Preservation Efforts

The Waldmire Road Yacht Talks!

by Preservation Chairman, John Weiss

When visitors to Pontiac stop to see Bob Waldmire's Road Yacht, they immediately want to know all about it: What its significance is and why it's on display at the Route 66 Association of Illinois Museum and Hall of Fame. The outside of the converted schoolbus is certainly interesting but most people want to explore the treasures that fill the inside as well. Unfortunately, the converted school bus can only be open to the public when an attendant is stationed inside.

Recently we added a message repeater system next to the front door to provide visitors with information about the bus even when no attendant is on site. The three minute message tells folks about the Road Yacht and Bob Waldmire and even includes a one minute message spoken by Bob himself. It also directs folks to the Bob Waldmire exhibit in the building behind the Road Yacht.

New Display Cases for the Museum!

by Museum Curator, John Wille

The Route 66 Association of Illinois recently purchased six new display cases for the Museum and Hall of Fame in Pontiac. With these cases we are able to more prominently display the memorabilia of our newest hall of Fame members. They provide room for future displays as well as for some items we currently have in storage. They also give the museum a fresh appearance. It is a lot of fun changing items around and adding new displays. As Route 66 approaches its 90th year and the museum moves toward its 12th year, visitors will have a new look to experience. Your are cordially invited to come see our new cases and the treasures they contain!

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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.”

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110 W Howard St
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.