Chat ‘n Chew near Route 66 in Normal catered to black customers in Jim Crow era

The Route 66 Bloomington-Normal, Illinois page on Facebook recently posted an interesting, if obscure, historical item for Black History Month -- the Chat 'n Chew restaurant and grocery in Normal. Here's the post, with Terri Ryburn of Ryburn Place (formerly Sprague Super Service station) in Normal supplying the photo: https://www.facebook.com/Route66BN/posts/153881979883693 A 2017 article, titled "Jim … Continue reading Chat ‘n Chew near Route 66 in Normal catered to black customers in Jim Crow era

“Negro Motorist Green Book” expert to speak at Miles of Possibility conference

Candacy Taylor, author of a forthcoming book about the Negro Motorist Green Book published from the 1930s to the '60s, will be the keynote speaker during the fifth annual Route 66 Miles of Possibility Conference in Normal, Illinois, on Oct. 17-20. Taylor soon will publish "Overground Railroad: The Green Book and theRoots of Black Travel … Continue reading “Negro Motorist Green Book” expert to speak at Miles of Possibility conference

Ryburn Place in Normal opens to the public

Ryburn Place, aka Sprague Super Service station in Normal, Illinois, held its grand opening Saturday after a multi-year restoration of the historic Route 66 site. Ryburn Place is named after Route 66 enthusiast Terri Ryburn, who owned the site for years and shepherded its renovations. Here is video of the site's sign reveal: And here … Continue reading Ryburn Place in Normal opens to the public

Sprague Super Service station reopens Saturday as Ryburn Place

The long-in-coming restoration of the historic Sprague Super Service station in Normal, Illinois, will culminate with a grand opening Saturday, where it will be rechristened as Ryburn Place. The station will be renamed after Route 66 enthusiast Terri Ryburn, who purchased the property more than a decade ago and slowly and steadily began to restore … Continue reading Sprague Super Service station reopens Saturday as Ryburn Place

Grand opening for Sprague Super Service station set for Aug. 12

The grand opening -- or reopening, if you will -- of the gift shop and information center at the historic Sprague Super Service station in Normal, Illinois, will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Aug. 12. Gift-shop operator Terri Ryburn, who labored for a decade to restore the unique gas station before the city finished the … Continue reading Grand opening for Sprague Super Service station set for Aug. 12

Sprague’s Super Service station in Normal will open in August

The Sprague's Super Service station is scheduled to open to the public next month as a Route 66 visitors center after the city of Normal, Illinois, finishes its rehabilitation. The Bloomington Pantagraph reported: "We’re definitely going to be ready to open the doors this summer, possibly a soft opening early next month with a ribbon … Continue reading Sprague’s Super Service station in Normal will open in August

Sprague Super Service station likely will open in May

The Sprague Super Service station along Route 66 in Normal. Illinois, probably will open to travelers in May, a few weeks later than originally anticipated. The reason for the delay is because work still is being done. The Bloomington Pantagraph reports: Normal's Historic Preservation Commission approved three steps Tuesday to improve the exterior: tuck-pointed bricks on … Continue reading Sprague Super Service station likely will open in May

Sprague’s Super Service station to reopen in April

The historic Sprague's Super Service station in Normal, Illinois, likely will reopen as a Route 66 visitors center by April after the city spent many thousands of dollars to improve the property. According to the Bloomington Pantagraph, the city will have spent about $600,000 on the project -- including purchasing the property itself -- by … Continue reading Sprague’s Super Service station to reopen in April

Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program announces grants for 2016

The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program, under the auspices of the National Park Service, announced its cost-share grants for 2016. This year, the program awarded eight cost-share grants totaling more than $103,000 -- mostly for renovations or preservation of historic Route 66 properties. Since 2001, the program has awarded 122 projects $1.9 million with $3.1 … Continue reading Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program announces grants for 2016

City buys Sprague Super Service station

The city council of Normal, Illinois, on Monday night approved a deal for the purchase and maintenance of Terri Ryburn's Sprague Super Service station on Route 66. Ryburn posted on her Facebook account shortly after the vote: Well, it's official. The Town of Normal council voted tonight to buy my building; I will get to … Continue reading City buys Sprague Super Service station