The Realignment of Route 66


Ghost Towns of Route 66 talks all about the abandoned communities along the famed highway. Did you know that Route 66 once took a different route? Here’s the history of the realignment.


From Springfield South to Granite City, there are two distinct versions of Route 66. There is the 1926–1930 alignment that was originally Illinois State 4 and the 1930–1977 alignment that is now generally Interstate 55 with Route 66 serving as a frontage road.
As with the section of Route 66 that lies east of Springfield, the alignments to the west are dotted with small, picturesque communities that have lengthy, colorful histories and an abundance of refurbished ghosts. Counted among the must-see ghosts are Art’s Motel in Farmersville. In Litchfield, there is the SkyView Drive-In Theatre and the Ariston Café, the oldest continuously operated, one-family-owned café on Route 66, dating to 1931. Other stops of note include Soulsby Station in Mt. Olive, which dates to 1926, and the Luna Café, circa 1924, in Mitchell.