The Route 66 Association of Illinois

The Route 66 Association of Illinois

Our mission is to preserve, educate, promote and enjoy Route 66 in Illinois

Another Exciting Motor Tour!

Another Exciting Motor Tour!

Our 2014, "Making Memories" Motor Tour, commemorating our 25th Anniversary, was a fun celebration of the Mother Road, with some new and exciting activities and stops for participants to enjoy. Read and see it here!

Illinois Attractions & Towns

Illinois Attractions & Towns

Visit these attractions and towns along Route 66 in Illinois for a nostalgic family fun!



Please join our association's efforts to preserve, promote, educate and enjoy Route 66 in Illinois.

A nostalgic trip through Americana

A nostalgic trip through Americana

Learn about this historic highway and why Route 66 is an American treasure worth preserving.

Here are some helpful and informative sources to help you along your Route 66 journey. We've assembled a collection of web sites and information that are sure to add to your knowledge and appreciation of the Mother Road.

Web Links
Historic Maps
Town Along The Road
Sign up for our Day Tripper email announcements
View the Day Tripper Archives

Preservation is one of our core missions. With our motto of 'we work for food' our members paint, build, repair, clean, and fight to preserve all that is Route 66.

What is Preservation?
Hall of Fame Inductees
Our Museum
Preservation Projects and Announcements

Events Along The Road

Association Events

Motor Tour 2015 June 12, 2015 - 12:00am
Summer Quarterly Meeting July 19, 2015 - 10:00am
Association Picnic 2015 August 16, 2015 - 10:00am
Fall Quarterly Meeting October 18, 2015 - 10:00am

The Boots Motel

Our sincere thanks to Brian L. Alexander for writing and submitting the following article about the restoration of the Route 66 icon, the Boots Motel, in Carthage, Missouri.

By Brian L. Alexander

Fran and I decided to go with the Route 66 Association of Missouri, September, two years ago, on their Road Tour. We had so much fun the previous year; we had to do it again the following year. We started in Miami Oklahoma, not too far from Joplin Missouri. We drove a short thirteen miles of Route 66 through Kansas and made our way, back through Missouri, all the way back to Leasburg. The entire group had lunch at Skippy’s, a bar and grill in Leasburg, the tours’ end. (Leasburg is little more than hour southwest of St. Louis, on Route 44 - (Actually Skippy’s is on Old Route 66). The Ozark Countryside was as beautiful last fall, as it was the previous year.

We toured the thirteen miles of US Route 66 through Kansas, our tour then took us through Joplin, Missouri and then onto Carthage Missouri.

Boots 1.png

The Boot’s Motel was one of our Passport Stops. We pulled up to the Boots Motel in Carthage Missouri; as a Route 66 Roadie I knew the buildings were going to be remodeled. My second thought was how did this place miss the wrecking ball? In fact it was purchased by a developer who intended on tearing it down and plans were in the works for it to be a Walgreens Drug Store but preservationists lobbied for its survival.

In Route 66 History: An Aviation Tragedy on Route 66

Our thanks to Keith Yearman, associate professor of geography at the College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL, and co-author of the upcoming book, The Curious Traveler’s Guide to Route 66 in Metro Chicago, form which this story is partially excerpted.

By Keith Yearman

One of the more dramatic and tragic incidents in the history of U.S. Route 66 played out in the air on July 6, 1930. What began as a stunt ended in death. Had it not involved a fatality, it would have been grist for a screwball comedy of the decade.

Calling All Route 66 Sign Experts!

A reader named Helen has written into our website with the following question about a highway sign. Can you help her out? If so, please answer in the comments of this post.

Hello Everyone...We have had this sign in our garage for decades. I just began exploring the history of Route 66 and I am fascinated. However, all of the old signs I see posted read "ILLINOIS U.S. 66" whereas ours reads only "ILLINOIS 66." On the back it reads "State of Illinois Div. of Highways Dist. No.". It is made of a very heavy steel and definitely genuine. Can anyone tell us when this was manufactured and used on Route 66?

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Click the photo to view a full-size image of the sign.

Route 66 Sign

The Rise and Fall of Berwyn’s Automobile Row

Thanks to local historian and author, Joseph D. Kubal, for submitting the following article to us for publication:

Joseph D. Kubal_0.jpgBy Joseph D. Kubal

Ogden Avenue in Berwyn, IL may not look like it today, but it was once one of the major sales areas for automobiles in the near southwest suburbs and the nearby section of Chicago. During the earliest days of U.S. Route 66, Ogden became what was soon dubbed “Automobile Row.”

From the very beginning, Route 66 ran along Ogden between the near west side of Chicago and the suburb of Lyons, just west of Berwyn. Even before Route 66, however, there were Berwyn businesses on Ogden that served horse carriage owners. As automobiles grew in popularity with the introduction of the Model-T Ford – which made owning a car more affordable for average Americans – some of these businesses transitioned to serving automobile owners. Moreover, as Ogden was already a major thoroughfare between the city and Joliet Road, even before Route 66, it made sense for auto dealers to locate on Ogden, too: the dealers went where the drivers were.

Route 66 Sodas Introduces New Bottle Cap

Thanks to our Association Preservation Chairman, John Weiss, for passing along this press release from Association Member, Route 66 Sodas, LLC. It was released by the company and sent to us by John back on July 26, 2012 - it's been a busy season here at the website! Go grab a bottle and see it for yourself!

July 26, 2012

66 sodas crown cap 2012.jpgRoute 66 Sodas, LLC. announced today the introduction of their newly designed bottle cap which will be used on all Route 66 Root Beer and flavored Sodas 12oz glass bottles.

Featuring a photo scene from Route 66 taken by Matthew S. Cameron, the crown concept was created by Scott, Elizabeth and Matthew Cameron and designed by Simone Ginsburg of Real Soda In Real Bottles in Gardena, CA, the California and west coast distributors of Route 66 Sodas.

“This is the first time the art on our bottle cap has been changed since we acquired the company back in 2007, and we believe the first time since the original formation of the company dating back into the mid 1990’s.” said Scott A. Cameron. “We’ve had such a positive response to our new bottle designs, introduced in 2010; we decided we should complement them with a new crown.”

Downtown Joliet Farmers' Market

The Downtown Joliet Farmers' Market continues every Friday from 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM through September 28th.

Located on Chicago Street between Van Buren and Jefferson Street


The Market offers a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, corn on the cob, fresh cut flowers, plants, jewelry, fresh baked breads, cupcakes, cookies, pies, fresh fruit salsas, hummus, olives, pizza, smoked sausages, including a full line of Italian products, and other food items. Avon, Pampered Chef, Tupperware and other franchises will be represented at the market.

Also specialty gift items, candles, purses, childrens clothing and accessories, cinnamon roasted nuts, and much, much more!

For more information contact Cam

Elkhart Farmers' Market Continues

We want to make you aware of the Farmers' Market in historic downtown Elkhart at the corner of Governor Oglesby and Latham Streets Elwood, IL, Saturdays from 7:00 AM to Noon in full swing through October 27.

Elkhart Farmers Market.JPG

Market shoppers can also enjoy a cool drink or lunch at The Wild Hare Café, and shopping at Horsefeathers Antiques and Gift Shop, The Little Foxes Shop and Birdsong Books and Vintage Shoppe, all on Governor Oglesby Street in historic downtown Elkhart.

For more information contact:
Peggy Lee

Fly in a Vintage B-17 Bomber!

Our thanks to historian and author, Joseph D. Kubal for submitting the following article.

By Joseph D. Kubal

As a child, I always relished the thought of flying a bombing run over Nazi Germany during World War II in a B-17 “Flying Fortress.” The imagined target often was the infamous ball bearing factory used to fuel the Nazi war machine. This childhood fantasy was a direct result of watching the popular 12 O’Clock High television series. The series was unusual in its use of actual WWII film footage during many of the episodes. Now, children and adults alike will have the opportunity of a lifetime when a genuine Flying Fortress comes to town this summer.

Joliet, IL Route 66 Detour

Our Preservation Chairman, John Weiss, has provided us with the following travel advice for Route 66 travelers through Joliet, IL:

Starting on Monday July 9th the Ruby Street bridge in Joliet will be closed for four months. This bridge is Route 66. The official detour for those heading South will cause Route 66 travelers to completely bypass Joliet. Joliet tourism will do all they can to properly guide, with signage, Route 66 tourists to the Route 66 Welcome Center. The directions are extremely easy.

Vic's Pizza T-shirts!

Vics Tshirts.JPG

Photo courtesy Johnny Lucchesi

Clever slogan, huh?
It's courtesy of John Miller.

Get yours at Association Business Member, Vic's Pizza
2025 Peoria Road Springfield, IL
(217) 522-2464

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:
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.

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