Everything Venice

Route 66 east of Chain of Rocks Bridge circa 1941

This photo of the Chain of Rocks Bridge got me thinking: It looks like Route 66 makes a turn to the left in the distance. Where did it go from the east end of the bridge. I wanted to know.

In 1936, Route 66 was rerouted - from Madison Avenue and Broadway then south on Fourth Street to East St. Louis and across the MacArthur Bridge - to the Chain of Rocks Bridge (with the 22-degree turn!). Route 66 ran west through Edwardsville then down the hill by the cemeteries (now IL Rte 157) and continued (across the now road to SIUE) into Mitchell. It passed Zane Miller's house and eventually the infamous Luna Cafe and the original St. Elizabeth Church (where Fr. Peter Kaenders once pastored), but then where? It did not go around the left curve and down Nameoki Road (Rt 203) like we do today.

So where did it go and how did it hook up with the "bent" bridge? Here is a mosaic of 1941 aerial photos of Madison County. The route is quite different from what exists today.

For a large version of the Route 66 photo, click HERE.It's BIG, could take a while. Also you may have to wait for it to clear up when you zoom.

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