Sherman, Illinois: all about it
Trivia, Facts and Useful Information
Elevation: 598 ft (182 m). Population 4,148 (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).
Sherman is a village in northern Sangamon County, Illinois.
This is a Map of Sherman.
The History of Sherman
Central Illinois was peopled when the glaciers retreated 11,000 years ago. Later the Pottawatomie, Kickapoo, Tamaroa and Delaware Indian tribes would live in the area.
Settlers arrived in the early 1800s to the area known as Grasshopper (according to a local tale due to the large numbers of grasshoppers living there.
The town was platted by four men who , in 1858 purchased 80 acres of land belonging to the Wigginton estate. They later sold it to settlers. They were real estate developers along the Chicago & Alton Railroad built through the area at that time.
The name: Sherman
David S. Sherman (1812 - 1871) was one of the four businessmen that bought 80 acres of land and platted the town. His name was drawn from a hat which held the names of the four partners. So the town was named after him.
Sherman an occupation name means "shearer of woolen garments", it comes from the Anglo-Saxon words "scearra" or "shears" "Mann" or "man".
The town had a large Italian population in the 1900s and most worked in the local coal mine.
Route 66 was aligned through Sherman in 1926 and remaind so until it was de-certified in 1977.
Sherman, its Hotels and Motels
Lodging & accommodation in Sherman
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The weather in Sherman
Sherman has a humid continental climate: hot, humid summers and cool to cold winters.
The average high for winter (Jan) is 34°F (1 °C); the average low for winter is 18°F (-7.8 deg;C).
The summer average high (Jul) is 85°F (29.7°C) and its low is 65°F (18.1°C).
Precipitation is lowest in January (1.93 in. - 49 mm) and peaks at 5.08 in July (129 mm).
Yearly rainfall is 36.7 inch ( 1008 mm). Snow falls from November through March and averages 22 inches (55 cm).
There are some 7 tornado strikes per year in Sangamon County (where Sherman is located).
Tornado Risk: learn more about Tornado Risk on US 66.
Map of Route 66 through Sherman, Illinois
See the alignment of US 66 in Sherman, on our Illinois Route 66 Map, it has the complete alignment across the state with all the towns along it.
This is the color key for Sherman:
Pale Blue: South of town, it is the Historic Route 66 alignment (1930-77). North it is the 1935-77 alignment.
Green is the 1926 Wayside park segment in Sherman
Brown: Bypass or Beltway 66 in Springfield
Orange: the 1926-32 aligment into Springfield and the 1926-30 alignment from Springfield through Staunton.
Black: missing segments.
The approaches into St. Louis Missouri, have their own color coding, check cities in that area for more details.
Route 66 in Illinois: Historic U.S. 66 in Sherman
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 Sherman where it is a Historic Site (Carpenter Park Segment).
Historic Route 66 has been designated as an All-American Road and a National Scenic Byway in the state of Illinois.
Sherman: classic US 66 Sights
Landmarks and Attractions
Getting to Sherman
Drive to Sherman using Historic U.S. 66, U.S. 36 or use the freeway: I-55 or I-72.
Sherman US 66 in 1946
Jack Rittenhouse drove the whole length of Route 66 and wrote the classic "Guidebook to U.S. 66", which he published in 1946. He mentions Sherman as follows: "Pop 100... gas; Withrow garage; grocery. Here begins a 5-mile stretch of divided highway... where the new freeway is being completed".
Not much remains of those landmarks, the divided highway survived as Sherman Blvd.
Begin your trip from the north. If you are using the Freeway use Exit 105, if driving the W. Frontage Rd. turn at Wolf Creek and stop at Sherman Blvd. To your left is an abandoned roadbed: US 66.
The four-lane alignment built in the 1940s runs north out of Sherman until Wolf Creek Road. Here the former southbound lanes are abandoned (see image below) while the northbound ones are still in use because they link with the freeway just ahead (where all of the four-laned US 66 is now covered by I-55 north until Williamsville).
This is a Satellite view of it.
"Old" lanes of US 66 north of Sherman, Illinois
Turn right and drive south into town along Sherman Blvd. As you reach Sherman, to your left is a park with an original segment of the 1926 alignment of US 66:
Sherman and E. Andrew Rd. NE Corner
When cars were slow and didn't have air conditioning, traveling by car in summer was a tiring, dusty and hot business. So Wayside parks with picnic areas were built as rest areas along US 66. The one in Sherman has survived till our days and it also preserves a section of the original 1926 roadbed.
Notice in the satellite view, the curve in the highway and how it opens into two lanes at its northern tip.
1926 roadbed in the Wayside Park, Sherman. www.shermanil.org
The two eight-foot wide lanes built in Portland cement 6 inches thick, with four foot wide gravel shoulders built in 1922 survives in this Wayside Park.
There are two sections, one to the north which is 335 feet in length, and one to the south, 440 feet long. A drainage channel separates the two sections of the roadway.
satellite view of the southern part of old Route 66 alignment, Sherman, Il. Click for Satellite view
Sherman plans to revitalize this park soon.
Below is an image depicting the southern tip of the park, looking nort from E. Andrew Rd. The blue arrows mark the 1926 alignment through the park:
Wayside Park, seen from the South in Sherman, Illinois
2710 E Andrew Rd. SW corner of Sherman and E Andrew
The Hide-a-way tavern was run by Vern and Nora Wertz Woods. It was the place where the locals danced. R. Fishback ran it after 1938. Now Pat's Repair stands on the property.
Turn east and cross Sherman Blvd. and the railroad, to your right is a classic from the 1940s:
Double H Bar
121 North First Street
Built in 1946 from homemade concrete blocks it has been serving drinks to US 66 travelers since then (the days of Rittenhouse).
Head west along Sherman and stop at Carpenter Park to visit a Historic Landmark:
Historic Route 66 by Carpenter Park (1922-1936)
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places
Cabin Smoke Trail and Sherman Blvd. Carpenter Park, Sherman
The historical segment starts at Cabin Smoke Trail and ends at the abutment of the Old Iron Bridge on the Sangamon River. It is barely 1⁄4 mile long.
Route 66 by Carpenter Park (1922-1936) in Sherman, Illinois
No cars have driven along it since 1936. It is a two-lane road that is 16-feet wide. Built four years before the creation of Route 66 it was included in its alignment as it was paved.
It is a cement and gravel roadway with 4-foot gravel shoulders and four inch curbs.
It was replaced by a wider and straighter alignment to the east in 1936. The bridge across Sangamon River has been removed only its concrete abutments survive.
Read all about the alignments of Route 66 in Sherman in the following report:
Historic Route 66 in Sherman
1926-1936 US 66
Shown in Orange in the Google map.
The first alignment of Route 66 followed was paved in 1922, 4 years before the highway was created. When it was commissioned, in 1926 it used pre-existing Illinois state highways. It ran south along present Sherman Blvd. went through the Wayside rest area, and then took a right, westwards along E. Andrew Rd. until Old Tipton School Rd. where it turned south with a 90° turn along the stagecoach route from Springfield to Peoria.
It ran through present Carpenter Park and across the Sangamon River into Springfield. This last section is shown in Black in the map as you cannot driv it.
In 1936 it was realigned to the east, to make it shorter and straighter (no 90° curves).
This is a Map with directions of the first alignment.
Widened to 4 lanes in the Wayside Park it ran south along Sherman Blvd. to the Sangamon River bypassing the Andrew Rd. section. In 1940 it was improved with the addition of two extra lanes, becoming the 4-lane highway mentioned by Rittenhouse.
Air view from 1970
The 1970 air view of Sherman shows the different alignments of Route 66 in the area:
Aerial photograph (1970) of Sherman, Illinois
The 1926 alignment is marked by the Red Arrows and the 1926 alignment through the Wayside Park with the Green Arrow.
The later (post 1930) alignment which became a four-lane divided highway in 1940 is shown with a Blue arrow. To the left, behind Sherman is the Freeway (I-55) marked with a Yellow Arrow.
1958 USGS Map
USGS map from 1958, Sherman, Il. Click for street view
The 1958 USGS map shows the same alignments:
The red arrow marks the 1926 alingment, The 4-lane dual US 66 is marked with blue arrows while the yellow arrows show where the Freeway is.
I-55 north of Sherman ran toghether with US 66.
To the south the Beltway in Springfield is shown with the Green Arrow. Sherman in in the middle of the image (orange box).
> > See the previous segment Williamsville to Sherman (east)
> > See the next segment Through Springfield (west)
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Banner image: Dead Man's Curve, Laguna New Mexico by Perla Eichenblat.