200 North Main Street | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428

#Route 66

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Route 66 Hit-and-Run Towanda, May 1948

In the early morning hours of May 19, 1948, a hit-and-run truck driver knocked down two gasoline pumps at D.E. Henderson’s service station in Towanda. Fortunately no one was hurt.

Who remembers when gas pumps looked like this?

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Long way up … and down! WJBC radio tower, 1949

Robert Bible (left) and Wilson Hall of the International Derrick and Equipment Co. of Columbus, Ohio, work on the installation of WJBC’s new radio tower. This 400-foot steel tower was adjacent to the station’s under-construction office and studio building off Route 66 (now Veterans Parkway) on the southwest edge of Bloomington.

Sixty-eight years later WJBC is still located at this site.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Veterans Parkway as the Route 66 ‘Beltline’ December 1960

Aerial view of Veteran's Parkway, 1960.

This aerial, looking due north, shows the Route 66 “Beltline” which is now Veterans Parkway.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Sinoark’s ‘Frontier Room’ Opens October 1959

Phil-Kron drive-in theater, 1959.

Located at the junction of South Main Street and the Route 66 Beltline, the Phil-Kron drive-in theater featured a full restaurant built under the movie screen.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

General Electric Plant Route 66 “Beltline,” 1968

General Electric, 1968.

Back in 1968 there wasn’t much at what’s today the intersection of Veterans Parkway and GE Road! The General Electric plant opened in 1954 and shutdown remaining manufacturing in the fall of 2010.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Death on the Mother Road Rural Logan County, September 1935

Bus accident, 1935.

On Sunday, September 22, 1935, one person was killed just before 6:00 a.m. when a southbound Greyhound bus collided with a coupe on U.S. Route 66 several miles south of Lincoln.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Mother Road Turns Deadly October 28, 1949

Route 66 crash, 1949.

John M. Newman of Pittsfield, IL, was killed on October 28, 1949, when his Pacific Intermountain Express truck sideswiped an automobile parked along Route 66 south of Bloomington. The owner of the parked vehicle, 20-year-old Donald Slaughter of Bloomington, was unharmed in the tragic accident.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 113: Good Food on the 'Mother Road'

A 75-year-old Nelva Menzel, longtime waitress at the Dixie Trucker’s Home, is seen here in late 1981

A 75-year-old Nelva Menzel, longtime waitress at the Dixie Trucker’s Home, is seen here in late 1981. By this time she had already put in 32-plus years at the Route 66 landmark in the Village of McLean, located some 15 miles south of Bloomington.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 84: 'Bloody 66' claims 4 victims in early February 1939

On Friday, February 3, 1939, four area men were killed in a late evening automobile accident on U.S. Route 66, about 2 miles south of Chenoa. The crash took the lives of Carl Weymouth, owner and driver of the car, Paul Trunk, Sr., Nelson Francis, and Claude M.

On Friday, February 3, 1939, four area men were killed in a late evening automobile accident on U.S. Route 66, about 2 miles south of Chenoa. The crash took the lives of Carl Weymouth, owner and driver of the car, Paul Trunk, Sr., Nelson Francis, and Claude M.

Read more…

Written by Bill Kemp in Historic Photos

Photo of the Week, 71: Grim Reapers Pay Respects to Fallen Comrade

About 50 members of the Grim Reapers Motorcycle Club led a funeral procession for L. Wayne Martin.

Read more…