International Travelers Are Getting Their Kicks at Sangamon Watches on Historic Illinois Route 66

Deep in the heart of Springfield, Illinois, sits one of Route 66’s most sought-after local attractions. Sangamon Watches is located in downtown Springfield on 6th street, across from City’s Visitors Center, it is the only locally created and owned watch brand on Route 66. This phenomenal wristwatch shop opened its downtown location in October 2021. Since its opening, Sangamon Watches has found tremendous business success and met countless friendly faces. People from all over the world have stopped to visit this fantastic shop, reveling at their beautiful watches, friendly staff, and historical residence. Travelers along Route 66 have made it essential to stop at Sangamon Watches and have written blogs and filmed YouTube videos to showcase their shop. Local TV and radio media has helped expose the world to this shop’s unique and authentic products and services.

Brian Su and Tyler Mckay, the founders of Sangamon Watches, had the vision to preserve the tradition and history of the wristwatch’s design while also embracing modern technology. Brian moved to America in the 1980s, coming from a background in international business. Tyler transitioned from his farming background into business and entrepreneurship, studying at the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois. American history was a common interest for the two, which birthed their idea to open their historical shop. Brian and Tyler wanted to create more than just a luxury product. Their love of local and national history can be seen and felt throughout each watch and throughout every layer of their business.

In 2020, while most of the world shut down and business halted, Sangamon Watches overcame these challenges and released three watch collections. Since then, the company has also launched a few other collections. Sangamon Watches’ Mother Road Collection of watches was coined from the shop’s home alongside Route 66. The Mother Road Collection are high-quality, well-made wrist watches with a modern yet classic sports look. You’ll find a color and style that meets your needs throughout the collection. These watches have been sought after by many travelers looking to add a new piece to their collection. These watches are also an excellent souvenir for anyone new to wearing watches and wanting to start with a first-rate piece.

Brian and Tyler have dedicated their business to the history of this country. They value high-quality, intentionally made products with superior craftsmanship. Through their hard work and vision, they successfully overcame this pandemic and launched Sangamon Watches into reality. They’ve proven that even in today’s modern society of fast-made products, superior artistry still reigns supreme. Their mortar and brick shop, located at 206 South 6th Street in downtown Springfield has become a hot spot for Route 66 travelers from across the globe. They’ve met the smiling faces of travelers from Russia, Ireland, the UK, Spain, Canada, China and Japan.

Sangamon Watches still honors local businesses and values investing their success back into their community. Since being in business, they’ve donated to over fifteen local charities and community events including the International Route 66 Mother Road Festival. Stop by the shop and browse their unique collection of wristwatches, locally handcrafted gifts, and route 66 passports. Brian and Tyler have a gift for all route 66 travelers!

Don’t forget to check out http://www.SangamonWatches.com and follow them on Instagram at http://www.Instagram.com/sangamonwatches.

Get Your Kicks on Route 66 with a Route 66 Passport! Mother Road Route 66 Passports Available in Springfield Illinois

The enhanced second edition of Route 66 Passport, produced by Route 66 Navigation is ready now available for purchase in Springfield Illinois! Passport holders would collect unique stamps at 39 carefully selected locations along Route 66 as well as free souvenirs or discounts. Get stamps, get gifts and get fun! Come to get your passport at 206 South 6th Street, historic downtown Springfield IL

You can also order online prior to your trip, FREE shipping within USA.

While you are here in town, you may even want to browse or purchase a Mother Road Collection watch and claim your free gifts from us!

Our showroom location: 206 South 6th Street, downtown Springfield IL (we are located right across from Springfield Visitors Center)! We accept all major credit cards. We ll even stamp your passport for free! Open on weekdays.

Ambler-Becker Texaco Station: Get Your Kicks on Old Route 66 in Dwight Illinois

During a recent trip on my way to Chicago, I stopped by at the Ambler-Becker Texaco Station on old Route 66 in Dwight, Illinois. It is a quite cool place you ought to visit. The old style gas station is recognized as the longest operation Route 66 gas station, with over 60 years of continuous service. It is placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. In June 2006, the Ambler-Becker, as well as the Ambler and Becker families, was named to the Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame.

The gas station was built in 1933 by Jack Shore and his son Paul on the Otto Strufe property. According to the National Register of Historic Places, the station is designed in a “house with canopy” style , a design that “Standard Oil of Ohio developed to create a comfort, homey feel for customers.”

The gas station museum is closed now due to the pandemic, but most of the time, an volunteer is available at the parking lot. I met an old gentleman who was an volunteer and he was kind enough to briefly introduce the history of the gas station. In the area, you can also explore the Pioneer Gothic Church, the Depot and a couple other local historical spots.

Hit the Old Route 66 Today

I will be traveling on the lonely Old Route 66 starting from Springfield Illinois later today; with only one week time frame, I have no idea if I would ever reach California. To learn more about my travels on Old Route 66, please follow Instagram: @iLoveSangamon

Photos of Pontiac Illinois: Must-see Route 66 Shield Mural and More

On my way back from Chicago this morning, I decided to drive by Pontiac Illinois and shoot some photos for our Mother Road Collection watches. Pontiac is about one hour south of Chicago, where most of Route 66 travelers would make a stop to see the Route 66 Shield Mural. This beautiful and gigantic mural is right behind the Illinois Route 66 Association Hall of Fame & Route 66 Museum and this is a beautiful spot for photo opportunities!! The building itself has been in the National Register of Historic Places since 1990. Bob Waldmire Road Yellow Yacht is next to the Route 66 shield mural.

The Route 66 Shield Mural is probably the most iconic in town and should be seen when driving the route! The mural was designed by Diaz Sign Art in 2006.

The small town of Pontiac has a lot of fun and well done murals. There are lots to see and do, most of it free! However, due to the pandemic, the Route 66 Museum and War Museum are closed. You can still look around on the street, there are a number of beautiful and well maintained murals. A great way to see Pontiac is to locate every mural it has to offer. I did exactly that today. Most of them are brilliant and it is a fun thing to do. BTW, a few restaurants seem to be open with outside seating.

There are many historic places in Pontiac, which as a city goes back to the 1830s, and through all these years it has gone through a lot of transformations, but it keeps its rich historic heritage. The Pontiac City Hall and the Fire Station building was constructed in Pontiac around 1900.

If you come on Route 66, bring your favorite car or motorcycle so you can get your picture made!

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Retracing Lincoln’s Growing Years in New Salem – a Perfect Family Getaway Destination

There’s nothing more terrific than taking a trip back in time to retrace the steps of a great man and 16th President. New Salem, Illinois, also known as the Land of Lincoln has a ton of fascinating history associated with one of the most influential people in America’s history.  Here we can work in his footsteps from his early twenties to his years as a lawyer, then a politician, and finally the turning point.

Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site is a gorgeously recreated 1830’s village where Abraham Lincoln spent his early adulthood. It is the No. 1 Lincoln Destination and the most visited historical attraction in Illinois.

New Salem State Historic Site is situated about 20 miles northwest of Springfield in Petersburg and spans over 700 acres going down the Sangamon River.

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This charming district has about 18 of 23 buildings with their original foundations, made of log woods, and filled with objects, furniture, and decors of the time.

When combined together, it creates a nostalgic effect that simply takes you back in time, making it easy to envision how Lincoln lived and worked. It’s about literally walking in Lincoln’s footsteps.

Even more, during Summer time the locals here volunteer and dress-up in the clothes of the 180s and mimic that high-pitched nasally accent while representing different individuals from the time. Since Lincoln was still a commoner at the time, they wouldn’t focus differently on him but showcase life as it was to showcase, rather than tell the story.

New Salem is also called Lincoln’s Turning Point because it was the place 22-year old Lincoln came to transition into the personality he is known for. He arrived by flatboat, lived and worked here in this village from 1831 to 1837. Lincoln was a shopkeeper, soldier, general store owner, deputy land surveyor, postmaster, and rail-splitter. He also worked at several odd jobs and never shied away from hard work.

As the locals say, Lincoln never owned a home, just like most single men did not at the time and would often take meals with any family in the vicinity. Here he crafted his reputation for hard work and came to be called “Honest Abe” due to his fairness as a land surveyor. It is also in this village that the name Rail-Splitting President came to be. At the time, New Salem was no small farm village, but a thriving commercial one with lots of craftsmen and businessmen, trying to make a new life. Right here, Lincoln began his studies in Law and also his political career as well.

New Salem Historic Site is an amazing place to visit. It’s a perfect place to not only learn about Lincoln’s life and impact but take a peek at America’s 242 years history.  It’s an ideal vacation for the entire family, and there’s a lovely bakery there for all the delicacies you want. 

If visiting New Salem or Springfield, Illinois, or on a Route 66 trip, you are welcome to contact us and visit our Sangamon watches show room. Our Springfield office is only 25 minutes away from New Salem.

Route 66 Film Festival Coming to Town

It is Friday again. There is a great event this weekend at the Route 66 Hotel and Conference Center in Springfield, Illinois. The 18th Route 66 Film Festival will be a fun event for people of all ages to go. You can find out more information about the two day festival at http://www.route66filmfestival.net.