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On the 1926 to 1940 alignments of US 66

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The town of Staunton is located on the 1926 to 1930 Alignment of Route 66 and it is grazed by the 1930 to 1940 alignment along its eastern side.

Visit the famous wacky Route 66 Attraction: the Henry’s Rabbit Ranch with its Campbell 66 Express trucks.

Other spots and sights in town are listed below:

Drive by Staunton IL on your Route 66 road trip.

The 1926 alignments went through the cities listed below from Springfield to Staunton:

1926 US 66 in Illinois south of Springfield
< West - Staunton ¦ Benld ¦ Gillespie ¦ Carlinville ¦ Nilwood ¦ Girard ¦ Virden ¦ Thayer ¦ Auburn ¦ Chatham ¦ Springfield - East >

The Main Alignment of Route 66 (1930-77)
<West - Hamel ¦ Staunton ¦ Livingston ¦ Mt. Olive ¦ Litchfield ¦ Waggoner ¦ Farmersville ¦ Divernon ¦ Glenarm ¦ Springfield - East >

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 at Staunton

< Head West
Fairmont City ¦ Collinsville ¦ Hamel

Head East >
Livingston ¦ Mt. Olive ¦ Litchfield

Route 66's old an new alignments meet

Index to this page

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All about Staunton, Illinois

Trivia, Useful Information & Facts

Elevation: 620 ft (190 m). Population 4,528 (2020).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).

Staunton is a city in Macoupin County, in southwestern Illinois, on two alignments of Route 66: the 1926-1930 and the 1930-1940 Route 66 alignments.

History of Staunton

Human beings have lived in Illinois since the retreat of the glaciers at the end of th last Ice Age some 12,000 years ago.

The locan natives were Illinoisian Indians were the first to meet white settlers (French trappers and explorers canoeing down the main rivers from Canada) in the 1600s.

The Illinoisians were later moved out of the territory as European settlers occupied it.

The first settler was John Woods, from Virginia in 1817. The school opened in 1825 and the village was platted in 1835, followed by the postoffice in 1837.

Macoupin County was established in 1829 and named after Macoupin Creek named in turn for the Miami-Illinois term for the American lotus (Nelumbo lutea).

Staunton incorporated in 1859. The railroad arrived in 1870. It became a city in 1891 after its population hit 2,200.

The Illinois Traction System passes through Staunton from 1904 to 1956. And in 1926 the original US 66 is aligned through town. In 1930 it was realigned to the east, grazing the town and bypassing its central district. In 1943 it was completely bypassed by the new alignment through Livingston.

The Name:Staunton

The story goes that a man named Stanton (without the "u") donated the land to the village for a square (accounts differ on the person, perhaps Thomas or James Stanton who were early settlers here). When the post office was to be named it was decided to pay homage to him by naming the post office after him.

The Post Office Service in Washington added the "u" resulting in "Staunton", which is also the name of a village in Virgina.

The surnames Stanton and Staunton are both topographic surnames given by Anglosaxons to people who lived near a Stanton or "Stony Ground".

Route 66 was aligned through the town in 1926 and in 1930 it was displaced to its eastern side. Finally in 1940 it bypassed Stanton completely, running past Livingston further east. advertisement

Staunton, its Hotels and Motels

Find your lodging & accommodation in Staunton (sponsored content)

> > Book your hotel in Staunton

More Accommodation near Staunton on Route 66

There are plenty of lodging options in the cities and towns along Route 66 close to Staunton. Click on the links below to find your accommodation in these towns:

Hotels to the West in IL and MO

Nearby along old Bypass US 66

Hotels to the East, Illinois

>> Check out the RV campground nearby in Douglas

Staunton's weather

Route 66 in Staunton; location map

Location of Staunton on U.S. Hwy. 66, Illinois

Summers in Staunton tend to be humid, warm and long while winters are short and freezing as well as windy.

The average temperatures range from 21°F (-6°C) to 86°F (30°C).

The average summer (Jul) high is 86°F (30°C), and a low of 68°F (20°C). The January (winter) average low is 21°F (-6°C) and the average high is 35°F (1.7°C).

Snow falls for around 4.3 months, and Staunton's average snowfall is 22 inches (56 cm) per year. The yearly rainfall is 37.5 in.(952 mm)

Tornado risk

Staunton is in an region that is hit by about seven (7) tornados per year.

Tornado Risk: learn morel about the Tornado Risk on US 66.

Map of Route 66 through Staunton, Illinois

This is the map with directions from Benld to the end of the 1926 US66 on the south side of Staunton (see it in our custom map, with the brown line).

brown road sign with white letters in a street, the Historic 1926-30 US 66 Road sign in Staunton US66

Historic 1926-30 US 66 road sign, Staunton, Il. Click for street view

The original alignment continues through Staunton and on its southern side it ends at Williamson Rd.

In 1928 a straighter highway was being built between this point and Springfield, via Mt. Olive and Litchfield, to the east of Staunton. You can see it in the Illinois roadmap: the original 1926 alignment has been renamed "T 66" or "Temporary 66", with a new one built between Staunton and Litchfield along former IL-16, named "US 66".

This alignment was completed in 1930 and Temporary 66 was renamed IL-4.

South of this point, all the way to Worden "Wye" (called like that because of the "Y" shaped highway junction there), the 1926 alignment was absorbed into the 1930 road and remained in use until 1942 when a new road was built linking Worden with Mt. Olive via Livingston.

We describe this final segment in our Springfield to Hamel webpage.

The Route 66 alignment in Staunton

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

Staunton: its classic Route 66 Sights

Attractions & Landmarks

Jack Rittenhouse did not mention Staunton in his "Guidebook" to Route 66 published in 1946 because he drove down the later alignment finished in 1940 from Mt. Olive through Livingston, that bypassed Staunton along its eastern side.

There are very few former gas stations and no diners or motels in town belonging to the 1926-30s period, however, approaching Staunton from the north, coming from Mt. Olive on the 1940-77 alignment or from Benld on the 1926-30 alignment there are some interesting sights. Below we describe the two alignments into Staunton and their sights and stops:

Along the 1926-30 US 66 from Benld

The original higway built in 1919-20 has a missing segment at the railroad crossing 3 miles south of Benld and 2.5 miles north of Staunton:

Staunton Country Club missing road

narrow concrete roadbed curves by a golf course seen from IL-4 hwy

1920s US 66 roadbed at Staunton Country Club Click for street view

As you can see in this 1973 aerial photo there is an original segment of highway on the southeastern side of the highway at Country Club lane - Gipsy Lane. The railroad crossing has been eliminated so it has dead ends on both streets. We marked it in our custom Route 66 map with a violet line. Don't miss the original 1920 ghost concrete paving on its northern tip next to the golf course (pictured)

The highway curves towards Staunton with an North-South course. As it enters the town you can see old gas stations that have been altered beyond recognition (Bud's to your left on the SE corner of W. Prairie and N. Edwardsville St). Ahead the road curves with a soft "S" along W North St. The "Historic 66" signs guide you southwards. The bank building to your right seems like a restored 1940s gas station (?), turn south. One block left at 401 W Main St. is an old Conoco Station & Garage on the corner. Now a liquor store. On the NE corner of Pearl and Route 66 was Carl Zuber's Standard Station; now it is Mayfields landscaping store. Here the highway turns right (signs mark the way) and four blocks west, it turns again southwards along S. Hackman St. ahead is a former Texaco.

Neuhaus Texaco

Now Ron's Custom Cabinets owned by Ron Ocepek. This flat roofed single floor building at 514 S. Hackman St. (to your left) opened in 1940. It belonged to Bill Neuhaus and its glazed tiles make it stand out from its green urban surroundings. Bill started selling GM trucks in 1947. Carl Zuber later moved here to "Carl's 66", a Phillips 66 station after selling the one in the downtown district.

The old service bays, office, and concrete pump island are still there.

Former Texaco and Phillips 66 gas station:

1940 glazed tile box shaped single floor, flat roof former gas station, corner office, garage, pump island and 2 service bays
Neuhaus Texaco, later Carl's 66. Staunton. Click for St. view

Drive south along State Hwy 4, it curves again and then runs straight south to meet the 1930 alignment where there is another landmark worth seeing.

Sights along the 1930-40 Route 66 from Mt. Olive into Staunton

Eastern of Staunton

Leaving Mt. Olive (see this map from southern Mt. Olive to Staunton) and heading south along the historic segment and the former four-lane alignment, the old Route 66's 1930-40 alignment turns towards the southwest from the East Frontage Rd. of I-55 just north of Exit 41.

At the fork, to your left was the now gone Gulf gas station and Café. To your right was a classic motel and gas station, also torn down:

Site of the 66 Terminal Motel

It began when Joe Roseman opened it in 1940 as a truck stop with cafe, gas station, garage and motel. John C. Meckles operated the garage and the filling station; he bought out Roseman in 1952. When I-55 bypassed it in 1977 it closed for good.

These two aerial photos taken in 1981 and 1967 look westwards showing the 4-lane US 66 in the foreground, the original cafe and gas station to the right (north), the long, single-story motel running north to south and behind it the original six cabins. The second motel to the south is on the left side of thes images. In the 1981 picture you can see the freeway running behind the complex. Now it is a scrapyard.

Short trip south to visit two sights (map with directions): 5.6 mile round trip.

Country Classic Cars

Just ahead along the old 4-lane '66 at 2149 East Frontage Road by I-55' Exit 41. It features over 400 classic cars and trucks and a Route 66 gift shop with collectibles.

Hi-Cafe site

Also in Staunton was the Hi-Cafe, it opened in 1956 and was located south of the fork of the 1930-40 Route 66, along the later four-lane 66 at Hi-Cafe Rd. and W Frontage. The place belonged to Harold Hutchins and Frank Intahar (their initials named the cafe and the motel). When I-55 opened, it was cut off from its customers and closed in 1977. See this street view and this aerial photo taken in 1964, the old cafe building has been modified and now is a store, the motel on the south side, perpendicular to Route 66 was razed.

Retrace your setps to the site of 66 Terminal Motel and turn west along Old 66.

Route 66 Flea Market and Storage (Rocking chair)

green and yellow gigantic rocking chair with a US 66 shield on a gravel parking area

Large Rocking Chair by 1930-40 US 66, Staunton. Click for St. view. Credits

Head west along the highway. Route 66 originally ran parallel to the tracks of the Litchfield and Madison railroad - L& M (the tracks have been removed, they ran on the north side of the highwya). Half a mile west of I-55, to your left at 20623 Old Route 66, Staunton, is a flea market and if you are into antiques and odd old stuff you might want to stop here and take a look around.
Its main attraction is an ovesized rocking chair (pictured).

Along the 1930-40 US 66 in eastern Staunton

Route 66 and E. Main - old roadbed

Ahead Route 66 crosses E. Main St. (Staunton Rd.) this crossroads was altered over the years to make it safer.

It was a very sharp angled crossing not a "+" but more like an "x" so it was rebuilt in the early 1980s to make it safer.

slab of cracked concrete with grass, road in the distance, fields

Remains of oute 66's 1928-42 roadbed E Main & US66, Staunton, Il. Click for St. view

Compare this 1956 aerial photo with its current appearance. The picture shows a cracked slab of the original concrete highway at the crossing.

Cross East Main and head south along Old Route 66, that ran on the eastern side of the now gone L&M railroad. The road curves west and then to the southwest with fields to the left and some houses to the right. Ahead, to your right is the best known sight in Staunton.

Henry’s Rabbit Ranch

Classic Route 66 Wacky Attraction

At 1107 Historic Old Route 66. this place is the work of Rich and Linda Henry. It was inducted in 2012 to the "llinois Route 66 Hall of Fame".
It is a landmark made to fit Route 66, it celebrates the spirit of the mother road with joy and wacky stuff. For instance, The Standard Oil gas sation looks real but it is a replica.

The replica gas station at Henry's Rabbit Ranch:

1930s gable roof and gable roof canopy replica of a Standard Oil gas station with 1950s gas pumps, stickers and vintage enamel signs
Replica Standard Oil station at Henry's Rabbit Ranch, Staunton. Credits. Click for St. view

Hare it Is

Its "Hare It Is" sign is a wink to the well known Jack Rabbit Trading Post in Joseph City Arizona,with its famous "Here it is!" billboard, both jackrabbit and hare are pictured below.

a large size hare with a saddle and steps to mount it

The Hare at Henry's Rabbit Ranch. Credits

Ride the jack rabbit at the Jack Rabbit Trading Post

A smiling cute hare at Joseph City's Jack Rabbit Trading Post. Austin Whittall

It is a celebration to US 66 and has a good collection of memorabilia. The site housed the old neon sign of the Stanley Courtel Motel but it has since been moved to St. Robert to be restored. It also has some classic Campbell 66 trucks facing the highway:

Campbell 66 Express

black and white photo c.1950 Campbell Express truck and trailer with camel and slogan painted on the aluminum trailer

Vintage 1950s picture, Campbell Express truck. Credits

Franklin George Campbell founded the trucking company in 1926 in Springfield, Missouri. By 1933 it had acquired the Rapid 66 Express and was running between Springfield and St. Louis along U.S. 66.

Campbell pruchased many truck companies over the next decades expanding his company to 26 Midwestern and Southern states.

The 1980 Deregulation Act placed strict regulations on trucking and this liquidated the company: it went bankrupt in 1986.

Their logo and mascot was "Snortin' Norton" the camel. It was painted on their trucks with their motto: "Humpin to Please" as you can see in the vintage photo and the trailer at Henry's pictured below:

Campbell 66 truck and trailers at Henry's Rabbit Ranch, Staunton, Illinois

aluminum trailer and truck with a camel and the slogan "Humpin to Please" painted on it
Campbell Express truck, Route 66, Staunton, Illinois. Click for street view

Rabbit Ranch: Buried Cars a parody of Cadillac Ranch

The buried cars consist of a group of seven cars half-buried in the ground, with four facing one way and three the other, they are almost vertical, and are of different makes.

They are a homage to the well-known art work from the 1970s: The Cadillac Ranch on Route 66 close to Amarilo Texas, with its half-buried Cadillacs.

The Buggy Farm in Conway Texas, on Route 66, east of Amarillo is another parody of the Cadillac Ranch, known as the Bug Farm, Buggy Ranch and Bug Ranch. It consists of five Volkswagen "beetles" buried nose-down in the ground. There is another "buried car" on Route 66 at John's Old Place in Arcadia, Oklahoma.

Cars buried nose-down in the ground:

cars lined up and buried nose down in the ground. Some rusty, fading. Trees behind and lawn
Cars buried in the ground at Henry's Rabbit Ranch, Staunton Illinois, Credits

The "buried cars" at Henry's Rabbit Ranchin Staunton, Illinois

Replica gas station behind, and seven cars half buried in the ground nose down
Replica gas station behind the buried cars, Staunton, Illinois. Click for St. view

You can learn more about Henry's at their website Schedule a visit.

Head south along Route 66. After a set of sharp curves it meets the 1926-30 US 66 on the south side of Staunton.

Alignments meet on the south side of Staunton

You can read all about this last leg of the Springfield to Hamel (1930-77 US66).

The 1930-40 highway that skirted around Staunton's eastern flank met the 1926-30 alignment roughly 2.5 miles south of downtown Stauntonm this junction pictured below:

Route 1926-28 and 1928-42 alignments meet south of Staunton, Illinois

highway with green grassy shoulders, trees further away and a T-junction with another highway that forks to the right6
Route 1926-28 and 1928-42 alignments meet west of Staunton, Illinois. Click for street view

Originally it wasn't a "T-shaped" junction but a crossroads with a "Y-shaped" alignment. A lot of traffic came by here in the 1930s and 40s. also while the four-lane alignment was being built between Worden Wye - Livingston, and Mt. Olive.

On the SW corner of this junction was a classic Route 66 Roadhouse:

Decamp Junction Roadhouse in Staunton US66

Decamp Junction Roadhouse, Staunton, Il.
Click for street view. "Then" credits.

Decamp Junction Roadhouse

8767 State Route 4 (Historic US 66). This is a historic roadhouse and in the past there was tourist cabins a dance hall and even a brothel. It was next to a gas station on the 1926 to 1940 alignment of Route 66.

Illegal alcohol and gambling were rife in the early 1930s when gangsters robbed the place. Now it is a tavern with plenty of US 66 mementos and photos. Check its "Now" and "Then" appearance in the picture:

Originally it stood on the opposite side of the highway. It opened in 1931 and was run by Alois and Elnora Duda.

You can see it in this 1955 aerial photo on the lower left side of the junction of IL-4, the 1930-40 US66 and Spangle Rd.

The original Route 66 together with IL-4 ran south from this point for 3 miles to Worden's junction at Possum Hill Road and from there to Hamel. We describe this section in our Hamel webpage.
This leg of your journey through Staunton ends here. Continue your Route 66 Road Trip westwards along the Main 1926-77 alignment and visit Hamel. advertisement

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

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