The new facility is designed to reflect the Route 66 era. An
official opening date has not been set. For a drawing of the front
of the museum, click here.
The project is being organized by
the museum's foundation, and funding is being provided entirely
through private sources and grants. In addition, the Litchfield city
administrator, Andy Ritchie, P.E., is currently riding a bicycle on
Route 66 from California to Chicago to raise money for the new
museum and visitor center.
"Litchfield is a popular destination for travelers exploring
Route 66, and this museum and welcome center will further enrich our
visitors' knowledge and perceptions of this area," said Carol Burke,
tourism coordinator for the city of Litchfield. "Three miles of the
original Mother Road pass through Litchfield, and several iconic
restaurants and businesses dating from the 1920s through the 1950s
continue to operate here, including the Ariston Café and the Sky
View Drive-In. Visitors here can experience the oldest restaurant
still operating along Route 66 in Illinois, as well as only
continuously operating drive-in movie theater along the historic
road in Illinois."
This year the Route 66 Association of Illinois' annual motor tour
stopped in Litchfield, bringing many Route 66 enthusiasts for lunch
at the Wooden Nickel Winery. The grand marshal of this year's tour
was Nicholas Adam, co-owner of the Ariston Café. Opened in 1924, the
Ariston Café is a member of the Route 66 Hall of Fame.
[to top of second column]
Where land and water come into play
In addition to its Route 66 appeal, Litchfield offers visitors a
diverse mix of recreational experiences, including the 1,400-acre
Lake Lou Yaeger for water sports, a historically preserved downtown
area with many points of interest, 250-plus hotel rooms, a broad
range of dining options, nearby golf courses and wineries, antique
shopping, camping, picnicking, biking, and horseback riding.
Litchfield (pop. 7,000) is conveniently located on Interstate 55
midway between the St. Louis metropolitan area and Springfield. Long
known as a commercial and industrial crossroads with strong Route 66
history, today Litchfield is a diversified and classic Midwestern
community that is proud of its regional influence and growing
tourist appeal. Residents, businesses and visitors enjoy a relaxed
lifestyle supported by a stable economy, established industrial
infrastructure, broad range of retail and cultural amenities, solid
educational system, regional health care center, and a large public
lake offering outdoor recreational opportunities and lakefront
For more information, see
or call 866-733-5833.
[Text from file received from