Williamsville and Atlanta, Illinois

Yesterday and today I spent in Williamsville and Atlanta, Illinois. Although still tired from the whirlwind Carthage MO trip over the weekend, I took off yesterday morning from Edwardsville. This trip, it was just me and my Prius.

In Sherman, I met up with Josh and Wendy Friedrich at a newer restaurant, Fire and Ale, for an excellent lunch and good conversation. Then it was on up the road a few more miles to the Williamsville Historical Museum - the "Box Car Museum." Josh grew up in Williamsville plus earlier this year he researched and wrote the nomination for the Fawns family's service stations for the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame. Between Josh and the helpful staff at the museum, I acquired more information and photos for our (Joe Sonderman and me) upcoming "Route 66 in Illinois" book. Josh took me on both a walking and a driving tour. Here are a few scenes from small but charming Williamsville.

This morning I actually slept in. In fact, the motel desk person called the room at 11:00 am to see if I was staying another day. When I actually got moving, it was a pleasant drive from Springfield up to Atlanta, with only a few detours of my own making. It was just after noon when I got there, and the Palms Grill Cafe  was slammed. I had a late breakfast.

 Afterwards, I went next door to the Atlanta Museum and met with Rachel Neisler, who knew I was coming and had pulled folders of pertinent vintage photos for me to scan. Rachel was hospitable and knowledgeable, and I scanned photos for three and a half hours! Bill Thomas, Atlanta history mover-and-shaker, was also "in the house" today. Bill wrote the nomination for the Palms Grill Cafe for the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame this year. (And I wrote the nomination for Cathcart's in Edwardsville for the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame this year, and that made up the three new inductees - Fawns Family, Palms Grill Cafe, and Cathcart's.) For those of you that have not yet visited the Palms Grill Cafe and/or the Atlanta Museum (and shame on you if you live in Illinois and haven't!), the cafe and the museum share the same building, and you can go from the back dining room (with awesome vintage photos decorating the walls) into the museum (if it's open and unlocked). More on the Williamsville and Atlanta museums in an upcoming blog entry on small (but awesome) museums.

Of course, after all that scanning, I had to return to the cafe for beverage and nourishment. I'll just say right now that their from-scratch peach pie is the best ever. Then it was time to head for home. I drove old highway from Atlanta to Sherman and here are a couple sights from along the way. 

From Springfield it was straight on down the interstate home. I was tired and ready to be home but I suppose my Prius thought it was a pretty short trip...we only did 305 miles this time.


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