The weekend designation began with a resolution
from the city that on Friday morning was read aloud at the ribbon
cut by Lincoln Mayor Seth Goodman:
WHEREAS, Route 66 is a
main tourist attraction for Lincoln, IL, bringing thousands of
visitors a year to town; and,
WHEREAS, the Route 66 Garage Sales, Mill Museum’s 90th
Birthday Celebration, and the Illinois Route 66 Motor Tour are all
taking place in Lincoln on June 7-9, 2019; and,
WHEREAS, by designating June 7-9, 2019 Route 66 Weekend in
Lincoln, Illinois will bring more publicity to the Route 66 events
and Lincoln, IL;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT, I Seth A. Goodman, Mayor
of the City of Lincoln, Illinois, do hereby designate June 7-9, 2019
as Route 66 Weekend in the City of Lincoln, Illinois.
Because the weekend has a root base with the Garage Sales, Michelle
Ramlow was asked to speak.
Ramlow said first and foremost, she wanted to
acknowledge Andrea Dykeman and Lincoln Printers who took up the
cause when it appeared that the garage sales could go to the
wayside. They kept the garage sales going in Lincoln and have grown
the event to the size it is today, and it is still growing.
Ramlow went on to mention that this is a community that supports all
of its causes. During the weekend there were a number of
organizations that used the sales as a fundraising tool and she
encouraged everyone to support those organizations, and also
mentioned that we are a community that does come together for those
fundraisers and is always there to help out. She acknowledged that
we are a community that shows tremendous love and support to its
veterans, and that too is vitally important and much appreciated.
In addition to the establishment of the weekend and the celebration
of the success of the Route 66 Garage Sales, this weekend was also a
celebration for the Mill on Route 66 Museum. This is the 90th
anniversary year for the Mill. The Mill which started as the Blue
Mill sandwich shop on Route 66 has a storied history in Lincoln with
ties to local characters such as Blossom Huffman and Coonhound
Johnny and world renowned characters such as Al Capone.
When the Mill was standing in ruin and on track to be demolished it
was another colorful character, Ernie Edwards of the former Pig Hip
restaurant in Broadwell who demanded of Geoff Ladd, then director of
the Logan County Tourism Bureau, that Ladd save the Mill.
On Friday, Ladd was the next to speak. Being
introduced as the one who revived the Mill and now works continually
to sustain the Mill, Ladd used the word “sustain” to lead into his
part of the program. He spoke first about the new 90-year
anniversary tee-shirts that were being unveiled and offered for sale
starting this weekend. He noted that they were limited edition
shirts with the proceeds going to the daily operations of the Mill.
As Ladd spoke about the value of the Mill and its ties to Route 66 a
large group of motorcycles roared past. He laughed and said he could
not have timed that any better if he had tried, because it drove
home the number of Route 66 travelers that pass by the Mill on a
Ladd went on to remember Edwards and the charge he made to Ladd that
the Mill had value and had to be saved. He spoke about the notoriety
of the Mill and the connections to prohibition and Al Capone.
There had been one small snafu in the weekend for the Mill. Saturday
was supposed to offer a special dedication of a new library inside
the Mill with several items being donated by David G. Clark. Mr.
Clark fell ill on Thursday and was unable to attend the Saturday
event. Ladd had intended to have the official opening of the library
and dedicate it to Clark. Clark was also scheduled to give two
presentations on Saturday that focused on Al Capone. Those two
events will be scheduled for a later date. The library was open
though and after the cut Ladd shared items that had been donated by
He also shared that the family of Ernie Edwards
recently donated all of Edwards scrap books from the Pig Hip.
Those are still in storage at the Mill, but Lad said
they will be added to the library so guests will have the
opportunity to look though those scrapbooks in the near future.
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Ladd concluded, “I am so honored that we got this
building to 90 years, and it’s going to be here in 2026 when Route
66 turns 100 years old.”
The mention of the 100th anniversary of Route 66 led to a special
announcement made by Lincoln Alderman Tracy Welch.
“Route 66 is extremely important to the city. It is
traveled by millions of people. The 100th Anniversary of Route 66 is
coming up in 2026.” He said that he and Morgan Gleason and Kaylee
Kirby of the Logan County Tourism Bureau, Ladd and Bill Kelley of
the Route 66 Scenic By-Way had met to discuss forming a local
commission. There is currently a Route 66 Commission on a state
level and work is being done to get a similar resolution in the
works in Washington D.C. Welch said the group wanted to “get ahead
of the game” and form a local commission.
A request for a resolution establishing a Lincoln, Illinois, Route
66 Anniversary Commission had been submitted to the city and the
city had approved that request. As a result, Lincoln is the first
‘local government’ in the nation to establish an anniversary
The commission has been established and the core committee has been
Members of that committee include:
Logan County Tourism Bureau
Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway
Route 66 Heritage Foundation
Illinois House Representative
City of Lincoln Alderman
Logan County Board Chairman
Route 66 Garage Sale and local veteran
Downtown Lincoln business owner
As part of the program on Friday, it was also
noted that this was the weekend for the Illinois Route 66
Association Motor Tour. The annual tour stops in Lincoln each year.
This year the tour would be arriving in town on Saturday and would
stay the night in Lincoln. They would also be hosting their annual
Hall of Fame Banquet at the American Legion in Lincoln on Saturday
The next person to speak on Friday morning was Morgan Gleason of the
Logan County Tourism Bureau. Gleason thanked everyone for coming and
said that it was a pleasure to see local businesses, the garage
sales and the Mill all working together to promote the community on
the whole, and the city’s Route 66 heritage in particular. Gleason
also expressed appreciation to the city of Lincoln in recognizing
the importance of the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Mother Road,
and acting accordingly with the establishment of a local commission.
Introduced as “last, but far from least” was Lisa Drew, owner of
Sorrento’s Pizzeria, and her husband Jim Drew. Guests were reminded
that there would be a second ribbon cut on Friday at the Pizzeria
celebrating its 50th anniversary in downtown Lincoln.
Drew was asked to say a few words. Drew said that she certainly
wanted everyone to join them. She said that this would be the second
ribbon cut for the restaurant in recent months as there had been one
in November to celebrate the new location of the restaurant. She
said that she had requested a second ribbon cut now because she felt
that it was important to celebrate 50 years for the restaurant and
With the speeches concluded the traditional posed
pictures were taken, then the group assisted with the countdown to
the snipping of the ribbon. Gleason and Ladd snipped the ribbon with
assistance by Ramlow.
Guests were then encouraged to take a tour, visit the garage sale
going on outside the building, and of course purchase a tee-shirt
commemorating the Mill’s 90th anniversary.