Mining and Route 66 museum coming to Godley

An Illinois Route 66 Mining Museum soon will be established in the old City Hall building of Godley, Ill., according to a news release today.

Exhibits will feature the region’s mining roots, its ancient beginnings unearthed as the result of the mining industry, the Route 66 culture the evolved along the way, and other topics of local interest.

The project is made possible through a joint partnership between the grassroots group, Godley Red Carpet Corridor Committee, the Village of Godley, and the Route 66 Association of Illinois Preservation Committee.

Catherine Costello, executive director of the Godley Red Carpet group, said she hopes to have the museum open full-time by summer. The old City Hall building is at 150 S. Kankakee St. in Godley (map here).

However, the museum will open for the Illinois Red Carpet Corridor Festival on May 7-8. Costello said the museum will host Bob and Peggy Kraft, former owners of the Riviera Roadhouse in nearby Gardner. A fire destroyed the Riviera last year, but the museum will host a “Taste of the Riviera,” where Bob Kraft will make sweet cocktails, tend bar like he did for decades, and display memorabilia from the Riviera.

The Route 66 Association of Illinois Preservation Committee plans to hold a work day at the museum at 10 a.m. March 26 for interior and exterior construction and painting. A supper will be planned for work-day participants. Those interesting in helping should contact John Weiss at 815-458-6616.

Before the work day begins, a short ceremony will be held for those who died in the Diamond Mine Disaster in nearby Braidwood, Ill., in 1883. Forty-six workers remain entombed in the mine after it collapsed, despite weeks of rescue efforts.

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