Monday, July 25, 2011

Historic Route 66: Towanda, IL

During my many trips to Springfield over the past fifteen years, I've driven past the tiny town of Towanda many times. This was the time I finally stopped to check it out.

It's a must-stop for any Route 66 sightseer — not because of any key historic sites, but because of the obvious work the town has put into building a shrine to the "Mother Road."

As you can see from the pictures I've included in the slideshow below, Towanda has preserved what is left of the old Route 66 and build an outdoor museum along a 3.5-mile stretch of the road. There are a series of kiosks along the preserved road that tell the history of Route 66 and Towanda's part in that history.

As for the town, Towanda was founded, in part, by a well-known land developer named Jesse W. Fell. According to Wikipedia, Fell also had a hand in founding other Illinois towns, including Clinton, Dwight, Normal, Pontiac, and was the driving force behind the establishment of the school that would become Illinois State University (which is located in nearby Normal, IL)

I wasn't able to fit all of my Towanda photos in this post. You can click here to view all my photos.

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