From the bloggers at Rolling in a RV.
Route 66 follows two routes out of Springfield. The 1926-30 route is now Highway 4 and zigzags through little country towns. The post 1930 route parallels I-55. We decided to drive on the older route and then drop down to the newer route at Litchfield.
About 4.5 mile south of Chatham a short detour leads to 1.5 miles of the nicely preserved Auburn brick road.
In the late 1800s the little towns strung out along Hwy. 4 were all coal mining camps. Poor working conditions and low pay led to unionizing efforts by the miners, strike breaking maneuvers by the companies and violence on both sides. One of the worst confrontations happened in Virden in 1898. Eight miners and five company guards were killed. A monument in the town square in Virden commemorates the incident. The parking around the square is diagonal pull-in but RVs can be parked on the side streets.
To read the full story by Rolling in a RV, click here.