In my continuing search for great vintage road signs, I came across the Greenway Motel in the Granite City/Mitchell, IL area. I’m sure it looked even better when it still had neon, but it has that great retro shape and aesthetic that I love. Old Route 66 may not be a major thoroughfare anymore, but you can still find some great throwbacks to when it was!
Would you believe that with all the vintage road signs I’ve photographed, I’ve never intentionally gotten a picture of the iconic Ted Drewes sign? I have photographed it once before (it’s actually the first use of the “vintage road signs” tag on this website!), but it wasn’t a great picture, and I wasn’t even getting the shot for the purpose of capturing the sign…instead, I was capturing a moment of celebration after a Cardinals game. Anyway, I figured I should correct that oversight, with a picture of the Ted Drewes sign in all its glory!
Today we went to a “Homeschool Day” at the Missouri History Museum. We’ve been to quite a few of these over the years, but this one was the best by far!
This month’s event was centered around the Route 66 exhibit currently on display at the museum, which we’ve already visited several times. There were some fun crafts, a dancing workshop where we learned popular dance moves from the 50s and 60s like the jerk, the swim, the twist, the money, and the stroll, a storyteller, a musician, and a guided tour through the exhibit which focused on some of the less-than-pleasant aspects of traveling Route 66.
We also got to go on a scavenger hunt, which took us all over the museum. We had visited all of those exhibits before, too, but this helped us focus on smaller details that we might normally miss.
We may be on our fall break, but we still learned a lot on our field trip today!
This summer, we’ve seen where Route 66 began in Chicago and visited the new Route 66 exhibit at the Missouri History Museum (and stopped at Ted Drewes, but that’s hardly unusual for us!). Today we decided to visit another historic Route 66 attraction in St. Louis: the Eat-Rite Diner.
It’s a tiny little building on Chouteau, which we know gets really busy at mealtimes, having failed to stop there earlier this summer because it was so crowded. The burgers were fine…not particularly special (although the buns were excellent), but it was an experience, not a meal, for us…and it only took us 15 years of living in St. Louis to finally say we’ve been there!
On Thursday, we all went down to Forest Park to check out the newest exhibit at the Missouri History Museum–“Route 66: Main Street Through St. Louis.” Even from the outside, you know something special is going on:
And you can tell they’re expecting big crowds from the way they have the entrance set up!
There are lots of cool maps and road signs:
The vintage restaurant and hotel signs are amazing! So much neon, including the restored sign from the Chase:
Lots of other vintage items on display, too, including uniforms, a Corvette, motel keys, a motorcycle, a jukebox, a chrome Airstream, and a very cool rotary phone!
There were also some hands-on items, including a very fun “how to fold a map” activity that mystified the children almost as much as the rotary phone did. The narrative placards were also very informative.
There is just so much to see!
We definitely got our kicks!
This exhibit is going to be around for a full year, and I highly recommend visiting it at least once if you have the chance. It’s incredibly well done, to the point where I think it may be even better than the amazing 250 in 250 exhibit was, and most importantly, really makes the history of the era come alive!
On our way out of town when we were in Springfield a few weeks ago, we had to stop for an early dinner at the Cozy Dog Drive In, an old Route 66 attraction that claims to have invented what is generally referred to today as a corn dog.
The inside is exactly what you’d expect from a Route 66 diner, and I loved it!
The food was exactly what you’d expect, too…very delicious, and very reasonably priced. We all enjoyed the “Cozy Dogs”…just don’t call them corn dogs!
This was a fun and kitschy addition to our Illinois history unit, combining a historic location with an Illinois original food!