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Pontiac Illinois (Route 66)

History of Pontiac, Illinois: Pontiac was founded in 1837 and was named after a famous Native American leader of the Ottawa tribe, Chief Pontiac. The city’s location along the Vermilion River contributed to its growth as a trade and transportation hub.

Route 66 and Pontiac: Route 66 was established in 1926 and connected Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California. It served as a major route for travelers moving westward during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Route 66 passed through the heart of Pontiac, making the city a popular stopping point for travelers.

  1. Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum: This museum showcases the history and significance of Route 66. It features memorabilia, photographs, and artifacts related to the highway’s heyday. The museum also highlights the stories of the people who traveled along Route 66.
  2. Livingston County Courthouse: This beautifully restored courthouse is a stunning example of historic architecture. It’s a popular spot for visitors to take photographs and enjoy the charming downtown area.
  3. Giant Route 66 Shield Mural: Pontiac boasts a massive mural depicting the iconic Route 66 highway shield. It’s a great spot for travelers to take photos and commemorate their journey.
  4. Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum: While not directly related to Route 66, this museum celebrates the history of Pontiac and Oakland automobiles. It’s a must-visit for car enthusiasts.
  5. Old Log Cabin: A historic log cabin located in Pontiac’s Humiston-Riverside Park. It’s a testament to the region’s pioneer history.
  6. Bob Waldmire’s Road Yacht and Other Artifacts: Bob Waldmire was an artist and traveler who was closely associated with Route 66. His “Road Yacht” (a converted school bus) and other artifacts are on display in Pontiac.
  7. Murals and Wall Art: Pontiac features numerous murals and wall art pieces that celebrate Route 66 and the city’s history. These artworks are spread throughout the downtown area.




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