Route 66 Caravan

America's Biggest Road Trip!

Route 66 Caravan Road Log:
June 22, 2003


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Illinois Preservation Project

Historic Odell Station

This beautiful old gas station was built in 1932 and served travelers on Route 66 until the mid 1960s when it stopped selling gas. This station then was used as a body shop until it closed its doors in 1975. Years of neglect took their toll on this old Standard station. The station would have disappeared if it had not been for the preservation efforts of the Illinois Route 66 Association and their Preservation Committee. A total of $55,000, from grants, matching funds and donations was raised to restore this station to its former glory. Not bad for a grass roots effort. John and Lenore Weiss were driving force behind this restoration. These two, along with the dedicated volunteers from the Preservation Committee, did what others said couldn't be done. Hampton  even donated $10,000 for this worth while project. In fact it could be said that the Odell Station preservation project was the start of Hampton's interest in Route 66 with their Save-A-Landmark project. Now this station has been restored to its former glory. The Odell Station may not sell gas anymore, but it has become a Mecca for the Route 66 road wanderer and is the focus of many car rallies and motorcycle tours. It also makes one heck of a photo opportunity as I hope you can tell from these pictures.
        
Odell Station at Night

The restoration project included getting the old lights working again. It tis a beautiful site to see these lights at night. I wonder how many travelers from yesterday thought the same thing, especially when their gas tank was low!

        

The Odell Station today is a beautiful example of the days when America was beginning its love affair with the automobile. This station has seen it all I bet. Who were the people that stopped here once, what were their stories? Let your imagine go and ponder these things next time you're in Odell.

Beautiful Odell Station

     

Odell Station

Maybe this beautiful old automobile can perk up your imagination about the Odell Standard Station. This scene looks so natural doesn't it?

      

Preservationists extraordinary, Lenore and John Weiss can be justifiably proud of the Odell Standard Station. They definitely are hammer and nails kind of people. Good job guys!

Lenore and John Weiss

 

Odell Station Ceremony

Route 66 Caravan at Odell

The Route 66 Caravan RV at the Odell Standard Station.

         

Though the Roadside Attraction sign was put up last year we thought it fitting to have a celebration honoring the movers and shakers at the Odell Station. John and Lenore Weiss and Jeff LaFollette are just the tip of the preservation iceberg here in Illinois.

Odell Ceremony

     
Lenore and John Weiss and the Caravan

The Save-A-Landmark Route 66 Caravan RV even has the Odell Standard Station on the side. This is definitely a preservation success story.

     

Russell E. Thalman knows Route 66 in Illinois. He should because he drove a Greyhound bus from Chicago to St. Louis from 1950 through 1973 during the hey-day of Route 66.

Russell E. Thalman

       
Odell Roadside Attraction

 

Classic Route 66 in Odell

Odell Catholic Church

Odell has some other classic Route 66 structures as well as the Odell Station. This Catholic Church is a beautiful example. During the golden era of Route 66 there was a tunnel under Route 66 here between the school and church because traffic was so heavy on the old road.

     

Near the old Mobile Station in Odell the owner has collected some pretty cool vintage gas pumps.

Odell Vintage Pumps

 


West 66
Previous Log
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Follow the Route 66 Caravan
down the Mother Road ~
select the Route 66 direction
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East 66
Dwight, Illnois
Go East on the Mother Road

 

 

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