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Preservation Efforts

National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program Cost-share Grants Awarded

Our congratulations to out to Four Illinois Route 66 Preservation Projects are Recipients of the 2016 National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program Cost-share Grant Awards.

The National Park Service, Route 66 Corridor Preservation cost-share grant program “provides grant assistance for eligible historic preservation, research, oral history, interpretative, and educational projects. Grants are offered through an annual, competitive grant cycle. Since 2001, 130 projects have been awarded $1.9 million with $3.1 million in cost-share match, totaling $5 million in public-private investment toward the revitalization of the Route 66 corridor.” This year, four of the eight projects that were awarded grants are from Illinois!

Workday: Painting the Bunyon Giant

Saturday – August 27th (rain date 28th) 10:00 AM

Tall Paul.jpgIt’s time to give the big guy in Atlanta, IL. a fresh coat of paint. The last time we did it was six years ago. Tens of thousands of tourists from around the world have their picture taken with Tall Paul. As a result it’s important that this preservation project of ours always looks good, it represents what we are all about.

Reminder, we work for food so there will be a feast of, what else, Hot Dogs. The statue was originally located at Bunyons restaurant in the Cicero/Berwyn area on Route 66. We hope to have some of the Stephens family members attend and help rededicate this iconic member of their family.

Come join the fun and be part of history!

Please call me, John Weiss, to let me know if you will be attending (815) 458-6616.

Route 66's 90th Birthday Celebration in Dwight, IL

Dwight, Illinois ushered in the 90th anniversary of Route 66, with a celebration last Thursday April 21st at the restored Ambler/Becker Texaco gas station. The birthday party, which was the first 90th anniversary celebration in Illinois, included classic cars, hot dogs and cake, basset hounds and an enthusiastic crowd from all around the state. The event included an official presentation by Dwight Village President Jared Anderson, Bill Kelly of the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway and Route 66 preservationist John Weiss.

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Route 66: The Road Ahead Initiative Name and Logo Contest

Route 66: The Road Ahead Initiative
Name and Logo Contest


Here's your chance to give this initiative a people-friendly name and face!

Read contest details here.

Hot Off the Press!

Two new books are now available for purchase via our Association!

Kickin' in the Kitchen

3rd edition


Compiled, edited and published by the Route 66 Association of Illinois, Kickin' in the Kitchen is filled with delicious recipes and kitchen-tested wisdom from cooks along Route 66!

Add some new zing to your home cuisine with this cookbook; they also make tasty gifts for the cooks in your life!

$10.00 + $5.00 shipping (in bubble wrap) and handling (price includes sales tax)

This book is also available for in-person purchase at Route 66 Association of Illinois Museum & Hall of Fame | 110 Howard St, Pontiac, IL

EZ66 Guide for Travelers

(4th edition)

by Jerry McClanahan


This convenient, spiral-bound book is a turn-by-turn guide to a safe and enjoyable journey along Route 66 from the east in Chicago, Illinois to west in Santa Monica, California (and back again)!

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.

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.