One of my favorite Illinois Route 66 attractions is on a long-forgotten segment of the 1926-1930 alignment just outside of Nilwood, Illinois, where you can see 100+-year-old turkey tracks permanently imprinted into the road.
These tracks actually predate Route 66 since this stretch of road was originally Illinois Route 4, paved sometime between 1919-1921. On the National Register of Historic Places, this narrow and curvy stretch of road was later also bypassed by Illinois Route 4 and is now only used by local traffic and determined Route 66 explorers.
A lot of speculation has gone into this set of turkey tracks. Many think the turkey had to walk on the road within the first 2-4 hours of it being poured for the concrete to be wet enough for the weight of the turkey to leave tracks. It is also said that it had to be a domestic turkey, not a wild one since wild turkeys were overhunted and gone from Illinois by 1910.
Copyright 2022 Susan Rissi Tregoning
October 11th, 2022
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