“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Carlinville in Macoupin County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Circling The Square

Route 66 in Carlinville

Circling The Square Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, January 14, 2020
1. Circling The Square Marker
Inscription.  The first hard road connecting Chicago and St. Louis passed through the heart of Carlinville. In 1926, Route 66 opened from Chicago to Los Angeles and followed Route 4 through Illinois. The “Mother Road” Circled the Carlinville Square until 1930, when it was rerouted and bypassed Carlinville to the east.

To Move or Stay?

The Ariston Restaurant opened on the Carlinville Square in 1924. Business boomed when Route 66 was routed through town. When the highway moved to Litchfield in 1929, the Ariston’s owner decided to follow.

Today, the Ariston is still open and serving Historic 66 travelers in Litchfield.

Carlinville Square Through the Years


The Macoupin County courthouse was originally built on the public square. It was here that Abraham Lincoln represented clients as a circuit court rider. The famous “million dollar courthouse” was built off the square in 1869 and is still in use today.


In 1913, Carlinville was in transition from horse and buggy to the automobile. The Loomis House, a 50 room hotel and Carlinville
Circling The Square Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, January 14, 2020
2. Circling The Square Marker
In front of the public square and gazebo
landmark, was visible to the right of the square.

Late 1940s

The square in the late 1940s with a view of the courthouse.
Erected by Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway.
Marker series. This marker is included in the U.S. Route 66 marker series.
Location. 39° 16.801′ N, 89° 52.896′ W. Marker is in Carlinville, Illinois, in Macoupin County. Marker is at the intersection of North Side Square (Illinois Route 4/108) and North Broad Street (Illinois Route 4), on the left when traveling south on North Side Square. Marker is located in the north-central part of Carlinville Public Square. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 518 North Side Square, Carlinville IL 62626, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Original Site of the Ariston Cafe, 1924 (within shouting distance of this marker); Abraham Lincoln Spoke Here (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Carlinville, Illinois (approx. 0.4 miles away).
More about this marker. This is one of 31 wayside exhibit markers from the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway group.
Regarding Circling The Square. Carlinville is known to have the only Town Square on Illinois Route 66 that went completely around.
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More. Search the internet for Circling The Square.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 15, 2020. This page originally submitted on January 15, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 30 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 15, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.
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