Springfield Illinois is just one of the cities along the iconic Route 66. The route that stretched from Chicago to California was made famous with stops along the way as well as the television show and lyrics from Bobby Troup’s song that says, “If you ever plan to motor west
Travel my way, the highway that's the best. Get your kicks on Route 66!
Springfield is known for the Route 66 hotel, the Cozy Dog drive in and more. Just an hour north of Springfield in Atlanta, Illinois is one of the Paul Bunyan statues that have come to be equated with Route 66.
The statues were created for advertising purposes. The fiberglass giants were created during the 1960s by International Fiberglass of Venice, California. The statue that is now in Atlanta, Illinois was first created for the Paul Bunyan Cafe on Rt. 66 in Flagstaff, Arizona. History from the Atlanta website shares, “Most of the statues were derivatives of that one mold. As the retail attention-getters became popular, many of them were placed in front of service stations, holding such things as automobile mufflers and tires. They soon became known as "Muffler Men." “
Illinois’s Route 66 corridor’s first “Muffler Man” arrived in 1965, when H. A. Stephens purchased one and in place of the axe used a hotdog to advertise in front of his restaurant on Rt. 66 in Cicero.
The statue sat there for 38 years until the property sold and the owners allowed Paul Bunyan to be loaned to historic downtown Atlanta where Route 66 enthusiasts can stop by and take a peek.