In April of 2011, Anne Jackson, Martha Jackson, Carol Burke and Chick Bishop met at City Hall. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss putting together a post card book, similar to one Anne had recently seen in Jacksonville, Illinois. Anne’s father, the late David A. Jackson, had an extensive collection of postcards depicting Litchfield’s rich history. One short hour later, the post card book was only a small part of the equation. The four decided to try to rally Litchfield citizens and pursue the idea of developing a museum in Litchfield. The idea of a museum was not a new one. Many have wished for some time to have a museum to document and archive items from Litchfield’s past. David A, Jackson, a lifelong resident of Litchfield was an avid collector of Litchfield items. After his death, his family put together a sample of his collection. On the second floor of Litchfield’s Carnegie Library, two cases have been filled: one case holds historical pictures of Litchfield, while another has memorabilia from past Litchfield businesses. By May of 2011 a small group of citizens began meeting regularly to pursue the museum idea. Officers were elected. Local museums were visited. By Laws were developed. The post card book— now the first fund raiser for the museum— was assembled and printed. Land was purchased on Historic Route 66. The effort was truly underway. As the meetings continued, Michael Morgan, of Shoal Creek Designs, stepped up to build a beautiful web site and Facebook page for the project. The group decided it was very important to include Route 66 in the project, and decided that the name would be the Litchfield...Read More
The Wabash Railroad was busy making its own changes in the early part of the century. The St. Louis World’s Fair created tremendous rail passenger activities for the Wabash as it promoted the event to all its potential customers. It had tracks into the fairgrounds and a large station to accommodate passengers. The Railroad built a new station in every little town along the line to help promote a way to get to the great world’s fair. Lichfield had a depot made of wood at the time. In 1914, a new larger brick structure was constructed. At one point, five railroads provided passenger service to Litchfield and all had the depots on their property. Today only the elegant Wabash depot remains to remind us of the level of investment and service the railroads brought to Litchfield. The Wabash depot remains standing today as a monument to that railroad’s significant role in the community. Courtesy: “Litchfield, Illinois: Celebrating 150...Read More
On the evening of Saturday, October 26, 2013, people anxiously gathered on the sidewalk and streets around the museum for the re-lighting of the Vic Suhling “Gas for Less” sign. After receiving an $11,000 matching grant from the National Park Service, the Neon Heritage Preservation Committee from the Missouri Route 66 Association had the sign fully restored. Many citizens, museum association members, family and friends turned out for the event, as well as Litchfield Mayor Steve Dougherty, Gene Wagner, son of the original owner of the station and Vic Suhling’s daughters Bonnie and Bernice. Image courtesy of Will...Read More
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Brick pavers can be purchased here in honor of, in memory of, or in recognition of any individual for a tax deductible contribution of as little as $66. Pavers are available in three sizes. [more…]
We feel that there is a dire need to save Litchfield’s history and memorabilia, to have an attractive and prominent location to welcome visitors, and be an enrichment to our city and businesses. [more…]
Become a member of the Litchfield Museum & Route 66 Welcome Center. Your name will go on a plaque in the museum. You will get emails about upcoming meetings, and receive minutes. [more…]