Glenarm, Illinois: all about it
Trivia, Facts and Useful Information
Elevation: 597 ft (182 m). Population 200 (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).
Glenarm is an unincorporated community set in Sangamon County, Illinois. The tiny village is located on two Route 66 alignments: the 1930 to 1935 and the 1935-77.
This is a Map of Glenarm.
The first inhabitants of this area arrived around 12,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age. More recently, in the 1600s, when the first French explorers reached Illinois, it was inhabited by Native Americans.
The first white settlers arrived around 1800, and shortly after (1821) Sangamon County was created.
The county was named after the Sangamon River, which runs through it; it is probably a Pottawatomie name -they were a local Indian tribe; "Sain-guee-mon" = "where there is plenty to eat". Anothre version is that it was the name of a French saint ("St. Gamo").
Glenarm's post office opened in 1886.
According to Edward Callary in his "Place Names of Illinois" the village's name is of "unknown origin". It probably comes from Glen'Arm' a bathing resort in Antrim, Northern Island because there were many Irish settlers in this area.
Abraham Lincoln represented Sangamon County in the Illinois state Legislature.
Route 66 has run past Glenarm since 1930.
Glenarm, its Hotels and Motels
Lodging & accommodation in Glenarm
> > Book your hotel nearby, in Springfield IL
More Accommodation near Glenarm on Route 66
See some more hotels & motels nearby
Hotels further East, in Illinois
Heading West in Illinois, more accommodation
Hotels, Westwards in Missouri
>> Check out the RV campground nearby, Springfield
Summers in Glenarm are humid, long and hot. Its winters are short, very cold and quite windy.
The winter averages (Jan) are: low 21°F (-6°C) and high 35°F (1.7°C). The average summer (Jul) high is 86°F (30°C), and a low is 68°F (20°C).
Snow falls during more than 4 months with an average snowfall of 22 inches (56 cm) yearly. Precipitation is 37.5 in. (952 mm) per year.
Sangamon county, where Glenarm suffers around 7 tornados each year.
Tornado Risk: learn all about the Tornado Risk on US 66.
Map of Route 66 through Glenarm, Illinois
Display Glenarm Route 66 Map
Click Map will appear below
This is the color key for Glenarm:
Pale Blue: South of town, it is the Historic Route 66 alignment (1930-77). North it is the 1935-77 alignment.
Blue: by Lake Springfield is the pre-freeway alignment
Green is the 1930-35 US66 into Springfield
Red line or gaps in alignment, is I-55, where it overlaps the old alignment
Orange is the original 1926-1930 alignment to the west, through Staunton, Virden and Auburn
Black: missing segments or submerged under Lake Springfield.
The approaches into St. Louis Missouri, have their own color coding, check cities in that area for more details.
Route 66 in Illinois: Historic Route 66 in Glenarm
Route 66 across Illinois
Read this detailed description of Route 66 in Illinois.
Below we provide More information on US 66 in the neighborhood of Glenarm where it is a Historic Site.
Glenarm: classic US 66 Sights
Landmarks and Attractions
Getting to Glenarm
Reach Glenarm driving along Historic U.S. 66 or take the freeway, I-55 an use Exit 72.
The Village back in 1946
Jack D. Rittenhouse drove past Glenarm in 1946 and in his classic "Guidebook of Route 66" he has an entry for it: "Glen Arm" (Yes, he uses two separate words) "A dozen homes... with a few gas stations, stores, cafe, Atchison's garage".
None of these buildings have made it to our days, or if they have they have changed beyond recognition. But there is a Historic Covered Bridge very close to Glenarm:
Sugar Creek Covered Bridge
listed on the National Register of Historic Places
The Sugar Creek Covered Bridge which is also known as the "Hedley" or "Glenarm" bridge is one of the 5 remaining covered bridges from the 1800s in Illinois. It was built in 1880.
Sugar Creek Covered Bridge in Glenarm, Illinois
It spans 60 feet across Sugar Creek and was restored in 1965. The historical society of Sangamon County created the "Pioneer Park" next to the old bridge named so after the first settler here, Robert Pullian who arrived in 1817.
It is only 2 miles northwest of Glenarm and this is a Map with directions so you can get to the bridge.
Historic Route 66 in Glenarm
1926-1930 US 66
The first alignment of Route 66 south of Springfield was aligned along State Higway No. 4, and it ran to the west of Glenarm from Springfield to Staunton via Auburn and Virden.
In 1930 it was realigned to the east, to make it shorter and straigher, however the first section from Springfield to Glenarm had plenty of 90° turns to it:
Route 66 1930-35 Alignment from Springfield to Glenarm
This alignment (marked with Blue arrows) in the maps below) was created along an existing secondary highway that ran between the state capital and Litchfield.
The first part of the alignment, until Glenarm is shown in the Google map above in Green. It begins north of Sugar Creek and then curves east towards it, passing under the railroad tracks (this last section is now submerged under the waters of Lake Springfield created in 1935). It resurfaces on the south shore of the lake and runs with a general southern direction until it turns west into Glenarm.
USGS map (1924) showing what would be the 1930-35 alignment of US 66 from Springfield to Glenarm
North section US 66 1930-35, Glenarm, Il.
Mid section US 66 1930-35, Glenarm, Il.
Southern section 1930-35 US 66, Glenarm, Il.
The highway is now cut by I-55 (no overpass links it to Glenarm), but when Route 66 became a 4-lane divided highway in 1950s, prior to the Interstate system, there was a junction at this point.
The 1930-35 alignment turned 90° in Glenarm and took a southbound course into Divernon, Farmersville and Waggoner.
The completion of the construction of Spaulding Dam across Sugar Creek in 1935 created the 4,260 acre (17200 ha) Lake Springfield, which flooded Route 66's bridge across the creek and its approaches. A new alignment replaced the old one.
This new course ran straight south from Springfield into Glenarm, with less curves and a brand new bridge across the lake.
By 1942, the wear and tear caused by wartime heavy traffic damaged the highway's pavement so the original 2-lane highway was to become a four-lane one. Construction began in 1943 and was finally completed in 1955. It overlaps the previous one in many sections. The USGS map from 1958 shows how Glenarm was linked to the "Four Lane - Dual" highway with a junction with the 1935 Route 66. At that time the four lane alignment carried I-55 and US 66.
However nowadays, the 1930-35 alignment of Route 66 is cut by I-55 as you can see in the image below:
Looking west along the 1930-35 Route 66 in Glenarm, Illinois. I-55 is in the back.
From Glenarm to Divernon
Head south from Glenarm along Douglas St. which then becomes Frazee Rd (the West Frontage Rd.) and runs south till it meets State Highway 104.
To the south of Exit 82 at I-55 and IL-104 there is no Western Frontage Rd. and Old US 66 is buried under the Freeway. So here you must get on the freeway and get off it at Exit 80 to head into Divernon.
It is a 5 mile drive from Glenarm to Divernon (map with directions).
As you drive into Divernon there are brown-colored Historic Route 66 signs to guide you on your journey. South of Divernon Route 66 follows the W Frontage Rd. to Farmersville.
> > See the previous segment Through Springfield (east)
> > See the next segment Divernon to Farmersville (west)
Banner image: Dead Man's Curve, Laguna New Mexico by Perla Eichenblat.