Southern View in Sangamon County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Route 66, the Mother Road, is an American icon that symbolizes romance and freedom of the open road. Born in 1926, Route 66 was one of the first numbered U.S. highways, journeying 2,500 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles. Today, you can still "get your kicks on Route 66" by exploring the Illinois Historic Route 66 National Scenic Byway.
The Mother Road
Route 66 was the road of flight for people escaping the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. It was the route of adventure for families seeking the wonders of the Southwest and California in the 1950s and '60s.
Quirky attractions lured travelers off the road with the promise of fun and adventure. Explore giants, museums, and other attractions that still exist today.
Fill 'er Up?
Service stations along Route 66 did more than just pump gas. Friendly attendants assisted travelers with a smile. Today, you can rediscover several historic service stations.
On to Missouri
The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge is the scenic endpoint of Route 66 in Illinois. It served as a crossing over
Historic Route 66 starts in downtown Chicago, the business and cultural capital of the Midwest. It travels through bustling Chicago suburbs before reaching the rural countryside.
Main Street of America
Grain elevators and fields greet modern travelers, much as they did in earlier eras. Journey through prairie farmland and friendly Midwestern towns.
Diners and cafes sprang up along the road catering to people on the move. You can still enjoy home style cooking from a time before fast food.
Route 66 Lives On
Unable to compete with fast-moving freeways, U.S. Route 66 was decommissioned in 1985. Nostalgia for hometowns and America's landscape, fueled by movies, TV shows, and music, keeps the Mother Road alive.
Route 66 Attractions in the Springfield Region
1. Williamsville Historical Museum - Housed in a historic depot and two authentic railway boxcars, the museum offers photos and stories of the time Route 66 passed through town.
2. Route 66 Memorial Rest Area - Stop for a picnic at one of the few remaining Route 66 wayside parks and discover the story of rest areas.
4. Illinois State Police Museum - View vintage cars, uniforms, and other artifacts in honor of those who patrolled the original "Hard Road" since 1922.
5. Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site
6. Illinois State Capitol & Illinois State Museum
7. Maid Rite Sandwich Shop - Grab a tasty sandwich at one of the country's oldest drive-ins dating to 1924. Order at the first drive-up window in America.
8. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
9. Lincoln Home National Historic Site
10. Lauterbach Giant - Snap a photo with this patriotic "muffler man" in the parking lot of Lauterbach Tire and Auto Service.
11. Knights Action Park - Started as a golf driving range along Route 66 in 1930, this has grown into a popular family amusement park. A Route 66 Twin Drive-In theater shows movies in season.
12. Cozy Dog Drive In - Enjoy the original "hotdog on a stick" created by Ed Waldmire Jr. in 1946. This classic drive-in is a shrine to all things Route 66.
13. Route 66 Hotel & Conference Center - Originally a classic Holiday Inn along the old highway, the hotel today features a Route 66 theme, "mini museum," and the Filling Station Bar and Grill.
14. The Curve Inn - Opened in 1945, the public was served in the main tavern area, while "special" customers could ring a buzzer for the gambling and prostitution parlor on the upper floor.
15. Road under Lake Springfield - When Lake Springfield filled in 1933, a portion of Route 66 was flooded. Hike on original pavement to see where it dips below the waves.
16. Chatham Railroad Museum - Built in a 1902 depot, the museum features displays that interpret the railroad history of the region.
17. Sugar Creek Covered Bridge - Take a short detour off of Route 66 and have a picnic next to this restored 1880 bridge.
Metropolis on the Prairie - Route 66 in Springfield
Springfield, the hub of Illinois and the heart of the Land of Lincoln, has long been a tourist destination on Route 66. Motorists were met with a galaxy of neon signs promoting local temptations like Cozy Dogs and Horseshoe Sandwiches. Motels lined the dazzling thoroughfare leading into the capital city. Just like today, people flocked here to experience the legacy of Abraham Lincoln.
Modern Motor Motels
It was an adventure to stay in a 1950s motor court. In Springfield, some motels were fashioned like adobe and promised a southwestern destination. Others lured visitors with space age symbols of Sputnik. Motels competed with increasingly luxurious amenities such as playgrounds, swimming pools, and color television.
Eating Out on the Town
Hungry Route 66 travelers have always savored famous food innovations that originated here in Springfield. Tackle a Horseshoe Sandwich, nibble a genuine Cozy Dog, and savor a Mel-O-Cream donut.
Many Springfield restaurants along Route 66 offer their own signature Horseshoe Sandwiches. They are made of several layers: bread on the bottom, ham steak or hamburger patties in the middle, fries on top, and everything smothered with cheese sauce.
Mel-O-Cream Donuts was founded as a retail shop in Springfield in 1932. They primarily sell to restaurants and grocery stores. But in Springfield, you can stop by a donut shop and get them fresh from the oven.
Cozy dogs are the original "hotdog on a stick," deep fried in batter. They were first served in 1946 at the Lake Springfield Beach House. They're still served up hot at the Cozy Dog Drive In along Route 66.
Erected by Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Roads & Vehicles • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the U.S. Route 66 series list.
Location. 39° 45.75′ N, 89° 38.912′ W. Marker is in Southern View, Illinois, in Sangamon County. Marker is on South 6th Street (Business Interstate 55) 0.4 miles south of East Linton Avenue, on the right when traveling south. Marker is in front of Cozy Dog Drive-In. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2935 S 6th St, Springfield IL 62703, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Cozy Dog Drive In, Springfield, Illinois (a few steps from this marker); Historic Route 66 Illinois (a few steps from this marker); Springfield Home for the Friendless / Family Service Center (approx. 1.7 miles away); Dana Thomas House (approx. 2.2 miles away); Lincoln Home National Historic Site (approx. 2.3 miles away); Solomon Allen Barn (approx. 2.3 miles away); George W. Shutt House (approx. 2.3 miles away); Henson Robinson House (approx. 2.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Southern View.
More about this marker. This is one of 13 "experience hubs" that are all over Illinois along the old Route 66. All experience hub markers have the same front text, but have different reverse signs on the back. They also have a button where people can listen to Bobby Troup's "Get Your Kicks on Route 66". Some have a passport rubbing area, as this one does.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 27, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 43 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 27, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.