Route 66 Caravan

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Route 66 Caravan Road Log:
June 19, 2003


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Central Illinois Route 66 Attractions

Die Cast Auto Sales ~ Williamsville

Between Springfield and Bloomington there are pockets of Old Route 66 left for the road wanderer to discover. After the Caravan left Springfield we traveled Route 66 all the way to Bloomington. We also made some pleasant discoveries too. Here's but a few of them for your enjoyment.

Die Cast Auto Sales

The Die Cast Auto Sales in Williamsville on Route 66 was a pleasant surprise. None of us realized it was here at all. This was once a real gas station on Route 66. If these walls could talk!

     

Jackie and Frank Kohlrus own the Die Cast Auto Sales in Williamsville. Frank was in Springfield when we dropped by. Jackie made us feel more than welcome.

Jackie Kohlrus
     

Don't Talk to Strangers

Don't talk to strangers! At least "she" didn't talk back to me. I think I just may have been on the road too long when I start putting my arm around well formed polymer and try to start up a conversation about Route 66!

 

Pig Hip ~ Broadwell

As I drove down Old Route 66 through the countryside I was relaxed and enjoying my stroll down the two lane. Farms and barns, fields and ponds, and a glorious blue sky added to the peace and tranquility of the moment. This was Route 66 in all its glory. I could see the Interstate off in the distance; the 18-wheelers lined up one after another with tiny cars dodging in and out like ants in one frenzied mass movement towards the horizon. I was happy. Happy I wasn't among them jockeying for position in the fast lane, tense and ever watchful. I pulled in the small town of Broadwell and saw a Route 66 road icon on my left so I pulled over to investigate. It was the Pig-Hip Restaurant, and up until now I had only read about it.

Pig Hip Sign

Broadwell, Illinois is home to the famous Pig-Hip Restaurant, a well known road icon for half a century.

     

Back in 1937 Ernie Edwards started his roadside business and served a nation on the move. He ran the Pig-Hip until 1991 when he closed. As Ernie put it, "I was getting pretty tired and knew it was time for a break."

The Pig Hip Restaurant

     
Ernie and Frances Edwards

The Pig-Hip is open again these days, but not as a restaurant. With the help of the Illinois Route 66 Association Preservation Committee it has become a Mother Road Museum. Frances and Ernie Edwards now greet travelers with smiles instead of burgers.

 

Historic Atlanta, Illinois

Once again I was cruising down the road looking for remnants of the hey-day of Route 66. As I approached the town of Atlanta I saw the speed zone sign. But this one was different. I plainly read, "Speed Zone - Historic Buildings." Quite confident that I wouldn't be in any danger from any wayward historic buildings that suddenly ran out in the road in front of me, I still proceeded with caution. I just didn't know what to expect. When I did see Atlanta, I instantly liked the town. Those historic buildings are well kept and fascinating. This is another unique town full of great photo shots.
     
Atlanta Street

Atlanta is proud of its Route 66 Heritage. Its historic preservation efforts are obvious. This was truly a main street that conjured up images from Norman Rockwell and strangely, the movie "Back to the Future."

     

This old wooden grain elevator was one of the first things I saw as I entered Atlanta. I found out that this is the J.H. Hawes Elevator, built in 1903, and is the only fully restored elevator of its type in Illinois.

Old Wooden Grain Elevator

         

Atlanta Public Library and Museum

The Atlanta Public Library was built in 1908 with a style of architecture based on the classic 1840s with high ceilings and a domed rotunda. In 1973 a museum of local history was added. This building is quite impressive. It along with the J.H. Hawes Elevator are on the National Register of Historic Places.

     

This classic clock tower is next to the Public Library and Museum and I believe this combination made me think of the movie "Back to the Future." Atlanta is a town that bears more investigating in my opinion. I'll be back.

Atlanta Clock

 


West 66
Previous Log
Go West down the Mother Road

Road Log pages read like a book:

Follow the Route 66 Caravan
down the Mother Road ~
select the Route 66 direction
you would like to go.

East 66
Dixie Trucker's Home
Go East on the Mother Road

 

 

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