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November 2006

The Walls of Joliet

Yes, Joliet, Illinois, the town that has always been known as the City of Steel & Stone, is a place of extraordinary art projects, and architecture.

This community has a rich history in transportation. Much of the steel needed for the rails that carried the trains to open the west came from Joliet. After the Chicago and Lockport fires, rebuilding was accomplished with abundant Joliet limestone. The Illinois and Michigan (I&M) Canal, the river access, and the railroads played important roles in the development of this city. Fortunes were made. Jobs were in abundance. Mansions were everywhere. This area was becoming a dominant transportation hub.

Castle Car Wash

The automobile age was just beginning in 1925 when the Castle Car Wash was built at 3801 W. Ogden Avenue on Chicago’s West Side.

Already a major highway into and out of Chicago, Ogden carried the designation of State Bond Issue routes 4 and 18. One year later, Ogden became US 66 and 32 as well, and by 1927, over 20 filling stations and countless other automobile-oriented businesses called Ogden home—a retail engine that pumped vitality into the surrounding North Lawndale community area.

Castle Car Wash


Castle Car Wash
3801 W Ogden Ave
Chicago, IL 60623
United States
41° 51' 9.5004" N, 87° 43' 11.7264" W

Burma Shave

Written by Duke Cartwright

Before Interstates, when everyone drove the old 2-lane roads cross country, Burma Shave signs would be posted all over the countryside in farmers' fields. They were small red signs with white letters. Five signs, about 100 feet apart, each containing 1 line of a 4 line couplet and the obligatory 5th sign identifying Burma Shave.

Historic Bikeway 66

The Historic Route 66 Bikeway is a priority project of the McLean County Regional Greenways Plan. This bikeway will extend an existing bike system, the Constitution Trail in the Bloomington/Normal area, and serve as an important greenways connection between communities in addition to providing increased opportunities for accessing natural and historic points of interest throughout McLean County.

The Thank You America Tour

Written by John & Lenore Weiss

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Pontiac, IL, 61764
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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.