Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Route 66 - Day 4 - Pontiac, IL to McLean, IL

Route 66 - Part 1
Day 4 Pontiac, IL to McLean, IL
52 miles / 689 elevation

Not long after the riders got back on Old Route 66 after leaving the Super 8 Pontiac, they entered the town of Chenoa, and this is the first road sign I saw... interesting 

            Matthew T. Scott Home - 227 N. First Street – It is a historic house that was the home of Matthew T. and his wife Julia Green Scott, Julia being one of the founders of the Daughters of the American  Revolution.I t was built in two parts; the first section of the house was built in 1855 in a form known informally as a Kentucky Cat Slide and it is the caretakers living quarters. The second section, the front section was built in 1863 in the form know as Georgian. The house features three period rooms, a Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) room, and a Chenoa room. The house is significant as an example of a home from this time period. The house was often visited by Adlai Ewing Stevenson I and his cousin James Stevenson Ewing, U.S. minister to Belgium. Adlai Stevenson and Letitia Green were married here and had their first child, Lewis Green Stevenson in this house in 1868. The house was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on February 10, 1983.


This town offers a wider view of the life and times of Route 66 in Illinois. Watch for the red neon LEXINGTON sign erected to pull travelers in from the four-lane bypass. One section of that bypass has now been closed and rededicated as Memory Lane, a walking trail. You can walk right out on a one-mile stretch of the old pavement, where you will find period billboards, Burma Shave signs, etc.
Patton Cabin – A log structure, parts of which date from 1829. Originally located about a mile and a half to the southeast, the cabin was reassembled in the Lexington Pool Park in 1969.

Towanda – “Dead Man’s Curve” where Jackson Street bends sharply onto Quincy. The town has made good use of a portion of the abandoned westbound lanes of a former 4-lane 66, creating a Walking Tour along the defunct roadway. Titled Historic Rte 66 “A Geographic Journey,” the trail is complete with displays honoring all eight states and “Burma Shave” signs. The tour begins at Jefferson Street and ends at Boyd Wesley Park.

Beer Nuts - 103 N. Robinson Street [800-BEER-NUT] Well-known American snack-food brand with its headquarters in the Route66town of Bloomington. There is a gift shop on premises and visitors can view a video of the manufacturing process.
Adlai Stevenson I
            Hometown of politician Adlai Stevenson - (901 N. McLean)
TV's M*A*S*H Colonel Henry Blake played by actor McLean Stevenson (11/14/1927 - 2/15/1996) grew up here.
American author, artist, philospher and publisher Elbert Green Hubbard (6/19/1857 - 5/7/1915) perished on the RMS Lusitania was from the area
Pawnee Bill, aka Gordon W. Lillie who produced Wild West Shows in the first decade of the 1900s, similar to the shows Buffalo Bill became famous for was born here.
Bloomington is also the birthplace of the Republican Party, which was organized at a convention in 1856. It is also called GOP (Grand Old Party)

            Bloomington is the Corporate home of insurance company State Farm.
Bloomington is the birthplace of the Midwest-based burger chain Steak and Shake started in 1934.
Luccas Grill - Italian American Food

Lucca Grill - 116 E. Market Street [309-828-7521] Serving pizza and pasta dishes since the 1930s.
Nestle Logo
Nestle Candy Factory – 101 S. Lumber – formerly Beich Candy
McLean County Museum of History - 200 N. Main – Old 1093 Courthouse
David Davis Mansion
David Davis Mansion State Historic Site - 1000 E. Monroe Street – 1872-era Victorian masterpiece.The David Davis Mansion, completed in 1872, combines Italianate and Second Empire architectural features and is a model of mid-Victorian style and taste. Known as Clover Lawn, it was the home of David Davis, the friend, mentor and campaign manager for Abraham Lincoln. As President, Lincoln appointed Davis as United States Supreme Court Justice in 1862.
            Prairie Aviation Museum - 2929 E. Empire Street – Exhibit includes a meticulously restored DC-3 and a collection of Ozark Airlines memorabilia.

Funk Prairie Home
            Funk Prairie Home - 10875 Prairie Home Lane – The home was originally built in 1863. Located on the same 27-acre property, the Funk Gem Rock & Mineral Museum is a collection of gemstones, fossils and petrified wood accumulated by Lafayette Funk II.

Funks Grove
Maple Sirup at Funk's Grove, Illinois
Fair warning before you miss it!

 Wonderful area to sit and relax at Funks Grove Sirup

 Gleida wlecomed us to Funk' Grove with a huge smile, warm words and delicious sirup!

How appropriate!
Bill K poses for a photo op in Funks Grove, IL

This eagle rests in front of the Funk family home

Funks Grove was just recently awarded this midpoint sign
            Sirup - [309-874-3360] Idiosyncratic spelling of "syrup" used by the Funk family of Illinois to describe their maple product which they have been making since 1891. You can still visit their store and grove of maples near the village of Funks Grove, IL.

A nice stop for a hearty meal!
            Dixie Truckers Home - it is almost as old as Route 66 itself. In 1928 J.P. Walters and John Geske rented a quarter of a mechanic's garage on Route 66 to sell sandwiches to truckers and passing motorists. The fledgling restaurant has a counter and 6 stools when it began. By the mid 1930s things had changed. For many years a tiny hallway in this truck stop served as the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame, with several display cases of photos, souvenirs, and other keepsakes. The Hall of Fame was moved to Pontiac, IL, upon the opening of the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum in an old firehouse in 2004. The Dixie is still reputed to be the oldest continuously operating truck stop on Route 66.

The day ended at the Super 8 McLean, IL

No comments:

Post a Comment