Mother Road

Brick-paved section of Rt. 66, near Auburn, Illinois.  Exploring by-ways, old links to the past are a passions of mine.

North Broad Street, became Rt. 66, as it left the city limits.  The pavement was narrow–one car had to drop off on the shoulder to pass.  A highway designed for the Model T Ford era.  Cars got bigger, faster, motorists demanded better highways.

The 1926–1930 alignment of the Mother Road wound through the central part of the county where I grew up.  Parts of it were narrow–seemed to follow property lines.  Two boys–who shall remain nameless, enjoyed driving to Springfield around the ninety degree corners in their fifties-era, Corvette sports car.  They weren’t the Rt. 66 television show guys–but tried to act like it.

Hope I’m alive and in good health in 2026 to enjoy  the Rt. 66 centennial celebration.  There’s pending legislation to fund the celebration–“The Route 66 Centennial Commission Act”–HR 66, sponsored by Rodney Davis, Rep. from Illinois.  The purpose is to preserve what’s left of the old highway.  The expressway, and later alignments bypassed most of the county–except for a little bit of the southeast corner.

–Image, Jim Grey, https://www.hemmings.com/newsletter/–