Preservation Efforts

Winter Hall of Fame and Museum Hours Begin November 1

Beginning November 1, 2014, our Hall of Fame and Museum switches to Winter Hours, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM daily.

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We look forward to seeing you and providing a unique, comprehensive and FREE Route 66 experience!

110 W Howard St
Pontiac, IL 61764

(815) 844-4566

Friedrich Family Files: Summer, 2014 Route 66 Adventures

We kicked off the first day of summer break in June by taking in a little of our local 66 on Sixth Street in Springfield. We decided to satisfy our sweet tooth at Mel-O-Cream donuts. The company is over 80 years old and has had several locations over the years. Stop in a try a delectable pastry two different locations along the mother road on South Sixth Street or North Grand Avenue. After breakfast we went shopping for camping provisions for Charlie's first overnight Cub Scout campout that weekend. Now it was time for a late lunch at the ever popular Cozy Dog Drive In.

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John Wille Selected as New Museum Curator

By John Wille

John Wille.pngThis past spring I was asked if I would like to be the curator of the Route 66 Museum and Hall of Fame in Pontiac. I was happy to accept the nomination. When the museum opened in June 2004 and for a number of years the curators were Durelle and Marilyn Pritchard. Since the Pritchards left the position, no one has served as curator until I was appointed.

I began volunteering at the museum beginning in late August 2011. I would come in to help out Jim Jones. I learned a great deal about the Museum and Hall of Fame and Route 66 from him. He is a great mentor! Also I learned a lot from Cathie Stevanovich and Marty Blitstein who have always been most helpful and generous with their time in helping me learn more about the museum and the Illinois Route 66 Association. I have found a great deal of pleasure and fun to be there talking with visitors from all over the world.

Truck Traffic Threatens Route 66 in Will County

Read this very informative article from the Herald-News concerning the impact of heavy truck traffic congestion upon historic Route 66 in Will County, IL. Our preservation chairman, John Weiss, weighs in with his enlightened opinion on this subject.

Read Route 66 historian says truck traffic threatens Route 66 from the Herald-News.

Preservation Updates - Spring, 2014

By Preservation Committee Chairman, John Weiss

Preservation Meeting

Preservation Meeting Old Route 66 Family Restaurant Dwight IL

On March 22nd a group of 25 members of the Route 66 Preservation Committee gathered for an update. John Weiss, Preservation Chairman, conducted the meeting. There were a lot of subjects to discuss concerning past, present and potential future projects. The meeting was held at the Route 66 Family Restaurant on old Route 66 in Dwight.

Motor Tour 2014: Did You Make Memories?

Were you one of the privileged participants in our Association's 25th Annual Motor Tour? If you were, we would LOVE you to share your individual memories made during our Making Memories tour with us!

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Between now and August 15, I'll be collecting stories and photos from you to include in the official tour recap of the event to be presented here on our website and in our Fall, 2014 issue on our members-only newsletter, The 66 News. That provides ample time for you to submit photos and stories and for me to compile the wrap-up of the Motor Tour in all its glory.

Bob Kraft, Former Owner of The Riviera Roadhouse, Passes Away

We are sad to report that Robert (Bob) Kraft has passed away.

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Route 66 News has published an article about Bob Kraft, co-owner of the Riviera Roadhouse with his wife Peggy for 37 years, and a history of the restaurant on their website.

The Riviera was inducted into our Hall of Fame in 1994.

Two New Route 66 Books - Get Yours NOW!

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Route 66 in Illinois, a new book by authors Joe Sonderman and Cheryl Eichar Jett, will be released June 9 by Arcadia Publishing. The result of a year's worth of research and travel, the book traces the famous highway from its starting point in Chicago to the Mississippi River. From the book's back cover text: “Between the great cities of Chicago and St. Louis, there are 300 miles of adventure, history, culinary delights, and quirky attractions. This is the Land of Lincoln and roadside giants. There are cozy motels, cozy diners, and Cozy Dogs. Interstate 55 will speed travelers to their destination, but Route 66 offers something more. It goes through the hearts of the towns, wandering onto old brick pavement far from the roar of the interstate. Historic restaurants like Lou Mitchells in Chicago, the Palms Grill in Atlanta, and the Ariston Cafe in Litchfield still keep their coffee pots warm. Waitresses, pump jockeys, gangsters, cops, and politicians all gave the Main Street of America its distinctive personality, and their stories are within these pages.” Over 200 vintage photographs from museums, libraries, historical societies, private collections, and author/collector Joe Sonderman's own collection capture the life and times along the Illinois section of the “Main Street of America.”

Our Hall of Fame and Museum Celebrates 10th Anniversary!

2014 certainly is a banner year for milestones of our Association! Here's an article submitted by Robert C. Roarty, Ph.D., MLIS, of Pontiac Tourism about our Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac, IL celebrating its 10th Anniversary on June 7!

Route 66 Museum Marks 10 Year Anniversary

better cake.jpgThe Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Saturday, June 7th. The Museum has grown into one of the premier Route 66 heritage stops along the Mother Road. To commemorate this milestone, the Museum will hold a special open house on that day from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. There will be free refreshments and other special offerings during the celebration. All visitors to the museum during the Open House will be invited to register for some Route 66-related door prizes.

According to Jim Jones, the museum’s tour director, “The Route 66 museum has been through an amazing evolution. It started as just an idea brought to the City of Pontiac by Pontiac’s first tourism director, Betty Estes, and is now known throughout the world for the quality and quantity of its displays.”

Chester Henry: A Look at a True Hall of Famer

In anticipation of the announcement of our 2014 Hall of Fame inductees, here's a story about one of our earliest, Chester Henry of the Illinois State Police.

Our friend, Ron Warnick, who runs Route 66 News recently pointed us to a terrific story in the Bloomington Pantagraph about one of our earliest Hall of Famers, Chester Henry, who was inducted in 1993. Chester is 82 years old now and happily enjoying his retirement from law enforcement.

Read Ron's recap of the article on Route 66 News, Route 66's Lifeguard.

Got Content?


EditorWe welcome your Route 66 news, stories, photos and events for publication in our newsletter or on our web site!

Submit it here

Send us your change of address to:
Membership
110 W Howard St
Pontiac, IL, 61764
or use our handy contact form

Learning to use our calendar puts the fun and adventure of Route 66 at your fingertips. It's easy to discover the when, what and where of events along the road.

Here's How!

Historic Maps

Highway GuideWatch Route 66 evolve into The Mother Road  with maps and highway guides from 1917-1992 courtesty of the official Illinois Digital Archives.