Saturday, March 7, 2015

Rt 66 from Joliet to Springfield

We drove along the Old Route 66 all the way to Springfield, stopping at landmarks along the way.  Here are a just a few.
In Gardner, IL, Bob and Peggy Kraft donated this Rt. 66 Hall of Fame Streetcar.  The Kraft's provided years of food and service at their Riviera Roadhouse until it burnt down in 2010.
Gardner is also famous for one of its residents, Reverend Christian Christianson, who some say, saved the world in WWII.  He immigrated from Norway in 1881 and ordained a Lutheran minister in 1888.  One day during WWII he read an article about a facility Hitler had in Norway.  If it wasn't destroyed, Hitler just might come up with the atom bomb first.  The location was in the mountains and considered impossible to destroy.  When Christian read this, he knew he could help because he was raised in that area.  He contacted the Naval Department and offered to help.  Because of the detailed information on how to reach this area, a special operation, called Operation Gunnerside, destroyed the facility in February 1943.  Christian kept all this to himself, not even telling his family of his involvement.  The family found out following his death in 1947, when a letter was received from the King of Norway thanking him for his help in the war.

Many of the towns had restored gas station which are now visitor centers or gift shops with Rt. 66 memorabilia.

The Log Cabin Restaurant, built in 1926, is still operating today, although at one time, Rt. 66 was relocated to the backside of the restaurant and inn.  Afraid of loosing business, the owners jacked the building up and turned it around, so once again it was facing Rt. 66.  

The David Davis Mansion, an associate of Abraham Lincoln, was built in 1872. He was appointed by Lincoln as a Supreme Court Justice in 1862 and became a senator in 1877.  He lived here until his death in 1886.

This McLean County Courthouse in Bloomington, IL., built in 1868, replaced the courthouse where Lincoln gave several speeches between 1837 and 1860, when Lincoln became president.

Around the courthouse square are many buildings, including the offices where Abraham Lincoln practiced law.  This building has 3 distinct architectural styles, making it look as if 3 different buildings were stacked on top of each other.

I wonder what words of wisdom Max is getting from Lincoln?  Or maybe Max is giving Lincoln some words of advice.

State Farm Insurance, started in 1922, is headquartered in downtown Bloomington.

The Fire Company Building is considered an Art Deco building and is on the register of historic buildings.  It was built in 1929 and served as the Corporate Headquarters until 1974.

Founded in 1934 in Normal, IL, the original building is gone, so we had to have lunch in one of the newer franchises.

The Lincoln Library in Lincoln, IL.

Lincoln City Hall and Fire Department.  Yes, that is a phone booth sitting on top of the building.  Local lore says it was built for Civil Defense air raid spotters during the cold war.  Other stories say it was used by weather spotters, who would then call the information to local media.

On this site, Lincoln practiced law from 1856-1859 in two of the earlier Logan County courthouses.

Lincoln theater

Wall art in Lincoln, IL.

More wall art.

Near the old depot was where Abraham Lincoln christened the town with the juice of a watermelon in 1853.  Lincoln's funeral train stopped here in 1865 on its way to Springfield.

Lincoln, IL, was called Postville, prior to its christening in 1853.  The Postville Courthouse was the oldest on the Eighth Judicial Circuit, which Lincoln traveled for 25 years.

Across the street from the Postville Courthouse was the dekins Tavern.  Here Lincoln and other lawyers stayed when they traveled to Postville for court.   They say the lawyers, judges, witnesses, jurers and even prisinors often shared the same dining table at the tavern.  Today on the spot of Deskins Tavern, is another tavern of a sort, the VFW.

The Railsplitter Covered Wagon was built in 2007 and located here in 2009, honoring Abraham Lincoln in the only town named after him.

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