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Fairmont City

The Road to America

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Fairmont City is the second westernmost town on the 1950s US 66 in Illinois.
Stop to see its classic Former Rainbo Court Motel, the Neon Sign at the Nite Spot Café, two old motels, the Royal Budget Motel and the Indian Mound Motel, and Thomas Garage.

Enjoy your Road trip through Fairmont City IL.

City Route 66 in Illinois
< West - Venice ¦ Madison ¦ Granite City ¦ Mitchell - East >

Bypass Route 66 Around St. Louis
<SW - Kirkwood ¦ Creve Coeur ¦ Maryland Heights ¦ Bridgeton ¦ Hazelwood ¦ Mitchell ¦ Edwardsville ¦ Hamel - NE >

The Main Alignment of Route 66 (after 1954) at Fairmont City

< Head West
Marlborough ¦ St. Louis (Missouri) ¦ East St. Louis (Illinois)

Head East >
Collinsville ¦ Hamel ¦ Staunton

On the 1950s Route 66 into St. Louis

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About Fairmont City, Illinois

Facts, Trivia and useful information

Elevation: 420 ft (128 m). Population 2,635 (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).

Fairmont City is located in Madison County close to the Mississippi River in Southwestern Illinois.

History of Fairmont City

What is now Illinois has been inhabited for at least 12,000 years, since the end of the last Ice Age. One thousand years ago, the Native Americans of the "Mississippian culture" lived here. Their capital was located at the Cahokia Mounds on the eastern side of Fairmont City. Learn more about the History of Madison Couty.

The townsite was born in 1910, when the Pennsylvania Railroad built a roundhouse here. In 1913 American Zind, Lead and Smelting Co. set up a large ore processing plant in the area and this attracted migrants from Central Europe and Mexico (Czechoslovakia, Poland, Croatia), a melting pot that gave the town its motto "A Road to America".
Its original name was Willow Town. Located on strategic Route 40 it provided services to those using the highway. Later, in the mid 1950s U.S. 66 was aligned beside U.S. 40 across the town.

The Name:Fairmont City

It adopted the name in 1914 when it became a village, the name originally refers to a hill ("mont") that has a pleasant view ("fair"), probably an alusion to the nearby Indian Mounds, east of the town towards Collinsville. advertisement

Hotels and Motels: Fairmont City, Illinois

There is accommodation on Route 66 in Fairmont City:

> > Book your accommodation in Fairmont City

More Lodging near Fairmont City along Route 66

You can find more hotels and motels in other towns on Route 66 near Fairmont Ciy. Click on any of the following links to check out the accommodation options in each town.

Hotels to the West in Missouri

Just North on old Bypass US 66

Hotels to the East, Illinois

>> Check out the RV campground in neighboring Granite City

The Weather in Fairmont City

Route 66 in Fairmont City; location map

Location of Fairmont City on U.S. Hwy. 66, Illinois

Rainfall in Fairmont city averages 41 in. (1.041 mm) per year. The most rainy months are from May through July with more than 4.1 in per month (104 mm). Snow falls from Nov. to April: 17.8 in. (45 cm). The town has four clearly defined sesons and it is located in the area where humid continental climate shifts towards a humid subtropical climate, so summers are hot and humid while winters are cold. It gets cold Arctic air and hot damp tropical air from the Gulf of Mexico. Spring is wet and may have extreme weather (tornados, thunderstorms and even winter storms). Fall is sunny and less humid, with mild weather.

The average winter high (Jan) is a chilly 39.9°F (4.4°C) and the winter low is on average 23.7°F (-4.6°C). The summer (Jul) average high is 89.1°F (31.7°C) and the average low is 71°F (21.7°C).

Tornado risk

Fairmont City may be hit by some 7 tornados every year. Tornado Risk: read all about Tornado Risk on Route 66.

Map of Route 66 through Fairmont in Illinois

1954 USGS Map of US66 alignment across Fairmont City Illinois

1954 Map of Route 66 in Fairmont City IL
Click on Map to Enlarge

The thumbnail map -click on it for a full size map- shows the alignments of US66 & US40 through Fairmont in 1954.
The highway comes from Collinsville to the east (right) into East St. Louis in the west (left).

You can see this alignment marked withy the violet line in this other map.

Map of US66 alignments into Saint Louis from Illinois

Map showing Route 66 from Illinois into St. Louis MO
Click on Map to Enlarge

This is the color key for this map is the following:

Orange: is first, it shows the original 1926-32 aligment of US66 into St. Louis MO; this one didn't go through East St. Louis.
Pink is the Bypass US-66 that crosses the Chain of Rocks Bridge further north and the Pink line marks its approaches from Hamel.
Green and Yellow are other alignments that went through East St. Louis.
Violet, the latest 1954 alignment from Hamel through Troy and Fairmont City, into East St. Louis.
Black: missing segments that can no longer be driven.

This is a Map with directons in Fairmont City.

The Route 66 alignment in Fairmont City

Visit our pages with old maps and plenty of information about US 66's alignments.

Route 66 Sights in Fairmont City

Landmarks and Places to See

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Attractions: Drive along Route 66

Rittenhouse does not mention Fairmont City in his 1946 "Guidebook to US 66" because the road through Fairmont wasn't Route 66 at that time (only US40). He took the bypass alignment from Mitchell west, across the Chain of Rocks Bridge and then along BYP 66 north and west of St. Louis.

At that time, City Route 66 barely grazed western Fairmont City: coming from Granite City it met US40 and turned west into East St. Louis. Only in the 1950s was the higway aligned south of Hamel through Troy, Collinsville and then together with US 40, along Collinsville Road through town.

After passing the Cahokia Mounds, continue westwards into Fairmont from the west, along Route 66 and Historic Route 40. To your left is a motel from the 1950s.

Royal Budget Motel

At 6016 Collinsville Rd.,it has a U-shaped layout around a central parking area. The single-story gable roof complex has been here at least since 1955 (see this aerial photo taken in 1955).

gable roof office and rooms of a motel, neon sign
Royal Budget Motel, US66 Fairmont City IL. Click image for street view

Former Rainbo Court Motel

Ahead, after the curve, the highway adds a median strip and, to your left, at 5280 Collinsville Road is another 1950s motel the Rainbo Court Motel (now Royal Relax Inn).

>>You can Book a Room in the Royal Relax Inn

In its postcard, the Rainbo Court Motel & Restaurant promoted its "35 Deluxe Units"; its classic neon sign has been removed. The building's exterior is relatively unchanged since the 1950s. The postcard said it was in Collinsville despite being located in neighboring Fairmont City.

Former Rainbo Court Motel in Fairmont City, Illinois

color 1950s postcard of a motel: gable roof complex with 2 story office and single story units and neon sign
Former Rainbo Court Motel in a 1950s postcard. Fairmont City, Illinois. Credits

Old Rainbo Court Motel nowadays as the Royal Relax Inn in Fairmont City, Illinois

motel with gable roof, one floor units and two story office
The Rainbo Court Motel today is the Royal Relax Inn in Fairmont City, Illinois. Click for street view

Indian Mound Motel

motel sign and facade along Route 66

Indian Mound motel on Route 66, Fairmont City IL. Click for St. View

Head west, and ahead, to your left at 4700 Collinsville Rd. is another motel that appears in the 1955 aerial photo mentioned further up, the Indian Mound Motel. Originally it has a linear lay out facing the highway, another wing was added closer to Route 66 in the late 1950s-early 1960s. It is still open.

>>You can Book a Room in the Indian Mound Motel

Further east, to your right, just next to the Public Library is a Classic Neon Sign

Nite Spot Café

To your left, at 4448 Collinsville Road is a classic cafe that served tourists and truck drivers, 24 ⁄ 7. Adam and Anne Galas purchased the building in 1947. The cafe is closed, and it sports a classic 1950s Neon Sign.

In 2018 it was declared one of the Most Endangered Historic Places in Illinois by after the city condemned the building.

Nite Spot Café with its Neon Sign in Fairmont City, Illinois

gable roof, single floor building with colorful 1950s classic neon sign seen from US66
Neon Sign and Nite Spot Café in Fairmont City, Illinois. Click for St. view

Thomas Garage

Just ahead, at 3619 Collinsville Rd., to your right is the garage and gas station that Jimmy Thomas opened in 1931. It also had "Thomas Wrecker Service" and sold gas. The place has changed a bit since then, but the gable roof building on the right, "Buzz's Firehouse Bar" is the same, chimney and all, as you can see in the "Then and Now" sequence below:

black and white picture c.1940s of two buildings one with service bays, gas pumps, and cars
Thomas Garage 1940s. Route 66 Fairmont City IL. Credits
two buildings one with service bays, the other with a gable roof with a parking area facing Route 66
Thomas Garage nowadays. Route 66 Fairmont City IL. Click image for street view

Old Gas Station?

Ahead, to your left, at 3403 Cookson Rd & 3401 Collinsville Rd. is Bravo License. It appears in the 1955 aerial photograps and it seems to have been a gas station. This is its street view.

Route 66 meets City 66

Collinsville Road Junction

Below you can see a map showing City 66 marked with red arrows. It comes from the upper right close to Edwardsville, through Granite City and reaches (lower left) airmont City.

USGS map of 1949 with US 66 from Edwardsville to E. St.Louis

US 66 from Edwardsville to Fairmont in 1949. USGS Map

map and aerial view of the 1940s City 66 junction with Collinsville Rd

City 66 junction with Collinsville Rd in satellite view and 1940 USGS Map
click image for satellite view

Route 66 with Alt US 67 followed the City 66 alignment (see this map with directions. It reached Collinsville Rd. and met US 40, and they all headed westwards into East St. Louis.

As you can see in the image that combines a satellite view of its present appearance (the red arrows show the old roadbed) and a 1940 USGS map, part of the original roadbed is still there next to the motel.

View of former US 67A and US 66 from Exit 4 of I-55 in Fairmont City, Illinois

old roadbed in a field, cracked and overgrown, motel in the background
Former junction of US 67A and US 66 with US 40 in Fairmont City, Illinois. Click for street view

In 1954, Route 66 was realigned along Collinsville Rd. and the City 66 was eliminated.

This marks the end of this leg of your Route 66 road trip in Illinois and East St. Louis, continue westwards in St. Louis Missouri. advertisement

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Banner image: Hackberry General Store, Hackberry, Arizona by Perla Eichenblat
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