Route 66

Route 66

Carlinville, Illinois .... where Lincoln walked & Route 66 rolled!

This Route 66 hub is located on the corner of Nicholas and North Broad Streets, in front of City Hall.

This Route 66 hub is located on the corner of Nicholas and North Broad Streets, in front of City Hall.

Cruise the Mother Road and get your kicks on the original Route 66! From 1926 through 1930, Route 66 followed State Road 4, the first fully paved highway in Illinois. The historic route stretched from Chicago to East St. Louis, passing through the heart of Carlinville. In 1927, Route 66 signs were posted across the eight states between Chicago and Santa Monica, California. However, by 1930, Illinois and Kansas, with their 12-mile stretch of the famed road, were the only states, which could boast of having a paved highway. During the '30's and '40's, the section of Route 66 between Springfield and Staunton was relocated twice.

Although Route 66 was decommissioned nationally in 1985 (due to the Interstate Highway System), its popularity and mystique never died. Ten years later, the Illinois
Department of Transportation officially recognized the Route 66 revival movement and posted historic markers along its length of the "Main Street of America." Visitors to Carlinville will find it easy to retrace the original Route 66 pathway.

Among the Route 66 attractions:

  • Log Cabin Stagecoach Stop. SW Corner of N. Broad and Blackburn Streets - Historic Stagecoach Inn c. 1835 (Restoration planned)
  • Elite Classic Cars. 1123 N. High St. - Classic and vintage autos, toys, signs and memorabilia
  • Sears Homes. Area bounded by Rice, High, University, Wilson, Sumner and Whitley Streets - Largest contiguous group of Sears Catalogue Homes in U.S. (Tours available)
  • Lou’s Automotive and Performance. 703 N. Broad St. - Restoration and service of classic, vintage and performance autos
  • Rt. 66 Experience Hub. NW Corner of N. Broad and Nicholas Streets - Illinois Rt. 66 Scenic Byway informational sign in the City Hall parking lot
  • “Moo-saics." 265 N. Broad St. - Unique farm mosaics on the Farm Credit building
  • Carlinville Town Square. Dine and shop where Lincoln once walked, on a classic town square with brick-paved streets and Victorian cast-iron storefronts. It is the only Town Square in Illinois that Rt. 66 went completely around.
  • Reno’s Rt. 66 Room & Murals. 518 N. Side Square - Don’t miss the “hidden” Statue of Liberty mural outside.
  • Rt. 66 Wayside Exhibit. North side Carlinville Square Park - Illinois Rt. 66 Scenic Byway informational sign
  • Old ITS Interurban Railway Station. 125 N. West St. - Former station for the Illinois Terminal System interurban railway that served towns from Springfield to St. Louis, historic photos of station inside
  • Old Lynch Rye Ghost Sign. West Street across from old ITS Station - Remains of classic advertising sign
  • Refuge Coffee House. 242 E. Side Square - Collection of t-shirts from around-the-world Rt. 66 travelers
  • Original site of Ariston Café. 230 E. Side Square - Where the Rt. 66 landmark restaurant originated back in 1924. Now the Cafe Piazza and Lucky Dogs Alehouse.
  • Loomis House. East Side Square - Grand hotel, built in 1869; rumored to be haunted
  • Taylor’s Mexican Chili. 33 Daley St. - World-famous chili parlor since 1904. Vintage 1950s neon sign next door.
  • Chamber of Commerce Visitors Center. 112 N. Side Square -
  • Selz Royal Blue Shoes “ghost sign” - Remains of classic advertising sign on the side of the Visitor’s Center
  • Site of Lincoln’s Speech. SE Corner of Broad and First South Streets - Where Abraham Lincoln spoke in his race against Stephen Douglas for the U.S. Senate, August 31, 1858
  • Million Dollar Courthouse. 200 E. First South St. - Begun as a $50,000 project, the cost ballooned to more than $1 million in 1870, the most magnificent courthouse in Illinois (Tours available)
  • Old County Jail of 1869. 203 E. First South St. - Cannonballs in the walls kept prisoners from escaping; in use for 119 years until 1988
  • Mary Hunter Austin Home. 654 E. First South St. - Childhood home of noted author of the American West, a friend of H.G. Wells, Jack London, Diego Rivera and Ansel Adams (Private
  • residence)
  • Crabby’s Supper Club. 18838 IL Route 4 - Classic 1950-era supper club
  • Carlin-Villa Motel. 18891 IL Route 4 - Classic 1960s era motel
Farm "moosaic" found on the side of a former Farm Production Services building on North Broad Street.

Farm "moosaic" found on the side of a former Farm Production Services building on North Broad Street.

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