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July 2008

Frank Thomas Sheets - 2008


Mr. Sheets was born in Ohio on October 5, 1890, but his family moved to Springfield, Illinois, so that his father, Edgar could take a job as Superintendent in the Illinois State Highway Department. Frank Sheets also joined the Highway Department at the age of 17 as a clerk. He started his studies in highway engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1911, and then returned to the Highway Department upon his graduation in 1914. By 1916 he was the Assistant Maintenance Engineer of the Highway Bureau of Maintenance.

Leroy and Pauline Curtiss - 2008


Back in the 1940’s Leroy worked at Martin Oil Company, 401 Ladd St. (corner of Rt. 116 and Ladd St. or Rt. 66) where you
would receive premium gifts, various pieces of glassware, which drew customers to this location from near and far. There were a total of 7 pumps in 2 rows supplying regular ethyl white gas (10 cents a gallon). They pumped their motor oil into glass tubes and supplied kerosene. You could purchase a pack of cigarettes for 10 cents with a gasoline purchase.

The World's Largest Brooks Catsup Bottle - 2008


The World’s Largest Brooks Catsup Bottle – Since 1949

Businessmen raised $5,000 and created the Collinsville Canning and packing Co. The plant struggled and went through a few different owners/operators until 1908 when the Brooks brothers took over. They operated under the name of Triumph Catsup and Pickle Company. In 1920, the brothers sold out to American Cone and Pretzel Company, and in 1933 the G.S. Suppiger Company purchased the plant. The catsup factory had great success in those years, surviving the Great Depression and growing by leaps and bounds through the 1940’s. They retained the Brooks label because it had acquired such an excellent reputation.

Pumpkin Chunking Contest

Saturday October 11th

The city of Girard has asked us to participate in their Pumpkin Chunking contest! All interested members who would like to help build a pumpkin cannon, onager or trebuchet ???? please let me know ( I’ve been looking at some of these contests on the internet and had no idea how HUGE some of these machines were.   If you like challenges – this is it!!!! 

If we can’t build a machine to enter into their contest, we can still participate in their Pumpkin Festival!!!

Route 66 Festival - Chain of Rocks Bridge

On October 4th Trailnet is having a Route 66 Festival at the Chain of Rocks Bridge!

There will be an actual car show on the bridge, and entertainment on both sides of the bridge, as well as a motorcycle show, vendors, and a sock hop and movie at sundown! It will be a great day.

Our Association will be manning a table on the Illinois side, and there will be special room rates available at several hotels for any of our members who would like to attend.

Route 66 Association of Illinois - Annual Picnic

Picnic TableDue to flooding the location of the picnic has changed - Get Details!

We'll be setting up at 10am, cold pop, water, buns and meat will be provided  by the association.  Please bring a dish to share.   Our chef will be Bill Przybylski.

We will have entertainment, games a raffle, and all members and their families are urged to come out and have some fun. 

Our Condolences

Mary Lou Knudson passed away on Saturday, July 5th.
Mary Lou cofounded the National Route 66 Federation with her husband David. This nonprofit organization spearheaded the Congressional bill which allocated $10 million for the restoration of properties and communities along the legendary road.Mary Lou was gracious and warm and will be greatly missed by her family and all her friends along the Mother Road.

The services for Mary Lou will be held on Saturday, July 19th at:

Our Condolences

Betty Estes's son Adam, 45,  passed away suddenly on Saturday morning

A memorial service is being planned for Saturday, July 12, 2008 - 10 AM at Humiston Woods, Pontiac.

If you would like to send a card to Betty, our Association's Guardian Angel & premier promoter,her address is:

1103 North Locust Street
Pontiac, IL  61754

Wilmington's Catfish Days

Catfish Days

Join us for this annual celebration!

July 24-27, 2008

10th Annual Mardi Gras Festival

Summer 2008 Quarterly Meeting

Board Meeting 10:30 A.M.

Lunch Noon to 1 P.M. Chicken, fries, coleslaw, rolls and unlimited soft drinks $15 - please

RSVP to Bill Gwodz by July 16th at or (630)910-3422.

General Meeting 1 P.M.

Education/Program:  Dave Clark will speak on Route 66 in Cook County at 2:30 P.M.


Meeting Location:

Del Rhea's Chicken Basket
645 Joliet Road
Willowbrook, IL

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.