Neon sign just outside Lexington marks its 75th anniversary

Many times, I’ve driven by the neon “Lexington” sign that stands along Route 66 in Lexington, Illinois, and thought: “I wonder how long that sign has been there?”

That question was answered this week during the “How Time Flies” featurette in The Pantagraph in nearby Bloomington:

Aug. 31, 1946: Lexington has a new neon sign along Route 66, pointing the way into the city. It is lettered simply, “Lexington.” Lexington is among the first communities to have one of these. (It’s still there and still works, according to the Lexington city clerk’s office.)

TheRoute-66.com reports the sign, which points travelers to the downtown district, was restored a few years ago. It stands just west of the route off Main Street, next to a bicycle trail that also uses the former southbound lanes of four-lane 66.

The sign also points travelers within a couple of blocks of older Route 66, aka Memory Lane, that city officials open several times a year for special events. Memory Lane is original-pavement Route 66, when the highway officially was federally certified in 1926. That stretch served as Route 66 until the 1940s.

(Image of the Lexington neon sign in Lexington, Illinois, by tengrrl via Flickr)

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