America’s “Mother Road,” stretching from Chicago to Los Angeles, was the first of its kind in many respects. For starters, it was the first diagonal highway covering a long stretch of land in the 1920s. But more importantly, it was a pioneer in connecting small, rural towns in Illinois, Missouri and Kansas with larger, urban regions, which helped farmers ship their goods to the big cities. When it was officially commissioned in 1926, Route 66 included 2,448 miles of road. And even though only 800 of those miles were paved, it still served as the nation’s primary junction between the east and west.
Yesterday I wrote about haunted restaurants, but hotels also have spirits lurking. Unrequited love is the basis for a ghost tale at the St. Francis Inn, built as a private home in 1791 in St. Augustine, FL. The story concerns a pair of lovers, long dead, who are often seen or heard by staff and guests. Supposedly a young man who lived with his uncle, Major William Hardee, who owned the house during the middle of the 19th century, fell in love with Lily, one of the young black servant girls. When their affair was discovered, Lily was dismissed and the nephew ordered to never see her again. Deeply depressed, the young man took his own life in the attic, now Lily’s Room.