland, Argentina, France and Spain, just to name a few.
2019 Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership Annual Board Meeting
Mar 11, 2019
The Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership held its third Annual Board of Directors Meeting February 22-23, 2019, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Highlights of the meeting included an update on efforts to designate Route 66 a National Historic Trail, the 2019 budget, a new partnership policy, reports from working groups and task forces, and the election of the 2019 Board Officers.
Iconic Sonrise Doughnut Sign Acquired by Springfield's Convention & Visitors Bureau
Dec 14, 2018
The City of Springfield’s Convention and Visitors Bureau announced today (12/14/18) the city is the new owner of the iconic Route 66 Sonrise Doughnut sign. In partnership with Ace Sign Company who assisted the city in navigating the bidding process, the Convention & Visitors Bureau purchased the complete sign to retain its historic value for $22,000.
36 on 66 – Abe’s Carmelcorn Shoppe Begins a Year of Celebration
Oct 09, 2018

In early 2018, during the winter months, Abe’s Carmelcorn Shoppe, located at 117 N. Kickapoo Street in Historic Downtown Lincoln, Illinois, underwent a major renovation to the interior of the building. The result was stunning – new flooring and lighting accented by classic wood fixtures. In addition, the floor space was increased by 500 square feet to accommodate the unique shopping experience that features a cutting-edge selection of merchandise designed to make memories of a lifetime.

Rising From the Ashes on Route 66
Sep 06, 2018
The Parkview Food & Pub, better known as the Parkview Inn, in Bloomington, Illinois, is on a mission to reopen after a it caught fire awhile back and virtually destroyed the historic establishment. The Parkview sits on a 1930 to 1940 alignment of Route 66 at 1003 S. Morris Ave. The Parkview has been around since 1928, and is Bloomington's oldest restaurant that has remained on the same site. This means it is only a few years newer than the very beginnings of Route 66.
McLean County Museum Hires New Executive Director
Mar 27, 2018
Adam Lovell, of Reedsville Wisconsin, has been named the new Executive Director at the McLean County Museum of History. Lovell has over 18 years’ experience in museum operations.  Most recently, he spent two years as Assistant Director and Curator at the Rahr-West Art Museum in Manitowoc, Wisconsin and eight years as Curator of Collections at the Detroit Historical Society in Detroit Michigan.
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