Though Route 66 has disappeared and Interstate 55 has moved into town,
the Shrine of Our Lady of the Highways hasn't changed much since its
dedication in 1959. Still, pictures from the early days of the Shrine
speak to the longevity of this landmark, and the following contemporary
news accounts help tell its tale.
Please enjoy the images and artifacts, both modern and classic, found
below. If you have any media related to the Shrine we would love if
you could share it with us; please reach us via the
contact page. Wallpaper Download these high resolution images
and dress your computer's desktop with the Shrine of Our Lady of the
Highways. For the image you want, click on the correct image size, then
right-click on the image and select "Set as Desktop." Any
image will work, but the one that matches your screen resolution will
look the best; to find your correct screen resolution, right-click on
your desktop, select "Properties" and then the tab "Settings."
Your resolution will be on the bottom left of that screen.
Images - Modern The Shrine as it looks today. The followng
pictures were taken in 2006. Click any thumbnail to open a larger image.
Photos can be viewed as a slideshow from any picture by pressing your
left and right keys.
The Shrine after an ice storm on Saturday, January 13, 2007. A previous
ice storm in late November/early December of 2006 took out one of the
pine trees behind the Shrine.
Images - Classic Pictures from the first days of the
Shrine, including the groundbreaking and several pilgrimages over the
following years. Click a thumbnail to open in a popup window; please
ensure your browser's popup settings allow this. Photos can be viewed
as a slideshow from any picture.
Groundbreaking of the Shrine on Feb.11,
The Shrine at the time of its dedication
Another early, undated picture of the Shrine
Pilgrimage, May 1960
Artifacts Artifacts from the early days of the
Shrine. Click a thumbnail to open in a popup window; please ensure your
browser's popup settings allow this.
Invitation to the Shrine's dedication issued by
the Litchfield Deanery CYC. "US 48" was really Illinois
Reception card included in the dedication invitation
envelopes. Fr. Heintz of Alton had been at St. Mary's in Taylorville
when the Shrine project was started.
Remembrance card featuring Mary. Issued by the Litchfield Deanery
at the dedication of the Shrine on Sunday, October 25, 1959.
Card of Mary issued by the Litchfield Deanery one year prior
to the Shrine's dedication on the 100th Anniversary of her appearance
at Lourdes, France.
Thank you card from the Litchfield Deanery CYC addressed to
Francis and Ruth Marten after the dedication. Their last name
is mispelled on the card, as it often is.
Newspaper Articles Three articles from the early days of the
Shrine, as well as a clipping about Francis Marten's induction into
the Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall of Fame. Click a thumbnail
to open in a popup window; please ensure your browser's popup settings
Newspaper article describing the upcoming dedication
of the Shrine on Sunday, October 25, 1959
Second article describing the upcoming dedication,
complete with photo. Again, Francis Marten's name is mispelled.
Undated article detailing a CYC pilgrimage to the
Shrine followed by a dance in Litchfield.
article from 1991 detailing
Francis Marten's induction into the
Route 66 Association of Illinois Hall
of Fame. Pictured with him are Russell
Soulsby of Soulsby's Shell Station in
Mount Olive and Tom Teague, founder
and then-President of the Route 66
Association of Illinois. Again, Marten is