Story Circle

Elkhart's Place in Route 66 History - Dinner/Lecture/Music

The Elkhart Historical Society’s dinner/lecture on September 9 at The Wild Hare Café will feature a short presentation, read by Mike Drake, “Elkhart's Place in Route 66 History.”

This event will take place on
September 9, 2011
5:30 PM
The Wild Hare Café
104 Governor Oglesby St, Elkhart, IL

Happy Birthday, Ernie Edwards!

Ernie Edwards_0.jpgErnie Edwards is celebrating his 94th birthday!

A party in his honor will be held this Friday, August 5th
2:00 PM
at St. Clara's Manor, 2nd floor dining room
200 5th St. (old Rt 66), Lincoln, IL

Ernie is back in the facility and will only be spending limited time out and about.

RSVP optional to Logan Co. Tourism

Sorry about the short notice.

Coliseum Ballroom, Benld, IL, Destroyed by Fire

Sad news to report: The Coliseum Ballroom in Benld, IL has been destroyed by fire. The fire began Saturday night, July 30, 2011, while a band performed. The building currently was home to the Macoupin County Antique Mall.

The Coliseum Ballroom was built in 1923 or 1924 and is located on an old alignment of Route 66. During its heyday, the Ballroom hosted many famous musical acts of the 1920s through the 1950s.

Here are some links to sites which have covered this story, and include video and more history of the Coliseum Ballroom:

Route 66 News - Coliseum Ballroom in Benld destroyed by fire

Route 66 Archives and Research Collaborative

The National Park Service is collaborating with archival institutions along historic Route 66 (including the Illinois State Library) to develop the Route 66 Archives and Research Collaborative, or “Route 66 ARC.” The mission of Route 66 ARC is to stimulate the collection and preservation of historical records related to Route 66, and increase their accessibility to the public. The State Library is proud to be one of the ten founding Route 66 ARC institutions. A new website has just been unveiled.

Route 66 Museum Receives Hundreds of Artifacts as Gift

We thank Pontiac Tourism for sharing the following press release with us.

Cathy Stevanovich of the Route 66 Association of Illinois, and Ellie Alexander, Director of Pontiac Tourism jointly announced Friday, July 15th, that a major gift of memorabilia and petroleum industry artifacts was recently accepted for display in the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac, Illinois. The generous gift was made in memory of Robert Wainwright, a former field representative for ComEd in the Pontiac area. The donation was made by Wainwright’s wife, Elna Winterland Wainwright, formerly of Fairbury and Pontiac, currently residing in Streator.

2011 Association Picnic Announced

picnic_sign.jpgThe Route 66 Association of Illinois will hold their annual picnic on Sunday, October 2, 2011 at Sugar Grove Nature Center.

Our picnic will be held in the picnic shelter at the Nature Center. All are welcome to attend.

The Association will supply food and pop but if you would care to bring a dish to share, that would be appreciated. We ask that you kindly R.S.V.P. with the number who will be attending so we can have an accurate head count for food.

R.S.V.P. to Marty Blitstein

The Nature Center building contains interpretive exhibits, live animals, a children's discovery area, and wildlife viewing room (as well as indoor restrooms). Other site features include a Corn Crib Prairie Viewing Room, many gardens, and a children's nature play area, Imagination Grove. Visitors can also access five miles of trails from the parking lot.

Click to visit the Sugar Grove Nature Center's website to learn all about this beautiful location and for detailed directions.

New Junior Newsletter Editor

Hi, everyone! You already know my work as Editor Gina here on the Route 66 Association of Illinois website. As editor, I take the information, stories and photos I am provided and put them on the site, all pretty and organized, for your enjoyment. I love the website maintenance I do for the Association and I hope you all do, too.

As I have worked for the Association, one thing has been particularly impressed upon me - the deep love of America and the treasures she holds. The travel and tourism the Association promotes is a sure sign that love for America - as well as the Mother Road in particular - is alive and well.

Updates on the Pontiac Oakland Auto Museum

As we mentioned in an earlier article, Pontiac, IL is to be home to the Pontiac Oakland Auto Museum, opening July 23, 2011.

Read and watch a video for more information about this addition to Pontiac, IL's museums here:

In related news, we thank Ellie Alexander of Pontiac Tourism for providing us the following press release:

Pontiac Oakland Auto Museum Receives Map Collection

Strevell House Restoration Hits Another Milestone

We thank Ellie Alexander at Pontiac Tourism for providing the following press release to us:

Mike Ingles with Strevell Roof Finial.jpgThe restoration of the Jason W. Strevell house will take another step towards completion in the coming week. The finials which rise at the roof peaks of the house have been reproduced and are ready for installation. The Strevell home, which stands at 401 W. Livingston Street in Pontiac, Illinois, is the only remaining structure in Livingston County visited by Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln spent an evening at the home of Pontiac attorney Jason Strevell in 1860. Lincoln had given a speech to the Pontiac Young Men’s Literary Association at the Presbyterian Church earlier that night, and went to Strevell’s home to await the early morning train to Bloomington.

The Strevell house is in the Carpenter Gothic style. This type of home is distinguished by a steeply pitched roof, decorative bargeboards (also known as “gingerbread trim,”) and other architectural features. At the highest point on the roof is a miniature spire or finial. The finials on the Strevell house have been replicated by two local craftsmen, Mike Ingles and Mark Van Hoveln.

Update: Pontiac's Lions Park Receives $35,000 from Sprite Program!

Pontiac's Lions Park will receive $35,000 to put in a new basketball court, thanks to the efforts of residents who participated in a Sprite challenge last month.

We previously brought this story about Pontiac's participation in the Sprite Spark Parks Program back in May, 2011.

Click to read: Lions Park in Pontiac Nominated to Receive 35k from Sprite - Community Votes Needed!

Click to read about this in the Pontiac Daily Leader.

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.