Many Roads Go Through Joliet – Looking at the Joliet Area Historical Museum

You may have heard the expression, “All roads lead to Rome.”  It’s a statement that has been used, referring back to the Roman empire when the city was the “Center of the World.”  Rome was a monumental hub in history.

The Joliet Area Historical Museum also talks about an important hub in history.  “The City of Stone.”  “The City of Steel.”  In fact, many roads go through Joliet that were important to history – and there are some great exhibits that talk about those roads.


The first road is the Illinois & Michigan Canal.  Of course, this “highway” is a historic waterway that made it possible for boats to travel from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River (and various tributaries).  The Canal starts from the Chicago River (in the Bridgeport area of Chicago), and goes through Joliet on its way to connecting to the Illinois River.  The Museum’s main gallery has a breathtaking scale model exhibit of the I&M Canal, and tells the story about the people that built the canal.


The second road is Route 66.  The first floor of the Museum features “The Route 66 Experience, where you’ll be transported in time back to the freedom of the open road.  Drive-ins, Burma-shave signs, cable cars, the Rialto Square Theatre, and the Gemini Giant are just some of the iconic memories you will experience when you visit the museum.


You might be asking yourself, “What does Joliet have to do with Outer Space?”  Did you know that the gentleman that made some of the key scientific breakthroughs that allow human space travel was from Joliet?  The museum features a fantastic two-floor exhibit about John C. Houbolt and his role with the Apollo missions.

There’s much more to explore when you visit the Joliet Area Historical Museum.  You’ll be greeted by two familiar faces, the Blues Brothers, and learn a little bit more about the reasoning behind “Joliet Jakes” famous nickname.  The museum has rotating seasonal exhibits and great events, giving you a reason to come back if you visited this gem.

To find out more about the Museum, please visit

Scenes from Around the Corridor