Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Searching for the Original 66 in Lake Springfield

To borrow part of the title of Tom Teague's great book.

Yesterday afternoon, at Lulu's "suggestion" when she learned we had never seen where one of the early Route 66 alignments was covered by Lake Springfield back in the 1930s, we went looking for it.

We went south on I-55 and turned at Toronto Road and took it east to Cotton Hill Road, turned right and took it past several nice subdivisions to the barricade which marks as far as you can drive. A little ways past it is where 66 enters the lake.

We then back-tracked on Cotton Hill Road (Wonder how it got its name? I doubt that much cotton was grown around Springfield.) past Toronto and as far north as to where I-55 cuts it off and on back around to Toronto.


LOOKING FOR IT ON THE OTHER SIDE

If it goes in on the north side of Lake Springfield, it must come out on the south side of it. That became our next quest.

Back on I-55, across the lake and the first exit onto East Lake Shore Drive and again headed east. This is one of the prettiest drives along a road we've ever been on. Ended up at the Lincoln Memorial Garden and took a walk around it. Very rustic and they said this is part of the landscape Lincoln would be familiar with back in his Springfield days.

Drove back west to two Cotton Hill parks figuring those to be a likely spot for 66 on that side, but didn't see anything that would suggest it. The larger park lets you get right up to the lake with all that pretty scenery.


NOT GIVING UP

We'll look for it again today, but I have been to a site with detailed directions and photos so shouldn't have a problem finding the south shore 66.

We'll take the Route 66 drive to Glenarm on County Road 1 E.

Perhaps then to Becky's Barn and a visit to Bill Shea's.

Looking for That Original Stuff. --RoadDog

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