Lincoln & Route 66

Two American icons intersect in the heart of the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area: Abraham Lincoln and America's mother road Route 66. Traversing the state of Illinois from Chicago to St. Louis, Route 66 winds its way through communities where Lincoln worked, gave stump speeches, and lived. From North to South, the communities of Pontiac, Bloomington, Atlanta, Lincoln, Elkhart, and Springfield tell the stories of Lincoln's life and times and historic Route 66.

Besides the sites that are directly on Route 66 noted below, there are excellent half-day side trips not too far off the Mother Road. These include:


Lincoln's New Salem, Petersberg, Illinois

This historic village of cabins  lies about 20 miles northwest of Springfield, and is a peek into Lincoln's early life in Illinois.


Alton, Illinois; Rivers & Routes

This historic community along the intersection of the mighty Mississippi, Illinois, and Missouri rivers has long been an important location of Illinois early history, as well as the nation. Many historic and natural sites are waiting to be explored.

To learn more about Route 66 in Illinois visit the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway website.

 

Lincoln Sites Along Route 66 in Illinois

Route 66 Sites

Crusin' with Lincoln on 66: Route 66 Visitors Center in Illinois
200 N. Main Street Bloomington, Illinois 61701

Cruisin' With Lincoln on 66 is a Route 66 and Abraham Lincoln themed Visitors Center and Gift Shop that celebrates Bloomington-Normal's rich, historical connection to both Route 66 and Abraham Lincoln through an interpretive exhibit. We also provide tourist assistance for travelers of today, along with many original gifts and souvenirs, often crafted by local artists and craftspeople.

Explore this site.

Curran's Jewelry Shop
1 S. Old State Capitol Plaza Springfield, Illinois 62701

View over 40 outdoor interpretive exhibits placed throughout the downtown area to experience Springfield as Abraham Lincoln knew it. Each exhibit is intended to capture a moment in time for Lincoln and how he was affected by the people, places and events he encountered in his hometown. Each story is accompanied by graphics or photographs and a medallion that is symbolic of that particular story. Visitors are encouraged to collect rubbings of each medallion.

Explore this site.

David Davis Mansion State Historic Site
1000 E. Monroe Drive Bloomington, Illinois 61701

A visit to Judge David Davis' estate offers a glimpse into the lives of the wealthy and powerful of his day. Davis, friend and mentor to Abraham Lincoln, served as a United States Supreme Court Justice and was a key contributor during Lincoln's bid for the 1860 Presidential nomination. The Davis Mansion, completed in 1872, combines Italianate and Second Empire architectural features and is a model of mid-Victorian style and taste. His Bloomington home, which remained in the Davis family for three succeeding generations, provided a focal point for the social, cultural and political life of the community. The mansion contains elegant furnishings and the most modern conveniences of the era. Call or visit the website for more information.

Explore this site.

Edwards Place Historic Home
700 N. 4th St. Springfield, Illinois 62702

Your visit to Edwards Place will include a guided tour through the newly-restored first and second floor.  The home is interpreted to 1857 and furnished with wonderful examples of Victorian furniture, including many pieces that belonged to the Edwards family. You will also see the authentic "Lincoln Courting Couch" from the parlor of the Ninian Edwards home where Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd were married and a piano that was likely played at their wedding.

Explore this site.

Elijah Iles House & The Museum of Springfield
628 S 7th St. Springfield, Illinois 62701

Standing as the oldest surviving home in Springfield, the house was home to Springfield's first merchant and a friend and supporter of Abraham Lincoln. Iles served with Lincoln in the Blackhawk War of 1832, and helped Lincoln secure the state capital's move from Vandalia to Springfield.

Be sure to check out the lower lever and see the "Farrell & Ann Gay Museum of Springfield History: Illinois Watch Company." The Illinois Watch Co. is one of the more interesting chapters from the city’s past. From 1870 - 1932, the company produced high-quality railroad watches in its sprawling factory at 9th St. and North Grand Ave. It was also a well-known maker of pocket and wristwatches.

   

Explore this site.

Globe Tavern
281 E. Adams St. Springfield, Illinois 62701

View over 40 outdoor interpretive exhibits placed throughout the downtown area to experience Springfield as Abraham Lincoln knew it. Each exhibit is intended to capture a moment in time for Lincoln and how he was affected by the people, places and events he encountered in his hometown. Each story is accompanied by graphics or photographs and a medallion that is symbolic of that particular story. Visitors are encouraged to collect rubbings of each medallion.

Explore this site.

Illinois Central R.R.
907 E. Grove Street Bloomington, Illinois 61701

Today, the old Illinois Central tracks through Bloomington-Normal serve as the centerpiece for a thirteen-plus mile hiking and biking network known as the Constitution Trail. On May 3, 1853, the Galena-Cairo branch of the Illinois Central Railroad reached Bloomington. For Lincoln,  the rapidly expanding network of rail lines throughout central Illinois and beyond played a prominent role in his burgeoning legal practice and political career. Lincoln was hardly the backwoods barrister of popular myth. In fact, he was successful and well-paid attorney whose clients included the Illinois Central Railroad, a corporate.behemoth of its day.

 

Looking for Lincoln wayside exhibits tell the stories of Lincoln’s life and times in Illinois.  Each wayside exhibit tells a unique Lincoln story and a local story.  Many of the waysides share little known stories about Lincoln and the individuals he interacted with.  There are over 260 Looking for Lincoln waysides in the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area.     

Explore this site.

Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum
110 W Howard Street Pontiac, Illinois 61764

The Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame and Museum is the repository for thousands of pieces of historic memorabilia from the glory days of the Mother Road.

Come learn the history of Route 66 in Illinois, see images of the road's wonderful history, and hear a few great stories about life in America when Route 66 was the most important highway in the nation. 

Explore this site.

Illinois State Military Museum
1301 N. MacArthur Blvd. Springfield, Illinois 62702

Preserving the heritage of the Illinois National Guard, the museum is committed to collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting the military artifacts associated with the citizen-soldier of Illinois. The exhibit includes rare items such as the artificial leg of Mexican General Santa Anna, a target board shot at by President Lincoln, as well as vehicles, weapons, uniforms, equipment and photographs.

Lincoln The Leader Wayside Exhibit is at this location.

The Citizen-Soldier exhibit features the military experiences of famous Illinois soldiers such as Carl Sandburg, Robert McCormick, John A. Logan and Abraham Lincoln.

Explore this site.

Illinois State Register
417 E. Adams St. Springfield, Illinois 62701

View over 40 outdoor interpretive exhibits placed throughout the downtown area to experience Springfield as Abraham Lincoln knew it. Each exhibit is intended to capture a moment in time for Lincoln and how he was affected by the people, places and events he encountered in his hometown. Each story is accompanied by graphics or photographs and a medallion that is symbolic of that particular story. Visitors are encouraged to collect rubbings of each medallion.

Explore this site.

Pages: [ << < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 > >> ]