“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lincoln in Logan County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Lincoln, Illinois

Welcome to Route 66 Illinois

Lincoln, Illinois Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, September 27, 2020
1. Lincoln, Illinois Marker
Front side (all Illinois Route 66 experience hubs have the same front)


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.

Roadside Oddities

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.
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It served as a crossing over the Mississippi River for traffic from 1936 to 1955. It is now open for walking and biking.

The Beginning

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.

Good Eatin'

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.

(reverse, top panel:)

Route 66 Attractions in the Lincoln Region

1. Old Rt. 66 Alignment - Walk on original concrete pavement laid in 1922 for Illinois State Road 4, which later became Route 66.

2. Bunyon's Statue - Get your photo taken with this fiberglass giant "Muffler Man", an icon on Illinois Route 66 since 1965. He moved from Cicero to Atlanta
Lincoln, Illinois Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, September 27, 2020
2. Lincoln, Illinois Marker
Reverse side
in 2003.

3. Palms Grill Café - Operated from 1934 to the late 1960s, the café was restored and reopened in 2009. Enjoy a home-cooked meal while discovering Atlanta's history.

4. Route 66 Park & Mural - Have a picnic in the park and celebrate Atlanta's location midway on Illinois Route 66. Listen to an Atlanta resident recall his experience at the Palms Grill Café, which once served as a bus stop.

5. Hawes Grain Elevator - Schedule a tour through the only restored wooden grain elevator in Illinois.

6. Lincoln Heritage Museum at Lincoln College - Discover rare Abe Lincoln artifacts.

7. Lincoln Christening Site - Abe Lincoln christened the town in 1853 by squeezing the juice of a watermelon.

8. Logan County Courthouse - See grand architecture and art in a historic downtown shopping district.

9. Postville Courthouse - A replica of the building where Abraham Lincoln practiced law from 1840-1848. Also visit the 1848 Mt. Pulaski Courthouse where Lincoln tried cases, 12 miles southeast near the intersection of Routes 121 and 54.

10. The Mill Restaurant - From 1929 to 1996, this was a popular stop along Route 66 famous for its schnitzel.

11. Lincoln City Hall - Look up on the roof of this 1895 brick building to see the famous storm spotter's telephone
Lincoln, Illinois Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Jason Voigt, September 27, 2020
3. Lincoln, Illinois Marker
Experience hub is in a grassy area, just outside the downtown district

12. World's Largest Covered Wagon - Built in 2001, this wagon holds the Guinness World Record for being the largest covered wagon.

13. Ghost Bridge - Ruins of a concrete Route 66 bridge over Salt Creek.

14. [there was no #14]

15. Pig Hip Memorial - Once the home of a famous restaurant operated by Ernie Edwards from 1937 to 1991.

16. Historic Elkhart - Experience the historic downtown, wooded cemeteries, an 1890 chapel, and Lincoln-related wayside exhibits.

(reverse, bottom panel:)

Touring the Heart of Lincoln Country - Route 66 in Logan County

Route 66 journeys through the heart of Abraham Lincoln country. The "hard road" connected rural farms and towns to Chicago and St. Louis markets. The road was alive with motels, service stations, and diners serving cross-country travelers. Motorists became the lifeblood of towns that once depended on the railroad.

Route 66 Follows the Railroad

Construction of the Chicago and Alton (C&A) Railroad in the mid-1800s gave rise to small towns in central Illinois, such as Lincoln, Atlanta, and Elkhart. When Route 66 was established in 1926, it paralleled the tracks, following the most direct route between Chicago and St. Louis. Businesses shifted their focus from the tracks to the road.

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Was Here!

Abraham Lincoln practiced law in Logan County from 1840 to 1847 while riding the Eighth Judicial Circuit. The city of Lincoln is the only town that was named for Abe before he became president. He helped plat the original community. On August 27, 1853, residents named the new town in honor of Lincoln, who christened it with the juice of a watermelon.

(photo captions:)

Amtrak still stops near the 1911 brick depot to take on and discharge passengers.

The site where Lincoln christened the town is now marked by a watermelon statue near the depot.
Erected by Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & ViaductsIndustry & CommerceParks & Recreational AreasRoads & Vehicles. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the U.S. Route 66 series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1926.
Location. 40° 8.841′ N, 89° 21.7′ W. Marker is in Lincoln, Illinois, in Logan County. Marker is at the intersection of North Kickapoo Street (Loop Interstate 55) and Pekin Street on North Kickapoo Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 123 N Kickapoo St, Lincoln IL 62656, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lincoln Public Library (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Logan County's Civil War Dead (about 400 feet away); Logan County Circuit Court (about 500 feet away); Robert B. Latham Home (about 500 feet away); Abraham Lincoln - Eighth Judicial District (about 500 feet away); The Lincoln House (about 500 feet away); Samuel C. Parks (about 500 feet away); Abraham Lincoln and Lincoln, Illinois (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lincoln.
More about this marker. This is one of 14 "experience hubs" (erected by Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway) 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. The top panel typically shows recommended Route 66 and local tourist stops, as well as maps of different Route 66 alignments. The bottom reverse panel usually has historical content, as well as a passport rubbing stamp. All experience hubs have a button where people can listen to Bobby Troup's "Get Your Kicks on Route 66".
Credits. This page was last revised on October 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 18, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 222 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 18, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.

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Jun. 2, 2023