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Waggoner

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Virgin on the Highway

The small village of Waggoner is located about a half-mile west of the 1930 to 1977 alignments of Route 66. It is best known for the Our Lady of the Highways shrine.

Waggoner Illinois

1926 US 66 in Illinois

< West     Staunton ¦ Benld ¦ Gillespie ¦ Carlinville ¦ Nilwood ¦ Girard ¦ Virden ¦ Thayer ¦ Auburn ¦ Chatham ¦ Springfield     East >

The Main Alignment of Route 66 (after 1940) at Waggoner

< Head West
Livingston ¦ Mt. Olive ¦ Litchfield

Head East >
Farmersville ¦ Divernon ¦ Glenarm

 

All about Waggoner, Illinois

Trivia, Useful Information & Facts

Elevation: 640 ft (200 m). Population 266 (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).

Waggoner is a small village located in Montgomery County, Illinois just 1⁄2 mile west of Route 66. (Map of Waggoner).

History of Waggoner

The area was settled some 11,000 years ago after the Ice Age glaciers retreated north. The early French explorers encountered Kickapoo Indians in the late 1600s. These were later displaced across the Mississippi by a growing number of pioneers.

Main Street Waggoner. Illinois

Main Street in Waggoner
Main Street in Waggoner, Illinois. Click to enlarge image

After the 1812 War with Britain, Congress awarded land to veterans in Illinois and part of this land became Waggoner.

Montgomery County was established in 1821. Its name honors Richard Montgomery, an American Revolutionary War general who died during an attack on Quebec in 1775.

The Name:Waggoner

It was named for George Waggoner who was one of the first settlers in the area. He came from Kentucky

The Waggoner post office opened in 1886. Route 66 was aligned just east of the town in 1930.

Waggoner, its Hotels and Motels

Lodging & accommodation in Waggoner

> > Book your hotel nearby in Litchfield

More Accommodation near Litchfield on Route 66

See some more hotels & motels nearby

Hotels, Westwards in Missouri

Hotels further East, in Illinois

Heading West in Illinois, more accommodation

Book your Route 66 hotel
Book your Hotel along Route 66

>> Check out the RV campgrounds in Lichtfield and also in Raymond

The weather in Waggoner

weather in Waggoner, Il
Waggoner map on US Highway 66
Here is Waggoner, on U.S. Hwy 66 in Illinois

Waggoner has wet, warm and long summers, and its winters are short and freezing. They are also windy.

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

Summer (Jul) average high is 86°F (30°C), and the avg. low is 68°F (20°C). The winter (Jan) averages are: low 21°F (-6°C) and high 35°F (1.7°C).

Snow can fall for about 4.4 months. The average snowfall is 22.2 inches (56.3 cm) yearly. Annual rainfall is 38 in. (965 mm)

Tornado risk

Waggoner suffers about 7 tornado hits per year.

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

Getting to Waggoner

Reach Waggoner driving along Historic U.S. 66 or I-55

Map of Route 66 through Waggoner, Illinois

Display Waggoner Route 66 Map


  Click Map will appear below
 

This is the color key for Waggoner:

Pale Blue: Historic Route 66 alignment (1940-77)
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
Blue is the 1930-1940 alignment
Black: missing segments.
The approaches into St. Louis Missouri, have their own color coding, check cities in that area for more details.

Google Maps. Terms. Nicolas Mollet, CC BY SA 3.0 License

Route 66 in Illinois: Historic Route 66 in Waggoner

Route 66 logo

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 Waggoner where it is a Historic Site.

Waggoner: its classic Route 66 Icon

Attractions & Sights

Historic Context

In his classic "A Guide Book to Highway 66", published in 1946, Jack D. Rittenhouse tells us about US66 during its heyday. He mentions Waggoner as follows: "[it] is about a half-mile west of here he adds that there was a gas station with a cafe and five tourist cabins five miles west of it; the place included a first aid station.

Waggoner was not located on the Mother Road, but to the west. It is a small town which must have been a stop for those needing repairs or stopping to buy food at a local shop. The image at the top of the page shos the town's Main Street.

The landmark in Waggoner is a Shrine:

Our Lady of the Highways

W Frontage Rd.

Just 3.7 miles south of town along Route 66: Map with directions

The shrine of Our Lady of the Highways was built in 1958 with the $900 raised by the Litchfield Deanery's Catholic Youth Council. The statue was placed on the property of Francis Marten, who took care of it.

Dedicated in 1959, it still stands on its brick base nestled among trees with a cobbled path leading to it. The statue of Virgin Mary is a replica of the one of Our Lady of Lourdes.

After Francis' death in 2002, the family has continued upkeeping the shrine.

Our Lady of the Highways in Waggoner, Illinois

Our Lady of the Highways in Waggoner Route 66
Our Lady of the Highways in Waggoner, Illinois. Click to enlarge image

Litchfield: alignment of Historic Route 66

1926-1930 US 66

The first alignment of Route 66 followed State Higway No. 4 from Hamel, eastbound. It runs to the west of Litchfield on IL-4 onwards past Sawyerville and into Bendl and north through Girard into Springfield, this alignment is marked in Orange in the map above.

1930-1940 US 66

The Illinois Division of Highways headed by Thomas Sheets shifted the course of US 66 eastwards in 1930, aligning it past Waggoner, into Litchfield, and on to Mt. Olive.

After Mt. Olive it met the previous alignment just south of Stanton. This alignment is shown in Blue in the map.

The 1930 alignment was built along the "secondary route" that ran parallel to the tracks of the Illinois Central from North of Farmersvile past Waggoner and on to Litcfield. It linked several schools and churches. See the 1925 Raymond USGS map.

1940-1977 US 66

This is the Map of 1940-77 (13.5 miles) of US66 from Litchfield to Waggoner.

The 1958 USGS map of Decatur shows a "Four Lane - Dual" highway between Waggoner and Litchfield shared by US 66 and I-55. This highway didn't have exits like them modern ones, they were, at that time junctions without overpasses.

> > See the previous segment Farmersville to Waggoner (east)

> > See the next segment Through Litchfield (west)

Sources

Banner image: Dead Man's Curve, Laguna New Mexico by Perla Eichenblat.