Davis, State Rep. Bourne Tour Historic Route 66

Highlight Economic Significance & Bills Commemorating 100th Anniversary

WASHINGTON, DC, – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Illinois State Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) made stops at businesses and other historical Route 66 locations in Edwardsville, Livingston, Litchfield, Carlinville, and Girard to highlight the economic and historical significance of Route 66. The two lawmakers met with local mayors, business owners, and community leaders at each stop.

Davis, along with U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, introduced legislation (H.R. 66 and H.R. 801) in February to establish a commission to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Route 66 and establish the route as a National Historic Trail. Bourne is the sponsor of the state House Bill 66 to establish a state Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission.

“I am proud to have America’s most iconic road run through the middle of my district and it’s important we celebrate its history,” said Davis. “From providing thousands of jobs during the Great Depression to transporting equipment and supplies for World War II to becoming a symbol of freedom and independence in the 1950s, Route 66 has been the ‘road to opportunity’ for millions of Americans throughout history and it continues to be a great economic driver for our state. Historical Route 66 and the businesses located along it were responsible for thousands of jobs and millions in state and local revenue to support our communities. I look forward to celebrating 100th anniversary of this iconic road in 2026.”

“The Mother Road is not only a rich part of our area’s history, it also offers huge economic opportunities for our rural communities along Route 66,” said Bourne. “I am proud to join Congressman Davis in highlighting some of the local gems along Route 66, and I will continue to work in partnership with local, state, and national groups to support development and restoration efforts along the Route 66 corridor.”

Also advocating for the legislation and the tour is Bill Thomas, chairman of Route 66: The Road Ahead Partnership.

“Designating Route 66 a National Historic Trail was one of the most positively supported ideas raised at the series of Route 66 Collaboration Workshop meetings facilitated by the Road Ahead Partnership during the summer of 2015,” said Thomas. “These meetings were designed to solicit feedback/input from Route 66 stakeholders across the country regarding the proposed mission, outcomes, and goals of the Road Ahead Partnership. It is exciting to see the idea of Route 66 being designated a National Historic Trail take this major step forward. It is equally exciting to begin work on plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Mother Road in 2026. Many thanks to Representatives, LaHood, Davis, and Napolitano for their leadership on behalf of Route 66.”

Davis will continue the tour along with LaHood and State Rep. Tim Butler with stops in Sangamon, Logan, and McLean Counties tomorrow.

Route 66 Facts

• Route 66 covers roughly 2,400 miles- from Chicago, IL to Santa Monica, CA (7 total states)
• Constructed in 1926, totally paved by 1937
• Route 66 was officially decommissioned in 1985
• In 2005, Route 66 was named a National Scenic Byway

Route 66 Economic Impact for 2015

• Illinois: $34 billion expenditures, 292,540 jobs, $1.6 billion state taxes, and $815 million local taxes
• McLean County: $366 million tourism expenditures, 2,770 jobs, and $6.15 million local taxes
• Logan County: $39.77 million tourism expenditures, 180 jobs, and $530,000 local taxes
• Sangamon County: $431.7 million tourism expenditures, 3,340 jobs, and $8.21 million local taxes
• Macoupin County: $45.25 million tourism expenditures, 210 jobs, and $1.85 million local taxes
• Montgomery County: $102.1 million tourism expenditures, 910 jobs, and $1.57 million local taxes
• Madison County: $371.38 million tourism expenditures, 3,080 jobs, and $6.94 million local taxes

*According to the U.S. Travel Association

Details of Today’s Stops

Wildey Theater, Edwardsville
Who:

Congressman Rodney Davis
State Rep. Avery Bourne
Bill Kelly, Route 66 Historic Byway
Al Canal, Wildey Theater General Manager
Where: Wildey Theater, 252 North Main Street, Edwardsville, IL
Why: The Wildey Theatre was constructed in 1909 by a group of local investors, led by the Independent Order of Oddfellows (IOOF) and opened on April 12, 1909. In 1937, the auditorium was extensively transformed to a movie house. Recognizing the importance of the facility to Edwardsville and concern that the building was fast falling into a state of disrepair prompted the city to take action and secure state funding to purchase the Wildey Theatre in 1999.

Pink Elephant Antique Mall, Livingston
Who:

Congressman Rodney Davis
State Rep. Avery Bourne
Bill Kelly, Route 66 Historic Byway
Brett Stawar, President of Alton Convention & Visitors Bureau
Dave Hammond, Owner/Manager of the Pink Elephant Antique Mall
Where: Pink Elephant Antique Mall, 908 Veterans Memorial Drive, Livingston, IL
Why: Very visible and extremely memorable for those driving down I-55 between Litchfield and St. Louis. This unique antique mall sports larger than life sculptures of a pink elephant, a male swimmer, and two normal-colored elephants emerging from an exterior wall of the old Livingston High School building. A visit inside the building reveals another “shorter” muffler man of Route 66 fame. Also has an ice cream stand and diner now.


Litchfield History Museum and Route 66 Welcome Center, Litchfield
Who:

Congressman Rodney Davis
State Rep. Avery Bourne
Bill Kelly, Route 66 Historic Byway
Steve Dougherty, Litchfield Mayor*
Sarah Waggoner, Tourism Coordinator for city of Litchfield
Martha Jackson, president of the Litchfield Museum Association*
Where: Litchfield History Museum/Rt 66 Welcome Center, 334 Historic Old Route 66 North
Why: Opened in 2013, this museum is located where the Vic Suhling gas station once stood. The retro design of the building, with exterior neon trim and restored neon Suhling, sign welcomes visitors. The museum houses historical artifacts of Litchfield and showcases Litchfield’s relationship with Route 66. entertainment.

Jubelt’s Bakery, Litchfield
Who:

Congressman Rodney Davis
State Rep. Avery Bourne
Bill Kelly, Route 66 Historic Byway
Steve Dougherty, Litchfield Mayor
Sarah Waggoner, Tourism Coordinator for city of Litchfield
Martha Jackson, president of the Litchfield Museum Association*
Jean Jubelt, owner of Jubelt’s Bakery
Where: Jubelt’s Bakery, 303 North Old Route 66 N, Litchfield, IL
Why: Jubelt’s is a third generation family business that began as a bakery in Mt. Olive, IL in 1922. Jubelt’s has been in Litchfield since 1952 and on Route 66 since 1982. In the last 90 years, the bakery has adapted to meet the changing lifestyles and the demands of customers, much like The Mother Road. A full-service bakery, Jubelt’s features homemade soups, salads, hand-formed burgers, specialty sandwiches, dinners, and fresh bakery items such as donuts, Danish, cinnamon rolls, pies, pastries, cookies, cakes, bread, and more.

Macoupin County Historic Jailhouse, Carlinville
Who:

Congressman Rodney Davis
State Rep. Avery Bourne
Bill Kelly, Route 66 Historic Byway
Deanna Demuzio, Carlinville Mayor
Harry Starr, Vice Chair of the Economic Development Committee of the Macoupin Co Board
Todd Armour, Chairman of the Macoupin County Board Economic Development Committee
Where: Macoupin County Historic Jailhouse, 203 E. First South Street, Carlinville, IL
Why: Built as part of the Macoupin County Courthouse project in 1867, using the “cannon ball” method, which stopped jailbreaks by making it nearly impossible to remove the blocks to make an escape, this unique medieval inspired fortress housed many law-breakers during its 119 year history.

Doc’s Soda Fountain, Girard
Who:

Congressman Rodney Davis
State Rep. Avery Bourne
Bill Kelly, Route 66 Historic Byway
Todd Hatella, Girard Mayor (invited)
Victor Angulo, Girard Chamber of Commerce President
Bill Deck, former owner of Doc’s Soda Fountain
Bob and Renae Ernst, owners of Doc’s Soda Fountain
Where: Doc’s Soda Fountain, 133 South Second Street, Girard, IL
Why: Doc’s Soda Fountain was established as Deck’s Drug Store in 1884. The original soda fountain was added in 1929. After three generations running the drug store, Bob and Bill Deck retired in 2001. In 2007, Doc’s Soda Fountain was reopened by new owners Robert & Renae Ernst with Bob and Bill Deck adding their Pharmacy Museum to the store, displaying items back to the late 1800s. Doc’s Soda Fountain offers lunch, pies, ice cream and old fashioned sodas.

SHARE
Previous articleQUIGLEY VISITS NEW REMSA ELMHURST FACILITY
Next articleKelly and Duckworth Highlight Legislation to Close “Skills Gap” & Prepare Illinoisans for Good-Paying Jobs