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Murals on Main Street
Pontiac currently has over 20 outdoor murals which depict its local commercial, cultural, and political history. Most of the murals can be seen from your car, however, a walking tour is the best way to see the many details. The largest mural is the Route 66 shield found on the back of the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum. 18 murals were painted by the Walldogs, a collection of sign painters and muralists who came to town in June 2009. The more than 150 artists painted the entire set of 18 murals in just four days. 
Free Mural Guides are available at the International Walldog Mural and Sign Art Museum, the Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum, the Pontiac-Oakland Automobile Museum, and City Hall.  Or you can follow the red painted footprints on the downtown sidewalks for a comfortable walking tour of all of the murals.                  

Order Note Cards with Mural Images at the Pontiac Souvenir Store.

 Route 66 Shield  Sidewalk Shark  Fire House  RCA Victor
 Scatterday Soda  Weekly Sentinel  Vermillion River &  Mill  Abe Lincoln/Srevell
 Pontiac on Rt 66  Drink Coca-Cola  Chautauqua Assembly  Daniels Oil
 BP&J Interrurban  Palace of Sweets  Humiston Heritage  Tradition of Farming
 Roszell's Soda Shop  Allen Candy Company  Jesse Fell & Chief Pontiac  Rodino Square
 Welcome to Downtown  Waldmire Memorial  Route 66 Preservation   

 
Route 66 Shield Mural   
The Route 66 shield is one of our oldest murals. It is located on the back of the Route 66 Association of Illinois' Hall of Fame & Museum. There is a drive-up paved with bricks from the original Route 66, and guests can drive their cars up in front of the mural for photographs. This painted shield is the largest Route 66 shield in the world, and has been featured in many ads and magazine stories.      [back to top]

           
GPS - Lat: 40.881668; Long: -88629639
 Route 66 Mural and Wishing Well
Sidewalk Shark Mural   
This is Pontiac's most unique mural. Completed in May of 2012, this wonderful 3-D sidewalk mural was designed and painted by Chinese artist, Tang Dongbai. 
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GPS - Lat: 40.880436; Long: -88.629036
 Sidewalk 3-D Shark Mural
Fire House Mural
Fire protection for the City of Pontiac can be traced back, in one form or another, to June 18, 1865 with the creation of a fire prevention program charged with the inspection of chimneys and flues. Between 1865 and 1874, the department purchased equipment and used volunteer members to respond to local conflagrations and emergencies. During this period, the department was reorganized many times. On June 26, 1874, a hose company was formed, later to be known as the Clark Hose Company. This hose company protected the city of Pontiac to some extent ever since. On July 1, 1894, the hose company was dissolved and the first Fire Chief of the modern city fire department was appointed. The Clark Hose Company assumed the supportive role as the firefighters association. Today, the City of Pontiac Fire Department responds to over 1,500 calls per year, and is served by 13 full-time members and 12 paid-on-call members. This mural was designed by Stephan Connor of Blackstone, IL.     [back to top]

GPS - Lat: 40.881294; Long: -88.630173
 Fire Protection Mural


RCA Victor Mural
This traditional design is an example of the Walldogs' efforts to restore classic outdoor wall advertising designs throughout the world. Many of these murals can still be found as "ghost signs" - outdoor advertising signs which are faded, flaking, and yet, still visible. You are able to still see some ghost signs in Pontiac. This sign pays tribute to the "walldogs" of earlier years. It was designed by the TRIPLE BERNIES - Bernie Gietl, a postal carrier in Carlinville, IL, Bernie Lohmeyer, a sign painter from Osage City, KS, and Bernie Poff, owner of Bernie's Signs in Prairie Du Sac, WI. 
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GPS - Lat: 40.881012; Long: -88.630386
 RCA Victor Mural
Scatterday Soda Mural
H. H. Scatterday was the owner of Scatterday, Inc. Mr. Scatterday purchased four lots for $800.00 in November 1881. In 1886 his pop business had increased enough that he was able to put up a new brick factory on his residence grounds on the 500 block of East Water Street. Sometime before 1920 the business was moved to the 500 block of West Cleary Street. The Scatterday Soda Water Mfg. Works produced carbonated beverages in the early part of the 20th Century. They also opened the Scatterday Soda Water store in 1901 on the corner of Division and Water. This mural was designed by Carole Bersin. 
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GPS - Lat: 40.881733; Long: -88.629684
 

Scatterday Soda Mural

Weekly Sentinel Mural
In Pontiac and other small towns across the country, the second half of the 19th century was a time of great journalistic enterprise. In Pontiac alone, two and occasionally three, newspapers competed for the readers' attention and patronage. The Pontiac Sentinel was started in 1857 by Phillip Cook and William Gagen. The Sentinel continued in publication under a series of owners until just after 1900. Copies of the early issues remain available on microfilm at The Daily Leader office and the Pontiac Public Library. This mural design is by Nancy Bennett of Dannco, Inc.  [back to top]

 GPS - Lat: 40.881111; Long: -88.628105
 Weekly Sentinel Mural
Vermilion River & Old Mill Mural
The Vermilion River flows in a northerly direction from its origin in Livingston and Ford Counties in north central Illinois, eventually emptying into the Illinois River, near Oglesby. The mill depicted here was known as the Williams' Mill. The mill was built sometime before the Civil War and operated until fire destroyed the interior in 1955. It was demolished in 1957. The swinging bridge pictured on the left is another distinguishing feature of Pontiac. The first two bridges were built in the early 1900s for the practical purpose of getting workers from the south side of town to factories on the north side. The third bridge was finished in 1980 and was built for recreational and aesthetic value. Mural design by FranCisco Vargas.  [back to top]

GPS - Lat: 40.878223; Long: -88.630150


 Vermillion River and Old Mill Mural
Abe Lincoln/Strevell House Mural
Abraham Lincoln attended a reception at the home of Pontiac lawyer Jason Strevell following a speech Lincoln gave at the nearby Presbyterian Church. During Lincoln's stay, the six foot Strevell has said that he did not think it possible that Lincoln was four inches taller than himself. In a letter to his son, Strevell described how he carefully measured Lincoln, who was standing in his stocking feet with his back to the doorcasing. Using a two-foot rule on top of Lincoln's head, he found him to be "exactly six feet four." The artists who designed this mural were Mike Meyer and Adam May.   [back to top]

 
GPS - Lat: 40.879604; Long: -88.628517
 Strevell Lincoln Mural


Pontiac on Route 66 Mural
Route 66 is probably the most well-known road in this country, if not the world. Created in 1926, along with the rest of the federal highway system, it existed until 1985 when it was decommissioned, and replaced by interstate highways. In the time between, it earned a home for itself in the hearts and memories of people across the country. The road passed through eight states: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Illinois was the first state to have its section completely hard surfaced. It was also the first state to replace the old road with the new Interstate. Pontiac is home to the Route 66 Association of Illinois' Hall of Fame and Museum. The mural was designed by Tom and Kathy Durham of St. Louis Missouri.    [back to top]


GPS - Lat: 40.879597; Long: -88.629997
 
 Pontiac on Route 66 Mural


Drink Coca-Cola Mural

A Coca-Cola mural was once located in the exact location as this new mural. The World War II corsairs featured in this mural were the type of planes flown by the artist's father. Along with the Coca-Cola depiction, the artist wanted to include a tribute to the nearby Livingston County War Museum and all of the veterans who have served the United States in the military forces. The artist for this mural was Sonny Franks, who lives near Atlanta, Georgia.   [back to top]

GPS: Lat: 40.880638; Long: -88.628731
 
 Coca Cola Mural
Chautauqua Mural
The Chautauqua institution began in the summer of 1874 at Fair Point on Lake Chautauqua, NY. The Chautauqua brought entertainment and culture for the whole community with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers, and specialists of the day. The First Pontiac Chautauqua assembly opened on July 29, 1898 at Riverside Park on the Vermilion River. The original 13-day event was a huge success, and the Pontiac Chautauqua continued as one of the country's most exciting and comprehensive Chautauqua assemblies for over 30 years. The mural was designed by David & Susie Butler and Dan Sawatzky.   [back to top]

GPS - Lat: 40.880325; Long: -88.628525
 Chautauqua Mural
The Daniels Oil Co. Mural
This mural was painted by Diaz Sign Art in the summer of 2010. It is painted on the rear exposures of two downtown stores and depicts the Daniels Oil gas and service station which was once located in downtown Pontiac near the Vermilion River at the corner of Water and Mill Streets. The mural recalls a time in the past when gas stations provided full service to their customers and were a place to gather all of the community news and gossip.   [back to top]

GPS - Lat: 40.880745; Long: -88.629082
 Daniel Oil Company Mural
Interurban Streetcar Mural
The Bloomington, Pontiac, & Joliet Interurban Railroad, known locally as the BP&J, was originally designed to connect to the Illinois Interurban Railway at Bloomington and Joliet. Due to increasing competition from automobiles and trucks, plus the development of the state highway system, the BP&J only connected Pontiac, Odell, and Dwight, and it operated from 1905 to 1925. The notorious rough ride on the interurban led locals to affectionately refer to the line as the Bump, Push & Jerk. The mural design comes from Rob Estes of Brushstroke Signs in Paducah, KY.   [back to top]

GPS - Lat: 40.880520; Long: -88.630302
 Interurban Railroad Mural
Palace of Sweets Mural
From 1920 to 1930, the Palace of Sweets was the candy dreamland of both children and adults. This locally famous candy store and soda fountain, located at the corner of Madison and Mill, offered everything from penny candy to malts and sundaes. Whether to celebrate a birthday, a graduation, a first date, or some other special event, a trip to the Palace provided everyone with a delicious treat and a lasting memory. One of the unique features of the sweet shop was the beautiful stained glass mosaic sign proclaiming its name located on both the Madison and Mill street facades. That artifact is still visible today under an awning which protects it. The mural was designed by Cam Bortz of Pawcatuck, CT.   [back to top]


GPS - Lat: 40.880520; Long: -88.630302
 
 Palace of Sweets Mural
The Humiston Heritage Mural
The Apollos Camp and Bennet Humiston Trust was established in 1920 after the death of Mrs. Harriet Humiston. Mrs. Humiston's stipulations were that the money from the trust be used to benefit the residents of Pontiac, and that none of it be spent for religious or sectarian purposes. The trust was first used to build the Camp-Humiston Pool in Chautauqua Park. The funds have since been used for various other projects in Pontiac including: Humiston Woods Nature Center, Riverside Park, Kiwanis-Humiston Park and many others. The mural was designed by Gary Anderson, a sign painter from Bloomington, Indiana.   [back to top]

 GPS - Lat: 40.881351; Long: -88.631279
 Humiston Heritage Mural
A Tradition of Farming Mural
Farming has always been the backbone of the town of Pontiac, and all the surrounding towns in Livingston County. Every Labor Day Pontiac hosts the Central States Threshermen's Reunion. The Reunion has been an annual event since 1949. This mural celebrates the farming roots of the area, as well as the steam powered machines which were the first of many steps moving agriculture into the modern age. The mural was designed by Michael Clark, a resident of Aleda, Illinois where he has a sign business which he began in 1983.   [back to top]

GPS- Lat: 40.881081; Long: -88.630615         
 Tradition of Farming Mural
Roszell's Soda Fountain Mural
This mural was designed by Pontiac's own Joe Diaz. Although the representation here is fictional, it recalls an earlier time when soda fountains were staples in almost every American small town. The name, "Roszell's," was the name of a Pontiac dairy which operated here around the turn of the 20th century.   [back to top]

GPS - Lat: 40.880768; Long: -88.629242 
 Roszell's Soda Fountain Mural
Allen Candy Mural
The Allen Candy Company opened for business before the turn of the century. Harry Allen, its founder, decided to manufacture candy of the highest quality. In order to do this, he would buy top quality ingredients and hire the best candymakers he could find. Sometime during the 1890s the building depicted in the mural was built on four lots at the corner of Walnut Street and Wabash Avenue. They became famous for their Allen Nougat Bar, and later the Lotta Bar with its slogan "A Lotta Bar for 5 Cents," became just as famous. The Allen Candy Company patent for ice cream was sold to the Meadow Gold Ice Cream Company. This mural was designed by Jay Allen of Machesney Park, IL.  [back to top]

GPS - Lat: 40.880123; Long: -88.630486

 Allen Candy Company Mural
Jesse Fell & Chief Pontiac Mural
The City of Pontiac was founded in 1837 by Jesse Fell. Mr. Fell was a Bloomington, Illinois businessman, who also founded Illinois State University. During Lincoln's 1858 U.S. Senate campaign, it was Fell who urged him to challenge his opponent Stephen A. Douglas to their famous series of debates. Jesse Fell named the town of Pontiac after the legendary Ottawa Indian chief who became famous for his role in Pontiac's Rebellion (1763-1766), an American Indian struggle against the British military occupation of the Great Lakes region following the British victory in the French and Indian War. No photographs or accurate drawings of Chief Pontiac survive, so this representation is based on images gathered from other Native Americans from the Ottawa tribe. Judy Grossman of Sonora, California designed both of these murals.   [back to top]

GPS - Lat: 40.880478; Long: -88.629890

 Jesse Fell and Chief Pontiac Mural
Rodino Square Mural
Rodino Square was built in 1927 by Carmen Rodino as a full service stop with a store, hotel, restaurant and gas station. He picked a site which was situated along a route which was to become Route 66. Carmen, his wife, and six children also raised produce which was sold to townspeople from Carmen's Model T Truck, as well as from the grocery store they ran. He drove his truck route into the early 1960s, and the grocery closed in 1978. During the heyday of Route 66, Rodino Square was busy service stop. This mural was designed by Dale Manor, of Oak Creek, Wisconsin where he works as a model maker for Waterloo Industries.
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 GPS - Lat: 40.880520; Long: -88.630302
 Rodino Square Mural
Welcome Mural
This mural is painted on the reverse side of the Vermilion River and Old Mill billboard. Mural designed and painted by the Diaz Sign Art company.   [back to top]

GPS - Lat: 40.878223; Long: -88.630150
 Welcome Mural
The Bob Waldmire Memorial Mural
Designed by Route 66 artist and icon, Bob Waldmire, this mural features a map of the entire length of Route 66. The mural is 66 feet in length and was painted in Bob's memory by members of the Waldmire family and about 500 of Bob's friends from along the entire Mother Road. Completed in May, 2011.
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GPS - Lat: 40.880562; Long: -88.628639
 Bob Waldmire Memorial Mural
The Route 66 Preservation Mural
This mural is the only indoor mural.  It is located in the lobby of the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum and the mural celebrates the efforts of all of the volunteers who have worked on the many projects that seek to preserve the icons of Route 66 in Illinois.  Designed and painted by Tang Dongbai.
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GPS - Lat: 40.881184; Long: -88.629021
 Preservation Mural