Story Circle

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.

Japanese Route 66 Website Shows International Love for the Mother Road

Here's a letter our Association received from Japanese Route 66 Enthusiast, Hiroshi Hanamura, with news of a new Japanese Route 66 website. Isn't it great to know that the Mother Road's appeal stretches all the way around the globe? Please do give Hiro's site a visit to see how they do Route 66, Japanese style!

Japanese Rt 66 site.pngDear my friends,

Finally my new Route 66 website has just been launched and I'm so happy to let you know about it. Actually the site is built for letting japanese visitors jump over there to travel on the real highway.

Pontiac Summer Bash Events Announced

We wish to acknowledge and thank Ellie Alexander, Pontiac Tourism, for providing the following press release:

Pontiac Tourism and Pontiac P.R.O.U.D recently announced the events which will take place in the downtown area during the 2011 Summer Bash and Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum and Resource Center Grand Opening, both of which are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, July 23 & 24, 2011.

Festivities will begin early on Saturday morning with the PROUD 5k Run and 2 mile walk which will begin at 7:30 at the Yost House. The Farmer’s Market will open at 8:00 AM at the Yost House, followed by the Heritage Days celebration which this year will include craft demonstrators, a pie baking contest, and a special presentation by several Civil War – Living History groups. Also at the Yost House will be special attractions for kids, including a selection of old-fashioned kids’ games.

Motor Tour 2011 Slideshow

It's a work in progress but we'd like to share the photos of Motor Tour 2011 that folks have shared with us so far. If you have some you'd like us to add, please email them to

Motor Tour 2011 Recap - In Your Own Words

Nobody can tell the story of the Motor Tour as well as those of you who experienced it firsthand. So, here it is, culled directly from your comments on Facebook, Motor Tour 2011 in your own words:

General comments:

  • "We had a great time." - Brian Burke
  • "Had a great time. We traveled 1144 miles in the Corvette in 4 days. Good road trip." - John Weidner
  • "The tour was great, we had fun, thanks to all the organizers for their hard work planning fun for us. :)" - Kathy Wester

2011 Hall of Fame Inductees

On June 12, 2011 the Route 66 Association of Illinois held our annual Hall of Fame Induction and Banquet at Lincoln College in Lincoln, IL. Two members were inducted this year, honoring their contributions to Route 66 in Illinois.

Click here to view a PDF of the Hall of Fame Induction Program

Leo Bornder

HoF Induction Bornder
Leon Bornder of Normal, Illinois, accepting for his late father.

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.