Illinois announces $4 million in grants for projects along Route 66

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and Gov. JB Pritzker on Monday announced $4 million in grants for various projects along Route 66, including a visitors center in a former Edwardsville gas station, reopening the old Cannonball Jail in Carlinville and a new Muffler Man on a restaurant in Berwyn. According to Riverbender.com and … Continue reading Illinois announces $4 million in grants for projects along Route 66

Illinois tourism bureau applies for grant for Route 66 visitor center, reopening Cannonball Jail

A tourism bureau in southwest Illinois has applied for a state grant that would create a new Route 66 visitor center and reopen the Cannonball Jail in Carlinville, among other projects. According to Riverbender.com, the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau of Southwest Illinois applied for the grant under the state's Route 66 Grant Program administered … Continue reading Illinois tourism bureau applies for grant for Route 66 visitor center, reopening Cannonball Jail

Carlinville beefs up facade grant program partly due to coming Route 66 centennial

The City of Carlinville, Illinois, is doubling the amount of money available in its facade grant program because it wants its historic downtown to look good during Route 66's centennial in 2026. The Journal-Courier reports the city usually sets aside $10,000 for the program, but it is doubling it for the 2022-2023 fiscal year by … Continue reading Carlinville beefs up facade grant program partly due to coming Route 66 centennial

Illinois Tourism honors Taylor’s Mexican Chili Parlor of Carlinville

The Illinois Office of Tourism and the Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau this week honored Taylor's Mexican Chili Parlor in Carlinville as an “Illinois Maker” for emphasizing a visitor experience and inspiring travel. Taylor's beat 18 other contenders for the title this year, reported the Macoupin County Enquirer-Democrat. A total of 146 businesses are … Continue reading Illinois Tourism honors Taylor’s Mexican Chili Parlor of Carlinville

Why Carlinville has so many Sears homes

I'd long known the Route 66 town of Carlinville, Illinois, had a high concentration of Sears homes. But I'd never known exactly how many and why. KSDK-TV in St. Louis recently posted this story about Sears homes and Carlinville. And here's the gist of the story that answered my questions: The Carlinville neighborhood is known as … Continue reading Why Carlinville has so many Sears homes

Tips for Route 66 tourism success

The Macoupin County Enquirer-Democrat published a comprehensive report about two experts giving a presentation in Gillespie, Illinois, about how to parlay Route 66 into tourism dollars. The experts were Bill Kelly, executive director of the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway, and Bill Thomas, economic development director for Logan County, tourism booster for Atlanta, Illinois, and chairman … Continue reading Tips for Route 66 tourism success

Goal: Reopen Macoupin County Cannonball Jail next year

Sensing a likely tourism draw, Macoupin County wants to reopen its circa-1870 county jail near downtown Carlinville, Illinois. However, the interior of the fortress-like structure, often called the Macoupin County Cannonball Jail, remains covered with toxic lead paint. About $13,000 has been raised for lead-paint removal in the jail in the past 18 months. Another $18,000 is needed … Continue reading Goal: Reopen Macoupin County Cannonball Jail next year

“Route 66 in Illinois”

The "Route 66 in Illinois" presentation by Joe Sonderman and Cheryl Eichar Jett -- who co-wrote a book by the same name -- during the Miles of Possibility conference in Edwardsville, Illinois, contained a few tidbits of information even veteran roadies might not have known, such as: An explosion in 1942 at the Joliet Army Ammunition Plant … Continue reading “Route 66 in Illinois”

Macoupin County Courthouse finishes north-stair renovations

The historic Macoupin County Courthouse in Carlinville, Illinois, nicknamed the Million Dollar Courthouse, finished $200,000 in much-needed renovations, according to the State Journal-Register in nearby Springfield. The occasion will be celebrated with a program at 11 a.m. Saturday at the courthouse, followed by guided tours, an Abraham Lincoln presenter and the Macoupin County Historical Society Fall Festival. The courthouse's … Continue reading Macoupin County Courthouse finishes north-stair renovations

Sky-View Drive-In put up for sale

The historic Sky-View Drive-In theater along Route 66 in Litchfield, Illinois, has been put on the market for $275,000. The theater is listed through the Goodman Agency in Carlinville, Illinois. According to the Realtor, the Sky-View underwent a $77,000 conversion to digital film format, so it is ready for the current age. The theater's capacity … Continue reading Sky-View Drive-In put up for sale