Posts Tagged ‘Route 66’

Museum for LH & Route 66 restoring 1928 post

January 23, 2013

LH_IL_Joliet markerThe Joliet Area Historical Museum, at the crossroads of the Lincoln Highway and Route 66 in Joliet, Illinois, is asking for help in restoring its 1928 Lincoln Highway concrete marker. According to a release, the museum hopes “to raise $5,000 to restore the highway marker which is deteriorating rapidly. Restoration includes: stabilizing the interior rebar, re-adhering the broken segments, removing bronze disease, brightening the paint, and displaying it inside.” Of course, there is no paint — the colors are in the concrete — but the rest sounds like a worthy endeavor.

Read more HERE in the release:

Popular Joliet museum gets Lincoln Hwy exhibit

November 2, 2012

The newest project by Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition is not a mural or gazebo, it’s an exhibit at the Joliet Area Historical Museum in Joliet, Illinois. The unveiling coincided with the first-ever Illinois Scenic Byway Week, recently designated by Governor Quinn.

The new exhibit offers striking graphics and vintage photos complimented by stories that convey the Lincoln Highway’s impact on America and its increasingly mobile society. A detailed map and a replica 1928 Lincoln Highway marker help visitors find the route on paper and on their next rip on the road. The Joliet Area Historical Museum is a popular jumping-off point for followers of Route 66 heading west from Chicago to the Pacific coast.

Plainfield's Windmill gas station & diner

April 12, 2012

The Plainfield Patch features the story (and photo below) behind a diner and gas station best known for the windmill that marked the roadside business. The Windmill was along the Lincoln Highway southeast of town. It was also just off an alignment of Route 66 that shared three blocks with the Lincoln Highway.

John and Mabel Powell leased land at the southwest corner of Lake Renwick around 1925 for their whimsical building. The windmill served as the entrance to the diner and also had a canopy over gas pumps. The upper floors were an apartment for the Powells and their son Robert. The Depression led to the business closing around 1935 and it was leased to James Lyon, who removed the gas pumps and enclosed the canopy to provide a large saloon. Operating as The Palomar and later The Mill, the business survived into the mid-1950s.

Long-time LH fan and researcher Norm Root

September 29, 2011

Long-time LH fan and activist Norm Root has passed away. As reported on a CaringBridge site his family set up, he was diagnosed with a terminal illness just last month. Norm was a Caltrans employee and dedicated preservationist and researcher who helped me with information and images for my Lincoln Highway books.

Gloria Scott, Chief of the Built Environment Preservation Services Branch at Caltrans, commented: “If there is anyone who would be considered the Caltrans ‘Historic Roads God,’ it was Norm—especially for the Lincoln Highway. And Route 66, with his New Mexico roots.”

Read more about Norm or leave a tribute at

UPDATE: Gloria Scott sends news that a memorial will be held at Northminster Presbyterian Church on Saturday, October 15 at 2 pm. Gifts to honor Norman may be made to: Norman Root Youth Mission and Camp Fund, Northminster Presbyterian Church, 3235 Pope Ave., Sacramento, CA 95821. Read more at

Emily & Ron's Lincoln Highway adventures

July 7, 2011

Roadside and Route 66 enthusiasts Emily Priddy and Ron Warnick recently took a 10-day road trip that Emily chronicled on her Red Fork State of Mind blog. She sent me news updates including that volunteers were stripping the World’s Largest Teapot in Chester, WV, with scrapers, heat guns, and blowtorches as part of an Eagle Scout project.

Above you’ll see they also visited two excellent roadside attractions in east-central PA: the Lincoln Motor Court east of Bedford, and the giant Coffee Pot on the edge of downtown. Then they filled up at Dunkle’s Gulf, a rare art deco gem still in the same family—and still pumping gas!

Emily said their goal was to see Ryne Sandberg managing the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in Allentown, so she and Ron (who pens the Route 66 News blog, which inspired this one!) headed east on the Lincoln Highway:

I fell in love with the farmland of Iowa; the vibrant energy of Chicago; the charming downtowns of Goshen, Ind., and Van Wert, Ohio; the giant teapot in Chester, W. Va.; the winding mountain roads of rural Pennsylvania; and the ethnic neighborhoods and skinny townhouses with old men killing time on their front stoops in the narrow side streets of Allentown.

To follow their trip, start at then use the calendar to keep following, or just go to and read up from the bottom!

Plans for Rt 66 and Lincoln Highway crossroads

March 22, 2011

Plans are underway to create a ‘gateway park” in Plainfield, Illinois, at the crossroads of the Lincoln Highway and Route 66 — now US 30 and SR 159. The Plainfield Patch reports that “Michael Bortell told the Plainfield Village Board Monday that he plans to apply for a $5,000 matching grant from the National Park Service to fund a redevelopment study for the .925-acre site, which is one of the most historic in the village.” A gas station at the triangle-shaped property was removed last year when Illinois 59 was widened. The historically significant Corbin-Bingham-Worst house would become a visitors center with parking and park land. Another house and two garages would be demolished.

Bortell says the project:

would not only celebrate the only place in the country where two of the most famous cross-county roads intersect but would preserve the land on which the village’s first industrial business, the Dillman Foundry, was built in 1848.”

As for the house, it belonged to one of the first families to settle in Plainfield within the first 20 years of the town’s establishment and was home to Plainfield’s second doctor, Oliver J. Corbin.

Bortell admits that part of his motivation is to keep yet another historic house from being torn down, with nothing built in its place.

Note that another crossroads of the two famous highways can be found in Joliet, Illinois.

Photo by Bill and Karen McKibbon from their excellent travel blog

"Traveling the Lincoln Highway" in Plainfield

September 7, 2010

“Traveling the Lincoln Highway” will be presented tonight at the Plainfield Public Library by Dave Clark, known to Route 66 fans for his Windy City tours and books. “Travel back in time as you take a virtual tour of the first automobile trail marked from coast-to-coast. The story of the Lincoln Highway combines nostalgia and history highlighting modern sites in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa.” A display on the Lincoln Highway is set upon on the library’s main floor. The library is at 15025 S. Illinois St. Plainfield, (815) 436-6639 or

Lincoln Highway, vintage roads in 2011 atlas

May 12, 2010

Rand McNally has launched its 2011 Road Atlas with  updated maps, more city and national park insets, five new “Best of the Road” tours, and most exciting to Lincoln Highway fans, the marking of historic highways. The company describes this as “The addition of specialty highway shields to show historic and scenic routes including Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the Great River Road, the Great Lakes Circle Route, and the Lewis & Clark Trail Highway.” The 144-page atlas (suggested retail $13.95) is arriving in stores or visit

Lenore Weiss, co-author of LH book, passes

February 22, 2010

Kathy Miller, Publisher/Co-Editor of The 66 News, wrote to say that Lenore Weiss passed away today after a battle with cancer. Weiss and her husband John recently published Traveling the Historic Three about the intermingling near Chicago of the Lincoln Highway with Route 66 and the Dixie Highway. Lenore also regulary sent news to this blog. Learn more about their work at

Arrangements for a final goodbye and celebration of her life will be held on February 25, 2010, from 4 to 8 pm and on Friday, February 26, 2010, from 9 to 10:30 am at
Patterson Funeral Home
401 East Main/Highway 113
Braidwood, IL 60408

Funeral Mass will be at 11 am on February 26, 2010, at
St. Rose Church
600 S. Kankakee St.
Wilmington, IL 60481

Donations in memory of Lenore may be made to one of these two:
Hospice of Kankakee Valley
482 Main Street Northwest
Bourbonnais, IL 60914
Phone: 815-936-3370

The Flat-Coated Retriever Foundation – Cancer/Health Fund
Please make check payable to: The Flat-Coated Retriever Foundation – Cancer/Health Fund
Mail check to: Cheryl Kistner/FCR Foundation Treasurer
27941 W. Flynn Creek Drive
Barrington, IL 60010

Her obituary is in the Joliet, Illinois, News-Herald.

Tulsa neon sign restoration an inspiration

October 19, 2009

Sometimes a story seems important enough to veer off the Lincoln Highway and onto other roads. A story in GTR Newspapers (source of the image below) about a Tex-Mex restaurant on Route 66 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the restoration of its neon sign should serve as inspiration to any roadside business owner wondering if it’s worth investing time and money into preservation.

OK_Tulsa neon

El Rancho Grande opened at its current spot on 11th Street in 1953 and the neon sign followed soon after. While bypasses drained traffic and other businesses withered, “El Rancho Grande held on to its customer base, stayed open and is today the oldest operating restaurant along the [city’s] old Route 66 corridor.” The sign however had faded and stopped working; new owners “felt the restoration of the sign would be the icing on the cake and it would once again reach out to passing motorists that a Tulsa tradition is alive and well.”

But showing how regulations can be out of step with public opinion:

it was determined the sign would need to remain attached to the building during restoration. Taking it down would trigger city sign permit requirements that could render the old sign totally out of compliance for further use. Therefore the sign was restored in place.

Here’s hoping citry planners will be the next to realize the vcalue in preserving and restoring vintage signs and businesses.