Friday, September 28, 2012

Route 66 - Day 7 - Staunton, IL to St. Louis, MO

Route 66 - Part 1
Day 7 Staunton, IL to St. Louis, MO
51 Actual Miles / 575 Actual Elevation

The riders left the Super 8 Staunton under good skies and warming temperatures. A relatively short mileage day gives the riders the opportunity to explore St. Louis, MO and enjoy their restday tomorrow.
Neon Cross of Route 66 – It is blue and big and even though it is rendered in neon, there is something tasteful about it. It was placed on the front of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church by a family who son drowned at Anzio during the Allied invasion of Italy in WWII.
Weezy's [formerly Scotty's Roadhouse]
Hamel has a wonderful old roadhouse left left over from the busy days of Route 66. It was built by Ernie Cassin, a Route 66 businessman. Ernie had the Farmer's Hudson Dealership back in the old days. He began to transport cars from Detroit into the area and Cassin's Transport was born. It appears that Ernie's daughter was rather rambunctious back then so to give her something to do, in other words - keep her out of trouble - he built this fine old roadhouse for her in the 1930s. Today it still continues operation as Weezy's [formerly Scotty's Roadhouse]. The town of Hamel still celebrates its Route 66 heritage. Yes, Al Capone used to come through here quite often from DeCamp Junction on his way to the Luna Cafe in Mitchell.

Edwardsville was founded in 1813 which makes it one of the oldest towns in the region. It was named in honor of the Illinois' Territorial Governor, Ninian Edwards. Edwardsville is located at the edge of the Mississippi River Valley. From here there is a nice downhill descent towards the river.
Town & Country Motel
This old sign is all that remains of a motor court located on the outskirts of Edwardsville. 


Luna Cafe
- 201 East Chain of Rocks Road [618-931-3152] Has a great neon sign and quite a history involving gangsters, gambling, and “ladies of the night,” whose presence was announced by lighting the “cherry” on the neon sign.

            Madison County Historical Museum and Library - 715 N. Main Street – 1836 home with period furnishings, historical costumes, and other exhibits.
            Bilbrey Farms - 8724 Pin Oak Rd – An exotic animal zoo featuring zebras, llamas, and miniature horses.

Granite City
Old Six Mile Museum in the Emmert-Zippel House
            Old Six Mile Museum - 3729 Maryville Road – Granite City was once known as Six Mile, due to its distance from the Mississippi River. The museum is housed in the Emmert-Zippel Mansion dating from the 1830s.


Collinsville, IL
            Cahokia Mounds - [618-346-5160] Officially Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site; the location of an ancient Native-American settlement near Collinsville, IL, and across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, MO. The complex includes the largest man-made mound in North America. these remains are of the largest prehistoric Indian city north of Mexico.
Horseradish Capital - Collinsville, IL is best known as the home of the World's Largest Catsup Bottle. However, the locals who feel such claims to fame are undignified came up with the Horseradish Capital nickname to divert attention to a more serious asset of the area. Southern Illinois, of which Collinsville is a part, produces about 80 percent of the world's horseradish crop.
            World's Largest Catsup Bottle - 800 S. Morrison Avenue (Hwy 159) This 170-foot-tall water tower was built in 1949 outside the bottling plant for Brooks Catsup. It is composed of a 70-foot-tall catsup bottle-shaped tank on top of a 100-foot-tall steel base. In 1995, a concerned group of citizens restored it to its original appearance, and it is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Although many people prefer the "ketchup" spelling, "catsup" is used on the official website and other materials.
  the Arch...
 Our hotel...

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