Litchfield Museum & Route 66 Welcome Center
334 Historic Route 66 North
Litchfield, IL 62056
In the spring of 2011, four people sat down to discuss the possibility of a Litchfield Museum. Early talk included the part that Route 66 played in Litchfield’s history. Shortly thereafter, the Litchfield Museum & Route 66 Welcome Center Association was formed.
The Vic Suhling service station property on Route 66 was purchased and later donated to the association.
Exterior design and plans were discussed, drawn, edited, redrawn, then finalized.
In April of 2012, ground was broken for the museum at 334 Historic Route 66 North just one year after that first
planning meeting. United Builders was the general contractor, with most subcontractors from the Litchfield area. A committee was formed for the interior decor.
Fundraisers have included the Litchfield Postcard Book, compiled of historic postcards, many from the collection of the late David A. Jackson; commemorative bricks may be purchased near the building entrance; and pledges for Andy Ritchie’s Route 66 bike ride.
Display cases, flip charts, storage and file cabinets have been purchased through grants and a small portion of tourism tax. The day-to-day expenses and mortgage expenses are 100% donation dollars.
The Ariston Cafe on Route 66
The Ariston Cafe was founded by Pete Adam, a Greek immigrant, in Carlinville, IL in 1924. The original café was located on Route 4, the predecessor of Historic Route 66. In 1929, the Café was relocated to Litchfield, Illinois and moved into its present location on Route 66 in 1935. We believe the Ariston Café to be one of the oldest, if not the oldest restaurant on Route 66. In 1992, the Ariston Café and the Adam
family were inducted into the route 66 Hall of Fame. Since 1996, Pete’s son Nick and Nick’s wife, Demi, have continued to offer the traditional service expected of a family owned and operated restaurant. Paul, eldest son of Demi and Nick, and his wife, Joy, joined the business in 2004. All involved in bringing great food and service to your table welcome you to Litchfield and invite you to share our history with us.
Officers, Executive Board & Volunteers
Since the opening of the museum, the one commodity that we could not do without is our volunteers. We have many dedicated and helpful people that fill this role. Their job is an easy one. That is being a friendly smiling face when the door opens to our visitors. The volunteers are so lucky to be able to talk to and share with people from all over the world. Now that the summer traveling season is here we will be having more visitors. That will make the job of all our volunteers much more fun. Look for the new poster that features photos of our volunteers. And as always we give them a BIG THANKS for all they do!
Chamber of Commerce
Mont Co Genealogical Soc
Mary K. Meyer
Andy & Pam Ritchie
Bill & Barb Tolley
“The purpose of the Litchfield Museum & Route 66 Welcome Center is to preserve the heritage of Litchfield for generations to come and to extend our welcome to those who come to learn and reminisce.”