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Route 66 News

Class of 2017 for Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame announced

The Route 66 Association of Illinois announced last month its three newest inductees to the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame.

The association inducts “people and places along Route 66 whose blend of hardy individualism and grassroots community spirit gave the road such special character.”

The 2017 inductees were announced at a ceremony in Lincoln, Illinois, during the annual Illinois Route 66 Motor Tour.

Information about the inductees was published in the current issue of The 66 News magazine, published by the association.

The entire list of Hall of Fame inductees since 1990 is here. Plaques of all the Hall of Famers are at the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum in Pontiac, Illinois.

The inductees are:

Jubelt’s Bakery and Restaurant, Litchfield, Illinois. The restaurant’s roots began in 1922 when Paul, Albert and Fred Jubelt took over a bakery in Mount Olive, Illinois, another future Route 66 town. Paul Jubelt eventually became the sole owner and opened several other stores specializing in sandwiches, soups and salads in central Illinois, including in Litchfield in 1952. The current Jubelt’s opened at a former Burger Chef restaurant in 1982. The Litchfield site is the only survivor of the Jubelt’s chain.

Cozy Inn / Mario’s Pizza — Julie and Jerry Causer, Pontiac, Illinois. The Cozy Inn restaurant and bar during the 1930s and ’40s became a vital bus stop, especially during the Chicago World’s Fair. The Cozy Inn eventually turned into a pizza parlor, and Mario’s Pizza has continued to serve customers on Route 66 for more than 40 years. “The entire interior of the building has been transformed into a historical gallery about the building, the family businesses, Historic Route 66 and Bob Waldmire and his art,” the nominating petition from Dave Sullivan.┬áJulie Causer’s grandmother and great-grandmother worked at the Cozy Inn, and she lived just two houses off the route. She began working at Mario’s and later was joined by her husband, Jerry.

Patrick “Pat” McElroy, operator of Pat’s Standard Service, Dwight, Illinois. In 1965, McElroy leased McElroy’s Standard station at Route 53 and 129 (Route 66 and alternate Route 66) in Gardner, Illinois. He also leased Pat’s Standard Service at Route 47 and Route 66 in Dwight and soon gave his full commitment to there into a 24-hour business. He used four tow trucks and his repair staff was acclaimed. He became a certified diver to aid state police with submerged vehicles and started a “tire bank” to help semi drivers get back on the road quickly after flats. He also was known for giving friendly service to everybody — including hippies during the 1960s. He died of a heart attack in 1976, shortly before Interstate 55 arrived in Dwight.

(Images of Jubelt’s in Litchfield, Illinois, and Mario’s Pizza in Pontiac, Illinois, via Facebook)

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