Our Hall of Fame and Museum Celebrates 10th Anniversary!
2014 certainly is a banner year for milestones of our Association! Here's an article submitted by Robert C. Roarty, Ph.D., MLIS, of Pontiac Tourism about our Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac, IL celebrating its 10th Anniversary on June 7!
Route 66 Museum Marks 10 Year Anniversary
The Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Saturday, June 7th. The Museum has grown into one of the premier Route 66 heritage stops along the Mother Road. To commemorate this milestone, the Museum will hold a special open house on that day from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. There will be free refreshments and other special offerings during the celebration. All visitors to the museum during the Open House will be invited to register for some Route 66-related door prizes.
According to Jim Jones, the museum’s tour director, “The Route 66 museum has been through an amazing evolution. It started as just an idea brought to the City of Pontiac by Pontiac’s first tourism director, Betty Estes, and is now known throughout the world for the quality and quantity of its displays.”
Prior to 2004, the “Illinois Route 66 Museum” was just a hallway at the Dixie Truck stop in McLean, Illinois. There were a few photos, but not much more. When Betty Estes learned that the Route 66 Association of Illinois were considering a new home to tell the story of historic Route 66, she sat down with Pontiac city officials and proposed the city offer the Association the then unused old 1900 Pontiac Fire House. After a short while, Pontiac’s offer was accepted by the Association and subsequently, the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum opened.
Since 2004, the museum has been visited by more than 80,000 Route 66 heritage travelers, including guests from all 50 states and more than 100 countries world-wide. Celebrities, both national and international, have been to the museum, and a quick glance through the museum’s guest register demonstrates their positive reaction to the site.
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