David Bentley, holding the
toddler, poses for a picture with members of his family, inside the Mill on 66
Mill on 66 celebrates 88th with a
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[July 28, 2017]
- On Tuesday, the Mill on 66 Route 66 Museum celebrated its 88th
year, marking the date in 1929 when the Blue Mill, owned by Paul
Coddington celebrated its opening.
To help commemorate the day, a long-time friend of
the Mill and Route 66, David Bentley, brought to town his newest
Route 66 quirky creation, the USS 66 EPV Earth Patrol Vehicle.
The spaceship was parked outside the front door of the museum and
drew the attention of several visitors as they came in to take a
look around Lincoln’s newest attraction.
On hand to help with the celebration were several of the Mill
volunteers along with Bill Kelly and Geoff Ladd of the Illinois
Scenic Byways organization.
Bentley, who is also the builder of the Railsplitter Covered Wagon,
has designed the ship to roll on a trailer from event to event.
It features a miniature Route 66 highway with a diner
and vehicles to emphasize the size of the spaceship were it real.
A cut-out section in the cockpit of the ship allows folks to climb
up and imagine themselves as the pilot.
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Outside the display was a collection jar for
donations. Bentley said the donations on Tuesday would go to the
Mill on 66. He also explained that he takes the ship to various
events, and he uses the donation jar to support worthy causes such
as donations to the Wounded Warriors or the American Cancer Society.
He emphasized that none of the money goes in his pocket, it is all
given to someone else.
The Mill on 66 Museum opened earlier this year after
more than a decade of work to restore the former restaurant and make
it into something the community can be proud of. Inside the building
the ground floor has been transformed to a museum in the front half
featuring memorbilia of many of the local Route 66 attractions now
gone to the wayside. The museum serves to show that Logan County
was, and still is a vital part of the Route 66 history.
And, if you’ve been to the museum, and are of the opinion that
seeing it once is all you need, Ladd would heartily disagree. He
explained that now that the museum is officially opened, more and
more local folks are coming out and giving the museum Route 66 items
they have saved for years. He noted that the museum has new items
from the Mill and have also received new items representing the
Tropics Restaurant. Ladd says he’s happy to see things coming to the
Mill, and he and the Route 66 Heritage Foundation Board and
volunteers welcome all donations that pertain to Logan County‘s
history with the great Mother Road.
The back portion of the building holds interesting items to see, but
it also serves as the museum gift shop. There one can find many nice
items for sale including Route 66 swag. The dollars profited from
the sale of souvenirs, as well as donations made in a large jar
inside, go to help pay the daily operating costs of the Mill.
The Mill on 66 is open Tuesday through Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4
p.m. and is free to the public.