Story Circle

Luna Cafe Sign Restoration Begins

After many years of waiting, and frustration, and anticipation... it finally happened today! The Luna Cafe neon sign was taken down, and moved to a sign restoration shop in St. Charles, MO where the long-awaited restoration will begin immediately, and will take an expected 6 to 8 weeks.

The relighting ceremony and celebration event is estimated to be mid-October, but the exact date is not yet finalized - although we do know that the owner is planning to throw a big party.... You won't want to miss this one!

Here are photos of the sign as it begins the restoration process:

Pontiac to Host "Journey Stories" Exhibit

Our thanks to Ellie Alexander at Pontiac, IL Tourism for providing the following press release to us:

The City of Pontiac and the Illinois Humanities Council jointly announced today that Pontiac has been chosen as one of the select cities to receive an exhibit developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. The exhibit, which is entitled, “Journey Stories,” will be on display in Pontiac from February 23 to April 6, 2013. The exhibition focuses on stories of how we and our ancestors came to America. The exhibition will also explore our transportation history. Whether traveling across America on a vacation, a necessary trip, or to relocate to a new part of the country, Americans have always been known for their desire and freedom to move. The exhibition will attempt to tell some of those stories through images and text.

Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum Featured on

We recently received this distinct honor from


The Illinois Route 66 Association Hall of Fame and Museum has been chosen as the Sight of the Week by, the travel guide to America's unique and most original attractions.

The Illinois Route 66 Association Hall of Fame and Museum is featured as the lead attraction on the home page during the week of August 14-20, 2011:
Afterward it will have a permanent place on the site here:

Again, congratulations on having one of America's top attractions. Only 52 a year are chosen. You are one of the best of the best.

Ken Smith
senior editor

Pontiacs to Reign in Pontiac, IL

We thank Pontiac Tourism for providing the following press release:

The streets of downtown Pontiac, Illinois will once again be full of Pontiac cars in September when the Grand Prix Chapter of the Pontiac Oakland Club International will sponsor a “Show and Shine” car rally for Pontiac cars there.

On Friday, September 9, registration runs from 1:00 – 5:00 PM at the new Pontiac Oakland Auto Museum. Friday evening registered participants will enjoy an evening at the Chautauqua Park Pavilion for a presentation of the Route 66 Musical Review performed by the Vermillion Players.

On Saturday, September 10, all Pontiac brand cars are welcome to join in this non-judged car show located around the historic courthouse square in Downtown Pontiac.

Submissions Requested for the Fall 2011 Edition of the 66 News

fall06 photos.jpgThank you to the Association Newsletter Team, Kathy Miller and Jim Jones, for submitting the following information about submissions to our quarterly newsletter, The 66 News.

Receive your own issue of the 66 News quarterly as a premium when you join our Association!

The Route 66 Association of Illinois quarterly newsletter "The 66 News" is now accepting submissions for the upcoming Fall 2011 issue. The deadline to submit your contribution is August 15, 2011.

The 66 News accepts contributions for issues to be considered for inclusion by the dates listed below:

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.

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.