Cruise the Mother Road and get your kicks on the original Route 66! From 1926 through 1930, Route 66 followed State Road 4, the first fully paved highway in Illinois. The historic route stretched from Chicago to East St. Louis, passing through the heart of Carlinville. In 1927, Route 66 signs were posted across the eight states between Chicago and Santa Monica, California. However, by 1930, Illinois and Kansas, with their 12-mile stretch of the famed road, were the only states which could boast of having a paved highway. During the '30's and '40's, the section of Route 66 between Springfield and Staunton was relocated twice.
Although Route 66 was decommissioned nationally in 1985 (due to the Interstate Highway System), its popularity and mystique never died. Ten years later, the Illinois Department of Transportation officially recognized the Route 66 revival movement and posted historic markers along its length of the "Main Street of America." Visitors to Carlinville will find it easy to retrace the original Route 66 pathway.