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10th Annual Antique Auto Cruise-In at The Mill in Lincoln on October 8th
90th Anniversary of Route 66

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[October 07, 2016]   LINCOLN - This year’s 10th Annual Mill Cruise-In, hosted by the Lincoln Railsplitter Antique Auto Club, will be Saturday, October 8th from 11am to 3pm at this historic original 1929 Route 66 attraction located at 738 S. Washington in Lincoln, Illinois, with registration proceeds ($5 per vehicle) to once again go to the Mill for restoration efforts.

The event also marks the 90th anniversary of Route 66 this year, and is one of many events in 2016 that have celebrated this important landmark for the Mother Road.

The Railsplitter Antique Auto Club has hosted the event all ten years and has raised over $2500 for the Mill from this annual event. Registration will be the day of the cruise-in as always. The cruise-in will feature classic cars on display, as well as live musical performances by singer/songwriter Nick Lee and the Lincoln College Jazz Combo. Hot pizza and cold soda and water will be served. The public is invited and the event is free. Donations are welcome. Information will be available at the event from the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway.

Lincoln Railsplitter Antique Auto club is a non- profit group of automobile enthusiasts located in Lincoln, Illinois. In addition to supporting The Mill, the club is known for their annual Cruise-In for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in July. More information is available at

A long time ago on June 25, 1929, Paul Coddington opened “The Blue Mill” at the corner of Washington Street and Stringer Avenue (Route 66) in Lincoln, IL. The eatery had blue trim and continuously turning sailed decorated with lights, and the waitresses dressed in blue with white aprons. In 1945, The Mill was painted barn red and an army barracks was added onto the back to operate as a dance hall.

One of the restaurant’s claims to fame was its fried schnitzel which had been passed down throughout the generations of the Huffman. The Mill closed in 1996 and fell into disrepair until 2006 when the title was gained by the Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County and preservation efforts began. In 2009, The Mill was inducted into the Route 66 Association of Illinois’ Hall of Fame. To date, over $80,000 has been raised to save and renovate the building.

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The Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County recently received a National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program grant for $22,720 for The Mill Accessibility Project. The current grant will provide accessibility to the building including an entrance and bathroom. The original basket and loud siren that once adorned the bathroom door will also be restored.

The Route 66 Heritage Foundation of Logan County would like to thank the City of Lincoln for their $12,000 contribution from the local hotel/motel tax towards this grant. We would also like all the organizations that supplied grants, all the donors, all the supporters and all the volunteers! Railsplitter Antique Auto Club volunteers are among many who have also done a lot of critical work at the Mill.

The interior work and restroom are expected to be finished by late October/early November of this year. The Mill is in the final phase of renovation, with plans to open as a Route 66 museum in April of 2017. For more information, visit  or contact 217-671-3790.

[Geoff Ladd
Project Administrator
Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway]

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