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Hall of Famer

Spotlight on Hall of Famers of the Past

It’s Hall of Fame Season!

In honor of this very special time of year when the important decisions are made as to who will be selected as this year’s Hall of Fame inductees, we’d like to look fondly backward in time to once again honor and recognize our Hall of Famers from the past. Let’s kick off the nostalgia and "start at the very beginning" with our very first group of Hall of Fame inductees, from 1990:

Inducted June 9, 1990

Ernie Edwards, Pig Hip Restaurant, Broadwell

Route 66 Icon, Bill Shea, Turns 91

The following article about Bill Shea was originally published in the Summer, 1993, issue of The 66 News on the occasion of his induction into our Association's Hall of Fame. We're proud to transcribe it here for you to read (or read again). Enjoy the story of this Route 66 original on another prestigious occasion - his 91st birthday, on December 30.

By Tom Teague

When Route 66 was bypassed by the interstates, many people just let it slip into history. But not Bill Shea. He adapted. A businessman alongside 66 since 1947, he is a testament not only to the road's rich history, but also its continuing vitality.

R.I.P. Rita Erickson

We are sad to report that Hall of Fame Member Rita Erickson, 93, passed away on Tuesday, August 7th. Rita was the owner/operator of the Odell Shelter for 42 years and a proud member of our Hall of Fame.

Rita is survived by 10 children, 19 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren, and 6 great-great-grandchildren! She had been living at Evenglow Lodge in Pontiac. Rita's funeral mass was Saturday at 10 A.M. at St. Paul Catholic Church, Odell, IL.

Ernie and Fran Edwards Route 66 International Appreciation Day

Our thanks to Geoff Ladd, Executive Director, Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County for providing the following press release for us to share.

BROADWELL, IL – Ernie and Fran Edwards Route 66 International Appreciation Day has been set for 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, at the Pig Hip restaurant site in Broadwell.

Click here to view the official flyer for this event.

The free celebration will be a time for the public to visit, reminisce and enjoy a free cookout.

At 2 p.m., the Route 66 Preservation Committee will dedicate the restored Pig Hip sign and marker.

Edwards, who was known for his tall white chef’s hat and equally tall tales, owned and operated the Pig Hip on Route 66 in Broadwell for many years.

Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket Celebrating 66th Anniversary!

Our thanks to Patrick Rhea from Dell Rhea's Chicken Basket and John Weiss for making this information about this very special anniversary available for us to share!

Route 66 Hall of Famer, Del Rhea's Chicken Basket, in Willowbrook, IL, is celebrating their 66th year in business this July.

In celebration of this monumental anniversary, Del Rhea's Chicken Basket will be hosting many different types of entertainment throughout the month of July.

Call Del Rhea's Chicken Basket for additional information - 630-325-0780.

Some of their featured events and specials will be:

Former Snuffy’s Resurrects as the Steak N Egger on Route 66

Our thanks to Chicago-based journalist, Maria R. Traska for submitting the following article:

By Maria R. Traska

A fixture of Route 66 in suburban Chicago has risen again. The former Snuffy’s 24-Hour Grill on Joliet Road in McCook, IL has been gutted, renovated and revived as the Steak N Egger on Route 66. And not a moment too soon. The Route 66 landmark had been closed since late 2010 and hadn’t been open 24/7 for some time. Despite the efforts of the former operators, the place had aged badly and gotten somewhat grubby. The turnaround began last September 15, when the property was bought by new owners.

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2012 Hall of Fame Nominations Announced

We proudly announce those who will be inducted into the Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame at our Annual Hall of Fame Banquet. This year's banquet and induction ceremony will be held on June 9 at Lincoln College, in Lincoln, IL.

The Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame recognizes "those people and places along Route 66 whose blend of hardy individualism and grassroots community spirit gave the road such special character."

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 from 1926 to 1977 while it was an official United States highway in the State of Illinois.

Ernie Edwards Passes Away

Ernie Edwards.jpgIt is with a heavy heart and many tears that we say goodbye to a dear friend of ours and of Route 66, Ernie Edwards.

Ernie was owner of the Pig Hip in Broadwell and was inducted into our Hall of Fame in 1990 for the lifetime of memories he created as a fixture along the Mother Road.

Erine passed away on April 11, 2012 at the age of 94. He will be missed greatly by many.

Click to read Ernie's obituary which includes funeral arrangements.

Thanks to Logan County Tourism for providing this official press release for us to share about Ernie.

Photo credit: Geoff Ladd


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Nick Adam Selected as Grand Marshall of Motor Tour

This article appeared on the front page of the Litchfield, IL News-Herald on Thursday, March 29, 2012:

Congratulations to Nick Adam, Owner of the Ariston Cafe, on being selected as the Grand Marshall of the Route 66 Association of Illinois' Motor Tour.

Click to read the article itself.

Got Content?

EditorWe welcome your Route 66 news, stories, photos and events for publication in our newsletter or on our web site!

Submit it here

Send us your change of address to:
110 W Howard St
Pontiac, IL, 61764
or use our handy contact form

Learning to use our calendar puts the fun and adventure of Route 66 at your fingertips. It's easy to discover the when, what and where of events along the road.

Here's How!

Historic Maps

Highway GuideWatch Route 66 evolve into The Mother Road  with maps and highway guides from 1917-1992 courtesty of the official Illinois Digital Archives.