Mar 272017
 










Historic Meteor City Trading Post has been bought by Joann and Mike Brown from Jeffersonville IN. The couple finalized the purchase on Monday March 27th and are looking forward to bringing back the location to what it looked like when it was in its former glory.

Joann and Mike first saw the property while traveling Route 66 towards the west where they are originally from and they kept gravitating towards the trading post. Joann says her husband is a huge fan of Two Guns and the locations were very close to each other.

“This is our working retirement, if that is what you want to call it” said Joann. It was back in Aug when they just came home from traveling the route and decided that they wanted to really look into the possibility of purchasing the trading post. “These places need to be saved and this one had our name all over it. We remember it being for sale at one time but the price was a little too high” Joann stated.

She told me about a rock she took from the trading post and kept it in her car and said every time she was driving around, she would see the rock and it kept the trading post in her thoughts. They contacted the previous owner and after many phone calls, and literally to the last day which a lien was already on the property and was due to expire; Joann and Mike finally came to an agreement with the previous owners to purchase the property.
After checking to make sure it had a clean deed and getting the green light to close on the property, the Brown’s are now the new owners of Meteor City Trading Post.

The plans are to have them relocate to the trading post from Indiana and live there permanently while rehabilitating the trading post and surrounding property. “The first thing we have to do is to secure the property and get the majority of the place cleaned up. A lot of folks still stop out there to take photos and we want to make sure it is getting ready for them” Joann said.

The next phase will to be getting the electric shored back up and stable and start getting T-shirts designed and sold to help fund repairs and remodeling as well as other merchandise to sell.

Also on the list of things to do is not only getting the original map wall back up, but to make it longer than what it currently is. The longer term plan is to bring the look and feel of the trading post back to when Route 66 was just outside of its front door, without any knowledge or planning of the I-40 interstate. Joann plans on making the inside of the geodome part of the building a small little ‘historical walk’ through the different times and uses of the trading post. Part of the plan is to finally let the public see the original Justice of the Peace building, which has been sitting to the right (or west) of the geodome, as it was when it was in use back in the 1930’s.

The Brown’s have created a Facebook page for the trading post – visit it by clicking HERE and LIKE it to follow the progress of the restoration of the trading post over the next year.

The Meteor City Trading Post, which is located just outside of Winslow AZ on Route 66 – opened as a service station in 1938. The quirky trading post was another Mother Road casualty of the Interstate system. Located on Route 66 near the Barringer Meteor Crater, Arizona the trading post still stands to see travelers from around the world stop, take photographs and relish in its history.

Jan 152016
 

tropics-sign








A committee of local leaders has been assembled with the goal of restoring the iconic Tropics restaurant sign.

In May 2014, the symbol of Lincoln’s place in Route 66 history was dismantled for the first time since it was installed in the early-1960’s.
The roughly 4,200-pound sign was cut, lifted by an industrial crane and taken away on a trailer for storage on city property.

In March 2015, the treasurer of the Route 66 Association, Martin Blitstein, accompanied by Andrea Dykman, with The Mill, approached Lincoln City Council on the whereabouts of the sign, which was being stored outdoors at the landfill, raising many concerns from locals.
That following July, the Tourism Bureau took ownership of the sign and partnered with the City of Lincoln and the Johnson family, former owners of the Tropics restaurant, to restore it. Once restoration is complete, it will once again be city property.

Today, a committee of 10 is working to raise funds for the three-year project. Those members include: Executive Director of the Logan County Economic Development Partnership, Bill Thomas, The tropics family- Bob and Tammy Goodrich, Eric Johnson, and Kim Johnson, the President of the Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County, Bob Wilmert, Event Coordinator for the Logan County Alliance, Cara Barr, Lincoln Alderman Michelle Bauer, Tourism Director Maggie McMurtrey, LCA intern Konner Browne and Rene Martin, with the Mount Pulaski Courthouse Foundation.
“The committee is working to get things off the ground. Our goal is for each member to network,” said McMurtrey. “Eventually we want to grow into a bigger group of people who really care. So, the role of the small committee, for now, is to brainstorm fundraising ideas and collecting information”

After reviewing several bids, the group is aiming to raise $50,000 for the project. Approximately $30,000 of that will go towards the restoration and the costly transportation of the sign, while the remaining money will be used for unforeseen costs and for the city to use for maintenance.
Currently, the group is utilizing Facebook for public awareness and collecting start-up costs through a Gofundme.com account.
“In terms of progress, the committee worked to establish an online process folks can use to make donations and the committee is working to plan fundraising events,” said Thomas.
The committee is also applying for several grant applications seeking funding support from the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway Program, the Danner Trust, and The Woods Foundation. The amount of grants applied for will be just shy of $10,000.

Currently, approximately $850 has been donated from the Lincoln and Logan County Chamber of Commerce, which is held in a bank account designated for the project.
While the group is planning a large fundraising event this fall, it is currently hosting a silent auction for four Chicago Bulls versus Cleveland Cavalier tickets for April 9.
“It’s only been up on our Facebook page for two days and it is currently at $450,” said McMurtrey. “So, that’s kind of exciting. It should put us at $1,000 raised.”

As far as a destination for the sign, no decisions have been made just yet. It is still being stored on city property. However, it is now lifted off the ground and has been covered.
“Restoring the Tropics sign, locating it in an appropriate spot and ensuring there is an onsite means of telling the Tropics story to people who stop to see the sign are, in my opinion, the keys to creating a new attraction that will motivate folks to stop and visit Lincoln and Logan County,” said Thomas.
“More tourism money will flow into Lincoln and Logan County if we have more attractions available. The more attractions we have available, the more time visitors will spend in our area. The more time visitors spend in our area, the more likely they are to purchase gas, eat in a restaurant, spend the night, and/or purchase goods at our stores.”

According to McMurtrey, at this point the committee is in the phase of working to raise awareness and start-up funds. “Any donations would be greatly appreciated.”
To donate to the cause, checks can be made out to Save The Tropics Sign and sent to the LCA office at 1555 Fifth Street, Lincoln, Ill. 62656.
For more information visit: Gofundme.com/SaveTheTropicsSign or the Facebook page Save the Tropics Sign.

By Cassy Good – The Courier