History Museum, Discovery Center exhibits celebrate Route 66

Published: Aug. 10, 2017 at 3:39 PM CDT
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Visitors to the Birthplace of Route 66 Festival in downtown on Friday and Saturday might enjoy two exhibits about the Mother Road. One is at Discovery Center and the other is at the History Museum on the Square.

The Discovery Center is on St. Louis Street, two blocks east of Jefferson Avenue. Its exhibit, which will be there until Sept. 30, is called “America’s Road: The Journey of Route 66.” It includes photographs, narrative, music, and antiques on that celebrate the rich history of the beloved highway, which ran from Chicago to Los Angeles from 1926 until it was totally decommissioned in 1985.

The exhibit is appropriate for all ages and is free with an admission fee to the Discovery Center:

-- Children (Age 3 - 15): $8

-- Adults (Age 16 - 59) : $12

-- Senior Citizen (Age 60+): $10

-- Military Personnel (With ID): $7

Discovery Center’s hours are:

-- Tuesday - Thursday: 9 - 5

-- Friday - Saturday: 9 – 6

-- Sunday: 1 – 5

For information, call (417) 862-9910.

The History Museum’s Route 66 exhibit is called “Memories of the Mother Road: Birthplace of Route 66.” It features photographs and memorabilia from locations along several routes that the highway traveled through Springfield over the years. Videos outline the history of the highway, and a music video celebrates the iconic hamburger stand, Red’s, done by the Morrells in 1982. Red’s featured the first restaurant drive-up window in the country. It was on West Chestnut Expressway.

“Route 66 was born and named right here in Springfield in 1926. The highway would become integral to the American experience during the 20th century. After World War II, the American mindset was one of optimism and limitless potential; everything was on the move and on the go, always improving. Route 66 became the Mother Road of American idealism and expansion,” said John Sellars, director of The History Museum on the Square.

The museum’s hours are Monday-Saturday, 10:30 - 4:30. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 2 through 12. The museum is on the northeast corner of Park Central Square.