Category Archives: Transportation

Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame members, Sangamon County

The Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame includes plaques for a dozen – or so, depending on how you count them – inductees from Williamsville to Divernon in Sangamon County. U.S. Route 66, “the Mother Road,” probably the most famous … Continue reading

Posted in Buildings, Business, Hotels & taverns, Maps, Markers, Museums, Prominent figures, Restaurants, Route 66, State government, Transportation | Leave a comment

Lincoln Tomb streetcar line (1880)

The Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site is a mile-and-a-half from downtown Springfield. That distance isn’t a problem in the 21st century, but it was a considerable obstacle when the tomb was new 150 years earlier. Distance was a big reason … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Germans, Historic Sites, Lincoln Tomb, Prominent figures, Transportation, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Louie Mitchell, pioneer aviator

Louis “Louie” Mitchell not only was one of America’s first air pilots; at 210 pounds, he also was the heaviest. Mitchell had no connection to Sangamon County in life, but his final resting place is in Oak Ridge Cemetery’s Abbey … Continue reading

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First parking meters (1941)

Confusion, reluctance and a little apprehension were Springfieldians’ responses to the city’s first parking meters. The Illinois State Journal described their debut in its Oct. 24, 1941, edition. Springfield entered a new era of streamlined parking control yesterday as nearly … Continue reading

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First traffic signals (1924)

Struggling with out-of-control auto traffic downtown, Springfield decided in 1924 to experiment with traffic signals. Officials chose the intersection of Sixth and Monroe streets for the city’s first set of stop-and-go lights. They started working Nov. 5, 1924. One set … Continue reading

Posted in Law enforcement, Local government, Transportation | 4 Comments

Springfield Auto Club ‘safety lanes’

Fifteen hundred motorists pulled their vehicles through the Springfield Automobile Club’s free “safety lane” on the south side of the downtown square in April 1930. Some did it twice. Safety lanes were a nationwide initiative of the American Automobile Association, … Continue reading

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First parking ramp (1963)

The space age hasn’t been kind to Springfield’s first parking ramp. The 450-car, $725,000 ramp opened to the public on March 17, 1963. The “gala open house” included free coffee, Coke or Bubble-Up and a Mel-O-Cream donut for every person … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Buildings, Business, Local government, Prominent figures, Springfield, Transportation | Leave a comment

Pike’s Peak Ocean to Ocean Trail

Back when Illinois highways had names, not numbers, the Pike’s Peak Trail brought tourists, and their dollars, to central Illinois. The trail (full name “Pike’s Peak Ocean to Ocean Trail,” often abbreviated PP-OO or PPOO) was cobbled together from bits … Continue reading

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Auburn Brick Road

An empty stretch of highway near Auburn might be Sangamon County’s most obscure historic site. The Auburn Brick Road, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998, draws what few visitors it does because it was … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Historic Sites, National Register, Transportation | 1 Comment

Chinkapin Bridge

The Chinkapin Bridge northwest of Springfield carried travelers across the Sangamon River to and from Cantrall and points north for 60 years or more. It was replaced by a new bridge, a short distance east on what is today Illinois … Continue reading

Posted in Local government, Transportation | 5 Comments