Apr 132016
 

boots-new-neon-02











A green glow that lit up the corner of Central and Garrison for decades in the middle of the 20th century has been restored in the 21st century with the lighting of the neon Saturday at the Boots Court.
In another step in the restoration of a Route 66 icon, Pricilla Bledsaw and Debye Harvey, the owners of the Boots Court, flipped a switch on Friday, turning on yards of green neon tubing along the edges of the classic building.
Bledsaw said the sisters have been working since they bought the hotel in August 2011 to restore the motel to its 1940s configuration, and while Route 66 aficionados have heard about restoration, adding the neon give people more reason than ever to come and see it for themselves.
“We were so excited we were finally going to get the neon on the building because that’s something people will see,” Bledsaw said. “Right now people come because they’ve heard about the Boots, but with the neon on, it just makes it look so much more open. It makes it look like what it is, it’s a Route 66 icon.”

About 75 people attended a two-hour open house at the Boots on Saturday.
Tables were set up with information about the Route 66 Association of Missouri, the upcoming Jefferson Highway Association of Missouri convention and books about the “Mother Road.”
The Carthage Middle School Tiger Choir, dressed in poodle skirts and dark jeans and t-shirts form the 1950s sang a variety of songs to entertain the crowd and several classic cars were on display.

The motel was filled for the night, marking the first time the restored Vacancy/No Vacancy neon sign was used.
As the sun went down and rain drops started to fall shortly after 8 p.m., dignitaries spoke and it came time for the countdown.
Holding up green LED pens, the crowd counted down from 10, then Debbie Dee, the manager of the Boots, turned on the switch inside the building, bringing to life the yards of neon tubing.
David Hutson, with Neon Time in St. Charles, manufactured the neon tubing to exacting standards replicating the green neon that was on the building based on photos and pieces of the original lights that Bledsaw and Harvey had removed and stored.
Route 66 changed when the sun went down,” Hutson said. Route 66 really came alive to try and attract people into the space. So you have this whole thing flooded with light when it gets dark. I think these kinds of places were so inviting for travelers.”

Bledsaw and Harvey said they applied for a grant from the National Park Service that paid for half the cost of the restoration.
Jim Thole, chairman of the Neon Heritage Preservation Committee for the Route 66 Association of Missouri, said restoring the neon is a big step toward restoring the Boots and giving Carthage place that will draw tourists from around the world.

“It’s just a real prize possession of Carthage in terms of tourism. Route 66 tourism,” Thole said. “People are going to go out of their way to see this. And if you’re here at this time of night to see this, what are you going to do? You’re going to stay here, you’re going to eat here, it’s a win-win for everyone.”
“Signs and architecture like this have taken on a new life in the sense that they are now symbols of local pride. They’re local landmarks, symbols of pride for the community, the community can be proud to have this back.”

By John Hacker – Carthage Press

Oct 262015
 

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Victorville landmark draws in locals for celebration and car show

A local landmark that more often garners a mostly international audience drew in hundreds of locals Saturday to celebrate its 20-year anniversary of preserving the history of “The Mother Road.”
The mission of the California Route 66 Museum in Old Town Victorville is to “preserve and increase” interest in “all aspects of history and heritage related to the road,” which it has been doing since it opened its doors in 1995. With three display rooms and a gift shop, the 5,000-square-foot former Red Rooster Cafe location remains entirely free for admission, accepting contributions from patrons and donors.

Museum President Susan Bridges said it’s unfortunate that “all the locals don’t know this place at all.”
Bridges said that about 75 percent of the museum’s business comes from visitors from all around the world.
“We want to let people know that this used to be a prime area,” Bridges said.
She said the ongoing Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority construction project has taken a large toll on Old Town shops, including the Best Deal Furniture store that recently closed its doors after 20 years of business.
Best Deal joined the row of 17 other buildings between A and D streets on the east side of Seventh Street that were once open businesses that have shuttered their doors, according to a previous Daily Press article.
The museum continues to thrive however, and with Route 66 turning 90 years old next year, it will likely gain even greater attention.

California Historic Route 66 Association board member Scott Piotrowski traveled from Glendale to attend the Victorville museum anniversary celebration, providing information about the group to attendees.
The big buzz for the association is the Route 66 90-year anniversary national festival planned to take place in Los Angeles next year. Piotrowski said they expect at least 50,000 attendees at the festival, but are hoping for more than 100,000.

The main event of Saturday’s celebration was the car show, an annual display of classic cars ranging from hot rods to rat rides.
Among the cars was a 1963 Ford Galaxie replica of the Mayberry Sheriff’s car used in the Andy Griffith Show, and a unique 1936 Ford Custom pickup truck with a 1983 Volvo built in a custom rod shop.

A celebrity of the Route 66 community was also at the event, National Classic Miss Route 66, Monica Burrola, decked in her sash and stetson to sign and take photos with visitors.
Burrola said she didn’t know a lot about the road when her son’s girlfriend asked her to participate in the pageant for the Classic Miss Route 66 for women more than 50 years old.
The next thing you know, I had a love for the road,” Burrola said. “The coolest part is all of the people on the highway.”

By Charity Lindsey – Desert Dispatch

Mar 042013
 





The very best thing one can do to support Route 66 is to travel it. Period.
A traveler can stop and visit restaurants, motels, gift shops and so on, and so on – and by purchasing items, meals, overnight rooms, this is the best way to make sure the route not only ‘stays open’ – but grows as well.

So, what if you can’t get out and travel the route (anytime soon at least)? Do what I do: Support the different Route 66 associations.

I have been (and still am for the most part) a ‘business member’ of most of the Route 66 State Associations. I believe in what they stand for on a smaller level as they concentrate only on their state, with once in a while crossing state lines to help a neighboring project on the route.

I am also a fan of any national Route 66 associations or alliances – but the state level is where I like to be. All in all: They all have their purpose.

I have created a link with all the different associations so you can check them out yourself. I enjoy getting all the news letters and info either mailed to me or even Emailed to me and I always try to help them any way I could.

The only ‘downer’ I have is I was surprised on how many folks who are sort of the ‘who’s who’ of the route do not support these associations – even if only in their own state the route runs through. There may be a slew of reasons and I do not want to name names, I just hope they will see the example so many other folks have become members to support the route in yet another way.
I believe those who are in the ‘know’ should always be a great example of how to do the right thing on the route by supporting it. Hopefully we can get a few more members on board!!

Route 66 Association of Illinois

Route 66 Association of Missouri

Kansas Historic Route 66 Association

Oklahoma Route 66 Association

Texas Route 66 Association(They do not have an active website)

New Mexico Route 66 Association

Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona

California Historic Route 66 Association

National Historic Route 66 Federation

Jan 052013
 





The Route 66 Association of Illinois will begin seeking nominations for the 2013 Hall of Fame. Nominations are accepted from January 1st, to February 28, 2013.


Nominations must include accurate documentation or declaration of the Nominee’s qualities, deeds, and history on Route 66 that merit this honor.

To qualify for election to the Hall of Fame, Nominees must have made significant contributions to the character or history of the Illinois portion of Route 66. The purpose of the Hall of Fame is to honor and commemorate those people, businesses, attractions and events that helped give Route 66 such special character and historical status in Illinois.

The Hall of Fame is located in Pontiac, Illinois, at the Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum. The Hall of Fame and Museum is one of the most visited attractions on all of Route 66 in Illinois with visitors from all over the state as well as all over the world.

The committee invites anyone to submit a nomination. It must include a strong fact-based essay. It must include details about the nominee’s contributions to the character or history of the Illinois portion of Route 66. We encourage that photos, news clips, and other memorabilia accompany the essay but they are not required. A panel of historians and Hall of Fame members will judge all nominations.

Please submit nominations and all accompanying material to:
Route 66 Association of Illinois
ATTN: Hall of Fame Committee
110 West Howard Street
Pontiac, IL 61764

All nominations are kept for 3 years and presented to the committee for discussion. There is no limit on how many nominations can be submitted. The final decision regarding how many members are elected into the 2013 Class of the Hall of Fame is decided by the Hall of Fame committee. The Hall of Fame committee is comprised of 14 people who include current Hall of Fame members, Association historians, the Preservation Committee Chairman, and members who are appointed to the committee by the President based on their Route 66 knowledge.

Dec 212011
 



The ‘saviours’of the Mother Road…


You truly cannot be part of Route 66 unless you are part of one of these. They are the backbone of keeping the route alive!

The many different associations of Route 66 make sure the route is not only preserved, they make sure ‘travelers’ are informed, updated, and even entertained.

The list below shows all of the state associations and their website links and Facebook links (if they have one):

Route 66 Association of Illinois
To me, they are the ‘leaders’ on how things should be done on, and for, the route!
Click HERE for their website.
Click HERE for their Facebook page.

Route 66 Association of Missouri
The folks in Missouri are also on top of their game with preservation and information on the route!
Click HERE for their website.
Click HERE for their Facebook page.

Route 66 Association of Kansas
Kansas has made a strong running in 2011 with the route – and I feel 2012 will be even better!
Click HERE for their website.
Click HERE for their Facebook page.

Route 66 Association of Oklahoma
Oklahoma has done a good job in 2011 working on the route!
Click HERE for their website.
Click HERE for their Facebook page.

Route 66 Association of Texas
I don’t know about this one – so if you think I have the wrong guys (the page was updated 2002!) let me know!
Click HERE for their website.

Route 66 Association of New Mexico
Brand new website full of information and ‘what’s happenings’ on the route in New Mexico!
Click HERE for their website.
Click HERE for their Facebook page.

Route 66 Association of Arizona
My ‘new home state’ – and sadly – they will have to get up to date on their website and preservation efforts…
Click HERE for their website.

Route 66 Association of California
Although recenlty updated, another association which needs to get caught up with the times.
Click HERE for their website.

While some associations do better than others – it is also because of the fact the ones which seem to do better (nice active website, Facebook page, activities for travelers) actually DO MORE for the route – in my opinion.

But this is the thing: If we do not support the individual states, then the resources start disappearing, which means the route starts suffering. And with such a tidal wave of interest in the route, the numerous blogs, posts, stories, pictures and most importantly, the travelers – we need to do what we can, not matter WHERE you are, you can help!

I, myself, am a member of 5 of the 8 – and a business member at that! I have to pay a little more but it is worth it. I joined an association every month or two to keep my renewal costs spread out (hint!)

Pick one, any one, whether you live in the state the route runs through, or live in a state which the route DOES NOT run through, or even in a different country – you can help…

What a great Christmas gift a membership would be!!

Feb 172011
 

In 1926, Springfield became the Route 66’s Birthplace

Route 66 would have turned 85 this year. In 1926, pioneers of the east-west corridor officially named it ‘Route 66’ at a meeting in Springfield, Mo.

It was decommissioned in 1985, but the mother road still brings in tourists from across the globe.

“I wonder myself, what keeps bringing people back and what people find so exciting and intoxicating about this road,” said photography Michael Campanelli.

Campanelli travels the route as often as he can, snapping photos. Along the way, he promotes his work and photo exhibits.

He drove the road for the first time in 2002, and says he still isn’t sure what he loves about the road.

“To me, it’s the freedom just to get out in America and be able to drive around,” said Campanelli.

Whatever the reason, Route 66 lives on.

“You’ll find yourself coming back, and back, and back again,” says Gary Turner, owner of the Gay Parita Sinclair Station.

When the major 4-lane highways went in, Route 66 disappeared in pieces. In southwest Missouri, many of the buildings are disappearing, too. Run-down, deteriorating buildings dot the sides of the decommissioned highway.

As America changes, so does its landscape.

“The historic buildings that we have, that’s the fabric of our community. If they’re gone, the fabric of our community is gone,” said David Eslick, with the Route 66 Association of Missouri.

Not all of the buildings are forgotten. There’s been a recent resurgence of interest in the mother road.

Like Turner’s Sinclair station.

“It’s just my dream,” said Turner.

Turner rebuilt a gas station on his property in 2006, after the original burned down in 1955.

“It’s the greatest thing i ever did in my life,” says Turner. “It’s not a duplicate of the original gas station. It’s just my idea of what a 1930 gas station would look like.”

Now, Turner spends most of his days greeting visitors who stop in at the station. A quick thumb through his guest book shows visitors from across the country and around the globe.

That interest in Route 66 is good news for its official birthplace: Springfield, Mo. In 1926, at a meeting in downtown Springfield, pioneers of the route penned a telegraph, officially dubbing the highway “Route 66.”

In its hey-day, the road linked rural America to two major u-s cities: Los Angeles and Chicago. Now, much of it is still drive-able, just off the main route. In Missouri, most of Route 66 runs along-side Highway 44, criss-crossing it along the way.

“You’ll be driving along on the interstate, and you’ll see a Route 66 sign right there by the side of the road,” says Eslick.

Signs still direct drivers where to go to “get their kicks…”

Route 66 never died. It’s going to get better and better as we go. There’s hundreds of people on Route 66 that’s working on it now,” says Turner.

Copyright © 2011, KSPR-TV

Jan 312011
 

Pontiac IL will dedicate its Red Carpet Corridor Festival to the memory of a Route 66 icon, the late Bob Waldmire.

The festival, Saturday, May 7, and Sunday, May 8, will include the painting of a mural designed by Waldmire, tours of the Waldmire school bus mobile home, a fine arts show and sale on the Livingston County Courthouse Square and a display of some of the classic cars that will be included in the new Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum and Resource Center.

Waldmire was born near Springfield in 1945 and died in December 2009. His passion for Route 66 began in 1962 when his parents took the entire family on a motoring trip to California via Route 66.

He later spent the rest of his life traveling along Route 66 in either his school bus mobile home or 1972 Volkswagen van. Both the van and the school bus are on display in Pontiac at the Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Pontiac. During the Red Carpet Festival, the Waldmire school bus home will be opened to the public for the first time.

Waldmire supported his nomadic and eclectic lifestyle by painting and drawing for clients along Route 66, the “Mother Road.” His artwork is famous worldwide and Pontiac has one of his Route 66 road maps painted inside the Route 66 Museum.

During this year’s festival, Waldmire’s last commissioned mural project will be painted. He was asked to design and paint a mural for downtown Pontiac, but his illness prevented him from completing that task. Instead, he designed the mural and the public will be invited to come downtown during the festival to help paint the 66-foot map of the entirety of Route 66. The Diaz family, owners of Diaz Sign Art, will oversee the project.

In keeping with the festival’s theme of art and the Mother Road, the Livingston County Courthouse Square will be the scene of an art show and sale. Artists from around the Midwest, including some Walldogs, will display and sell original art.

For more information, contact Ellie Alexander, director of Pontiac Tourism, at 815-844-5847.

Jan 252011
 



LINCOLN — 2011 looks to be another exciting year for Route 66 in Logan County. The Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County is busy, along with the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County, in promoting Route 66 in grand style statewide.

The foundation hustled to finish up a National Park Service grant in 2010 that helped fund some major repairs at The Mill. Foundation repairs, windows and electrical service, along with a newly refurbished floor, was just some of the work done to help move The Mill one step closer to opening as a museum in 2011.

Local help, teamed up with many members of the Route 66 Association of Illinois, worked hard to meet the grant deadlines. The group continues to deal with the challenge of funding issues, but makes up for it with diligence and hard work aimed at seeing the Route 66 icon opened up as a museum that will house Route 66 history in Logan County. This extensive amount of work could not have occurred without also a generous grant from The Danner Trust and an extremely generous donation from local philanthropist Larry Van Bibber.

To continue its mission of restoring The Mill, the foundation once again will hold the Annual Route 66 Garage Sale. Without project manager Bruce Huskins, who stepped down after 2010’s event, the future of the sale was unknown. With careful consideration, Geoff Ladd, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County, stepped up to manage the event that now is booked for May 13 and 14 with some changes in store. All proceeds from this countywide event will go toward The Mill restoration project.

Additionally, the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau is pleased to announce the return of the Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame banquet on June 11, to be hosted at Lincoln College in the new Lincoln Center. This several-hundred member statewide organization will be celebrating Route 66 with a special tribute to the late famed Route 66 artist Bob Waldmire, as well as enjoying Lincoln and Logan County, a great location that includes a vast amount of Route 66 history along a 37-mile stretch of the Mother Road.

The Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County was formed with the intention of bringing together community members who are passionate about Route 66 and its history in Logan County. It is a group that always is accepting new members and volunteers.

For details on these events or for information on how to get involved, call 217-732-8687.

Copyright 2011 Lincoln Courier. Some rights reserved

Jan 212011
 

Story from the Lincoln Daily News – wish I could attend this one!

This looks to be another exciting year for Logan County and Route 66. The Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County is busy, along with the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County, in promoting Route 66 in grand style statewide.

The tourism bureau announces that the Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame banquet will return to Lincoln on June 11. The event will be hosted at Lincoln College in their new Lincoln Center. This several-hundred-member statewide organization will celebrate Route 66 with a special tribute to the late famed Route 66 artist Bob Waldmire, as well as enjoying Lincoln and Logan County, which includes a vast amount of Route 66 history along a 37-mile stretch of the Mother Road.

As previously announced, the Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County has decided to once again host the annual Route 66 Garage Sale. Without project manager Bruce Huskins, who had stepped down after the 2010 event, the future of the sale was unknown. But after careful consideration Geoff Ladd stepped up to manage the project that is now booked for May 13 and 14 with some changes in store. All proceeds from this countywide event go toward the restoration of The Mill.

The Route 66 Heritage Foundation hustled to finish up a National Park Service grant in 2010 that helped fund some major repairs at The Mill. Windows, electrical service and foundation repairs, along with a newly refurbished floor, were just some of the work done to help move The Mill one step closer to opening as a museum this year. Local help, teamed up with many members of the Route 66 Association of Illinois, were hard at work to meet the grant deadlines. The group continues to deal with the challenge of funding issues but makes up for it with diligence and hard work aimed at seeing the Route 66 icon opened up as a museum that will house Route 66 history in Logan County.

This extensive amount of work could not have occurred without also a generous grant from The Danner Trust and an extremely generous donation from local philanthropist Larry Van Bibber.

Jan 202011
 

NEEDLES – Members of the California Historic Route 66 Association were treated to a tour as part of their meeting in Needles Jan. 8.

The association, a statewide organization divided into three corridors – east, central and west – is focused on preserving, promoting and educating people to the importance of Route 66 in California, Darleen Bitter, organization president, said in a formal statement.

Some goals of the organization include identifying property along Route 66 that is in need of preservation, seeking scenic byways status for Route 66, networking with other groups interested in preservation and educating others about the historic route through outreach activities. Elected officers for the group are Bitter as president; Linda Fitzpatrick, vice president east; Keith Conilogue, vice president central; Dan Rice, vice president west; Terry Kafides, secretary and Lynne Miller, treasurer. Trustees include John Kafides, Steve Bitter, Ed Dietl, Jessica Rice, Tom Miller, Danny Castro, Jennie Avila and Chi Hamilton.

The group met at the Wagon Wheel Restaurant for a general meeting and then took a tour of Needles. They also toured Needles Theater. They met with Bureau of Land Management representative Danella George to discuss the scenic byways program.

Georgia Breault, president of the Needles Downtown Business Alliance; Shawn Gudmundson, city council member; Cindy Semione of the community development department for Needles; and Jim Conkle, Route 66 promoter, all attended the meeting as guests.

The association will rotate meeting sites between Needles, Rancho Cucamonga and Santa Monica. The organization is made up of volunteers and encourages new active members. Anyone interested may contact Linda Fitzpatrick for more information at llfitz@npgcable.com