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The Ultimate Guide to Atlanta, IL

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Very small. Very friendly. Very Route 66.What to do...where to eat, drink and shop.

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Welcome to Atlanta, Illinois!Where we’re welcoming the world with a smile...Early AtlantaRichard T. Gill founded Atlanta, Illinois in 1853. He chose the town’s location because it was halfway on the railroad line between Chicago and St. Louis—calling it Xenia, aer the Ohio hometown of his eldest sister’s mother-in-law. e name “Xenia”, however, had already been taken in the state of Illinois, prompting a second choice of “Hamilton.” Once again, name taken. Finally, aer returning from a recent trip to Atlanta, Georgia, Gill’s third name choice was made ocial on February 14, 1855.

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Join Us on an 8-Block Walking TourStart:Visitors Center, 114 SW Arch St. From the Visitors Center entrance, turn left toward SE Race Street. At the corner of Race and Arch Streets turn left, where you will see the JM Judy & Sons Grocer’s mural, painted by the Walldogs during their “Letter Rip on 66” event in 2002. In the 1890s, this building—called “Union Hall”—housed the JM Judy & Sons Grocer, followed by other grocery and dry goods stores. Upstairs, dierent Atlanta fraternal organizations met, including the Modern Woodmen and the Order of Masons.Today, Union Hall is also home to the Route 66 Arcade Museum, a free playable arcade that operates on donations. Please enter the Arcade Museum through the Visitors Center entrance on Arch St.From the corner of SE Race and SW Arch Streets, cross Arch Street to the entrance of the Atlanta Route 66 Park. The park is home to a number of artifacts commemorating sites from Atlanta’s history, including the Atlanta High School and the Atlanta Fair.Fun Fact: Arch Street was named in recognition of the many arches incorporated into the architecture of the buildings that lined the street.

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Atlanta Route 66 Park on the corner of Arch and Race Streets. Follow the path inside the brick walls to read the markers and discover a bit of Atlanta’s past. Fun Fact: As noted on the marker in Route 66 Park, the first African-American to graduate Atlanta High School was Walter White in 1884. He was valedictorian.ticket booth photoBBQ poster imagepark picse red Ticket Oce building is from the the Atlanta Fair, held just south of Atlanta, yearly from 1860 until 1928. In 1875, the Atlanta fairgrounds hosted a huge celebration organized by African-Americans in Atlanta to celebrate the 12th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. A massive number of Atlanta and Logan County residents turned out for the BBQ. Learn more through a short video available at e Ticket Oce stood at the entrance to the Atlanta fairgrounds (across from the Atlanta Cemetary at the south end of Race Street on the other side of I-55.)If you look to the le of the Ticket Oce, you will see a circa 1934 “bubbler” water fountain, one of four that originally stood on the corners of downtown Atlanta. Take a sip and enjoy the refreshingly cold water.Up next is the Atlanta Public Library and Clock Tower just across Race Street.

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Atlanta Public Library & Clock Towere Atlanta Public Library was Logan County’s rst free library, opening its doors in 1873 (in a dierent building). e building you are looking at today was dedicated on March 28, 1908. anks to generous donations from Atlanta residents, the new library building was built debt-free. e library is the only octagonal pubic library in Illinois and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1982, the community built the clocktower on the Library’s grounds to house the 1909 Seth omas clock that adorned the former Atlanta High School building. e clock is still hand-wound three times a week by Atlanta’s “Keepers of the Clock.”Leaving the library, turn left on Race Street and cross the railroad tracks. ese tracks are the reason Atlanta was established. e Chicago, Alton, and St. Louis Railroad was the original rail line through town, with trains carrying corn and soybeans from Atlanta to Chicago, St. Louis, and other major regional cities. e line also carried Abraham Lincoln’s body to its nal resting place in Springeld, Illinois, slowing down so Atlanta residents could pay their respects in the early morning hours of May 2, 1864.Turn left onto 1st Street at the Red Wing Bowling Alley. Fun Fact: Atlanta native, Lester Hunt was a janitor at the libary before moving to the state of Wyoming, where he served as the its Govenor (1943-1948) and U.S. Senator (1949-1954).

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As you walk southwest, the towering red building on your right is the J.H. Hawes Grain Elevator. It is the only fully restored wooden grain elevator in Illinois and one of three on the United States National Register of Historic Places. J.H. Hawes built the elevator in 1904 with a 30,000-bushel capacity. It was used for grain storage until 1976. In 1993, Deane May, a local machinist, led restoration eorts to preserve this important piece of agricultural history. We recommend you stop and take the self-guided tour.e white building beyond the grain elevaor is the J.P. Heironymus Carriage House, the last wooden carriage house still standing in Atlanta. Originally constructed in 1909 at 607 NW Vine Street to house the Heironymus family’s horse and carriage, it was relocated to this spot in 2019.At the end of this roadway, you will nd the Atlanta Coal Mining Company Historical Mine. Multiple attempts were made in the late 1800s and early 1900s to mine coal in Atlanta. Step inside and discover the ironic story of Atlanta’s failed attempts to mine coal which ultimatley led to a water source for the City’s residents. Peer down into the lighted minesha, touch a large chunk of coal, and view a video of the descent down the minesha to recover artifacts.Fun Fact: If you continue to the end of 1st Street, you find yourself at North Greens Golf Course—one of the best 9-hole public courses in Central Illinois.

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The tour continues on Vine Street, so from the Coal Mine kindly turn and walk back toward Race Street and continue along 1st Street to the next railroad crossing on Vine Street. Turn right onto Vine Street, recrossing the railroad tracks that now carry Illinois Amtrak passengers from Chicago to St. Louis and ultimately to Los Angeles. Returning to Arch Street, on your le you will nd Chubby’s Bar & Grill (a local favorite for cheeseburgers and cold beverages). On the Arch Street side of Chubby’s you can view another Walldog mural advertising the Reisch Brewing Company, a Springeld-based brewer which once distributed its product in Atlanta. American Giants Museum & Route 66 Land of the Giants Rest StopAcross Arch Street from Chubby’s is the American Giants Museum. is newest of Atlanta’s attractions was developed under the guidance of American Giant Specialist, Joel Baker and tells the story of International Fiberglass Company, the rm responsible for the “giant” phenomenon of oversized statues used to draw attention—and customers—to businesses across the U.S. e grounds will include one of only six surviving “Texaco Big Friend” statues and up to ve more preserved and restored giant characters installed in “e Route 66 Land of the Giants Rest Stop”. Together, these make Atlanta the site of the highest concentration of American giant statues anywhere along Historic Route 66.Fun Fact: If you continue to the end of 1st Street, you find yourself at North Greens Golf Course—one of the best 9-hole public courses in Central Illinois.

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Proceeding across Arch Street, you’ll be in Xenia Park which features an eagle carved from a tree trunk. It honors Atlanta’s rst responders on the 20th anniversary of 9-11. Along the Arch Street side walk, you will nd a visitor panel detailing the Wide Awakes organization in Atlanta. e Wide Awakes was a popular movement among young men who supported Abraham Lincoln for President. e banner shown on the panel was designed by an Atlanta dentist and carried by his nephew, the leader of the Atlanta Wide Awakes chapter.Next to Xenia Park is Memories: Route 66 Museam, a free attraction lled with Americana memorabilia. If the door is locked, stop by the Arch Street Artisans shop across the street -- the folks there will be happy to open it for you.e Arch Street Artisans gi shop is located in a building that formerly housed the Wisteria Cafe—Atlanta’s go-to place for ice cream and sodapop in the 1920s. is shop was also commemorated by the Walldogs with window signs. Local residents preserved the McKown & Hawes mural painted on the brickwall of the building. A few doors down from the Memories Museum, you’ll see the famous Palms Grill Cafe, named by its founder, Atlanta native Robert Adams, aer returning to town from living in Southern California. Today, the Palms Grill is owned by the Atlanta Public Library & Museum. In 2009, it was restored to its 1930s charm as a living museum that served homemade pie and blue plate specials until 2020. e

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Greyhound sign above the door commemorates its important role as a bus stop for many years -- bringing people and prom corsages to town. Today, it is the home of Missy’s Sweet Shop where you can purchase cupcakes and cookies to take with you on the road!Next door to the Palms Grill is the Atlanta Museum. Please enter through the Visitors Center. is museum tells Atlanta’s history through the eyes of its residents. Permanent exhibits focus on the Atlanta High School, Atlanta Union Central Agricultural Society, and Abraham Lincoln’s relationship with Atlanta. You’ll learn even more from the rotating exhibits that tell of other Atlanta residents, events, and businesses. It is a great stop with free admission!When you are done at the Atlanta Museum, be sure to make time for photos at the Bunyon Giant, our most iconic attraction. is American Fiberglass “muer man” holds a one-of-its-kind hotdog. e Bunyon Giant is on loan to the City aer its original restaurant home in Cicero, Illinois, closed in 2003. This ends the walking tour! In addition to the museums, exhibits, and sites along the way, we invite you to make a purchase or two at the Sip Shack, The Gift Box, the Country Aire Restaurant, the Arch Street Artisan’s Shop, Dollar General, Casey’s, Dairy Queen and the Atlanta Truck Stop.Fun Fact: When Lincoln was officially nominated as President, Atlantans were so thrilled, they fired 33 rounds (one per state, at that time) in his honor.

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Atlanta’s Historic U.S. Route 66/Illinois Route 4 Driving ExhibitRoute 4 and Route 66Route 4 was designed as the rst numbered through-route in Illinois from Chicago to St. Louis. It was built in 1924 and was the forerunner of the more famous Route US 66 which was designated in 1926 to connect Chicago, Illinois, and Santa Monica, California.e U.S. Historic Route 66, Illinois Route 4 Driving Exhibit is located on the corner of NE Arch Street and Sycamore Street on Google Maps - across from Holland Trucking Company. is quarter-mile stretch of circa 1924 Illinois Route 4 was redesignated as U.S. Route 66 in 1926. It is one of the few, intact, Portland cement, 18 foot wide alignments of original Route 66 road bed that has not been widened or covered over by other paving materials. Marked by a billboard reminiscent of the1930s, the exhibit includes replicas of other road signs from the heydays of Route 66, as well as an Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway interpretive panel that shares the story of how the road was originally constructed. e pavement deadends at a gravel lot, making it dicult for vehicles over 40 feet to turn around. A rough walking trail leads farther north from the parking lot. Following the original path of Route 66, it ends at a large cement culvert which provides an additional interesting example of early Route 66 road construction.Fun Fact: The City of Atlanta paid for construction and upkeep of the famous road within the City’s limits.

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Food & DrinkAtlanta Truck Stop-Pizza Hut Express102 Empire St.Casey’s 700 E. South St.217-648-2141Country Aire Restaurant606 E. South St.217-648-5330Chubby’s Bar & Grill111 SW Arch St.217-648-2615Dairy Queen102 Empire St.217-650-2027Missy’s Sweet Shop112 SW Arch St.Sip Shack (coee & lotus energy)204 SW Arch St.ShopsArch Street Artisans103 SW Arch St.Atlanta Truck Stop & Shell Gifts102 Empire St.Carol Anne’s Warsh House109 SW Arch St.Caseys General Store700 E. South St.Dollar General101 Empire St.Mattingly Automotive200 SW Arch St.The Gift Box301 SE Vine St.Things to DoAmerican Giants MuseumArch St.Atlanta Coal Company Historical Mine204 SW 1st StreetAtlanta Museum114 SW Arch StAtlanta Public Pool105 NE 2nd St.Atlanta Public Library100 SE Race St.Carriage House ExhibitJH Hawes Elevator Museum301 SW 2nd StreetMemories MuseumNorth Greens Golf Course901 NE 1st St.Red Wing Bowl200 1st St.Places to StayColaw Rooming House204 NW Vine St, Atlanta, IL 61723(217) 671-1219The Trail Inn Atlanta103 Empire Street1 (877) 624-9899Atlanta ServicesCity Hall102 NW Vine St.Fire Department - Emergency 911Police Department - Emergency 911107 NE 1st St.217-648-2373Rescue Squad - Emergency 911Business Directory

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Welcome to1. Visitors Center/Arcade2. Route 66 Park3. Atlanta Public Library4. RedWing Bowl5. J.H. Hawes Elevator6. Carriage House7. Coal Mine8. Chubby’s9. American Giants Museum10. Land of the Giants Rest Stop11. Memories Museum12 Arch St. Artisans13. Palms Grill14. Atlanta Museum15. Bunyon Giant16. The Gift Box17. Sip Shack1/14 1113 1295151368164177210VisitAtlantaILwww.atlantaillinois.orgtourismatlantail@gmail.comYour donation to “visitatlantail” at will help to preserve and maintain these and other museums and Route 66 artifacts.