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Route 66 News

New fundraiser launched for The Mill in Lincoln

The Mill restaurant in Lincoln, Illinois, will reopen as a local museum April 29, but organizers for the Route 66 landmark seek to raise money for final restoration expenses before the big event.

This week, a Crowdrise fundraiser was launched by the Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County. Here’s what it says:

The Mill is a classic roadhouse diner along Old Route 66 in Lincoln, Illinois. It has been in the restoration process for the past 11 years, and is almost complete. We need to raise $3500 to $5000 for final restoration expenses, but if we raise more, that will help us with our annual expenditures ($4000 a year in insurance and utility costs). The Mill is owned by the Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County, a 501(c)(3) non-profit tax-deductible organization. The Mill reopens as a museum on April 29th, 2017, with a grand opening celebration and parade along Old Route 66 and Old Route 4 in Lincoln, as part of Route 66 Day. You’re invited!

Here’s the accompanying crowdfunding video that shows The Mill’s history, what’s been done, some sneak peeks of what’s in the museum and what’s left to do to make it 100 percent finished. It’s worth your time.

The Mill, which featured a Dutch-inspired design and a turning windmill, opened on U.S. 66 in Lincoln in 1929.

The restaurant fell into decline during the 1980s and closed in 1996. At one point, The Mill, which had declined into an eyesore, essentially was condemned by the city and faced the wrecking ball. But local tourism official Geoff Ladd led an effort to save and restore the building about a decade ago.

The Mill was inducted into the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame, and volunteers from the Illinois Route 66 Association have overseen several renovation efforts for it.

Disclosure: The Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County is a current nonprofit advertiser for the The Mill’s reopening event.

(Image of The Mill in 2009 by Brian Marsh via Flickr)

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