If you have a story or idea to submit, please email it to us at
Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway
Matt Allen

Falling in Love with Cozy Dog

The Cozy Dog Drive In is the birth place of the "hot dog on a stick" and is located at 2935 S. 6th Street in Springfield, IL.  The Cozy Dog was introduced to the public at the Illinois State Fair in 1946.  Hungry travelers, like Matt Allen, make a special effort to fuel up on the comfort food and stop for photo ops when traveling the Mother Road.

Mourning on 66

The last few months have served as a reminder of how precious iconic personalities along the road are.  It is easy to allow ourselves to believe they are immortal because of the enormity of their contributions and the indelible mark and legacy they have left on Route 66.  When such a person passes the void left behind is easily felt even by those who never had the pleasure of knowing their acquaintance.  It is up to those of us left behind to ensure that the stories and their legacy live on.  The Road lost two icons in the last 4 months.  Ernest L. "Ernie" Edwards, Jr.  passed on April 11, 2012 at the age of 94 and Elizabeth A. "Betty" Estes was called home on June 20, 2012 at the age of 81.  Both will be missed, but will live on through the work of those who protect, preserve, and maintain Illinois Route 66.  As a first step toward this obligation we at the Byway have included in this month's newsletter a tribute to both Ernie and Betty.

The Mother Road Rambler

Vol. I

The Voyage Begins!

Our First Edition: Thank you so much for subscribing to the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway's The Mother Road Rambler!  We look forward to keeping you informed on the happenings that occur on America's Mainstreet in Illinois.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the patience and dedication that has made this publication possible.  

Future editions will report on events that have already happened on the road as well as inform you about future events (such as the International Mother Road Festival coming up September 21-23).  We will also highlight attractions and personalities that make Illinois special.  Please feel free to contribute a story or nominate an attraction, personality, or event for coverage.  Send all correspondence to with the subject line "Story Submission."

As always, get out there, drive safely, and enjoy the road!

~ The Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway Team
Betty Estes (left) presenting the Betty Estes Scholarship Award to Marieta Bangeova (right)  in 2011.  Bill Kelly, Executive Director of the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway (middle) assisted in the presentation.

Elizabeth A. "Betty" Estes

Betty was born July 11, 1930 in Chicago, IL.  She was married to Dalmain A. "Dal" Estes November 24, 1951.  They were married over 50 years before he passed in 2005.  She was the mother of five, grandmother of three, and the great-grandmother to three children.  The family moved to Pontiac Illinois in 1986 and she was later appointed the city's first tourism director in 1996.  She was responsible for the Route 66 Museum and Hall of Fame, the Pontiac Jolly Trolley, the Livingston County War Museum, and the Red Carpet Corridor Celebration.  Betty was also a founding member of our organization, the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway.  It was because of these contributions that we at the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway created and fund The Betty Estes Route 66 Scholarship at the University of Illinois (Administered by Dr. Bruce Wicks). 
Ernie Edwards was never without his signature chef's hat.

Ernest L. "Ernie" Edwards, Jr.

Ernie was born on August 5, 1917 in Murphysboro, IL.  He married Frances E. Cook on March 17, 1984 in Lincoln, IL and is father to three sons, step-father to three, Grandfather to eight, and great-grandfather to four children.  He was preceded in death by two wives, Loeta and Lola.  He served in the Army during WW II and was an active member of the American Legion Post #263 and the VFW #1756.  Ernie owned the Pig Hip restaurant in Broadwell, IL which later became the Pig Hip Museum.  The museum was inducted into the Illinois Route 66 Association's Hall of Fame in June of 1990. Ernie will be remembered for his gift at storytelling and his ever present white chef's hat. Come celebrate Ernie Sunday, August 5, 2012 from 1-4 pm at the first Ernie & Fran Edwards Route 66 International Appreciation Day (Call 217-732-8687 for more details).
Copyright © 2012 Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway, All rights reserved.

If you have a story or an idea for our newsletter please email it to us at: with the subject line "Story Submission."
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp