Litchfield Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center wins $30,000 grant to expand veterans exhibit

The Litchfield Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center in Litchfield, Illinois, recently won a $30,000 grant to help expand its Veterans’ Room there.

Anne Jackson, secretary of the welcome center, detailed the windfall in a letter to the Journal-News:

The Litchfield Chamber of Commerce had been housed in the museum since our opening.  They decided to move to larger quarters and moved out Aug. 1. All agreed their presence would be missed, however, it offered us a unique opportunity to increase our floor space by not renting that office. The only problem was that the income gained through renting that office, was needed to help pay expenses.    
We wrote a grant to the W. Darrell Kilton Foundation to cover the income that office generated through the expected time of paying off our mortgage.  We were beyond thrilled to learn that we were awarded that grant, and now have an additional space to display items of interest.
It was decided that the space formerly occupied by the chamber will now become the Veterans’ Room.  We are so excited to have a designated area to honor the veterans of Litchfield.  Thanks to the generosity of the Elizabeth Baker Trust and the Corwin Memorial Trust two new display cases have been purchased.

Jackson later confirmed to Route 66 News the Kilton Foundation grant was $30,000.

She said one of the displays for the Veterans’ Room would be a slideshow of pictures and newspaper clippings of veterans from Litchfield.

Jackson stated the grand opening of the Veterans’ Room will coincide with the bicentennial of Montgomery County next year.

In addition to its historical artifacts inside, the museum at 334 Old Route 66 features the restored Vic Suhling / Gas For Less neon sign out front. And the historic Ariston Cafe is across the street.

(Image of the Vic Suhling / Gas For Less sign and the Litchfield Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center in Litchfield, Illinois, courtesy of Jim Thole)

2 thoughts on “Litchfield Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center wins $30,000 grant to expand veterans exhibit

  1. Ron Miles and I were in Litchfield in 2001 and 2006, when we drove all of Route 66 in my Fiat Panda, brought from England on both occasions. Rod Harsh met us on both visits, the second time introducing us to the Webb City Chamber of Commerce, who entertained us to lunch. On both our trips we met Bunny Sies and her delightful family and dined at The Ariston, where we also met fellow Route 66 enthusiasts Kitty and Rev. Bob Harmon. Bunny had procured lots of “goodies” for us from Litchfield Chamber of Commerce. Sadly, a few years after we last met Bunny, she died. I had kept in touch with her for many years from 2001. Her husband Kelley worked at the Litchfield Post Office. Everyone that we met on our Mother Road trips made us so welcome. I do hope all the bad feeling that has so dominated America in the past 4 years, will cease after next month’s Presidential election. Peter Woodman, Bishopstone, England.

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