Established in 1994, historic66 is the oldest Route 66 resource on the web. It is dedicated to providing visitors the needed knowledge and information to plan a trip on the legendary Route 66.
A concise history of this website
- Swa Frantzen and his wife Nadine Pelicaen decide to take a trip down Route 66. They discover that the legendary Route 66 shield cannot be found on contemporary maps. After digging in on a Rand McNally Road atlas Swa does find some roads with the mythical number but it are short stretches of state roads not connected any longer.
- July 1994
- The first version of this website was published. During the first week, it received 18 hits. It was built on research and information from various places all over the then emerging Internet. In 1994 the Internet only connected universities and huge companies. The “web” was still called the world wide web and it was just starting to have some content. The original URL forwarded visitors for many years after the content was migrated away from the university.
- October 1994
- Swa and Nadine travel down Route 66 for their first time using the website’s turn-by-turn description as their guide. After their return home, they decide to keep the website running in an old usenet tradition to provide answers to those who ask the same questions you did get answered from the community.
- We add a guestbook allowing users to leave a note. This is much like it is done in businesses along Route 66. It allows to leave a note along with some contact details in a public visitor’s log.
- January 1996
- In order to avoid problems with the continued growing usage of the site, the site migrated to a new home. A home provided at a spin-off of the university in a company named Netvision (renamed and sold a few times since then, now part of Verizon Business). During its stay at Netvision, the site was sponsored by Silicon Graphics and Securitywatch.com to pay for its hosting costs.
- August 2nd, 1996
- The site was awarded a Times Pick by the Los Angeles Times.
- March 6th, 1997
- The site is nominated for the very first webby awards in the category “travel”. The ceremony was broadcast on TV in the US and rerun on the NBC network around the world.
- July 2001
- The site migrates to its current URL. The URL provided by Netvision continued to forward it till 2008, at which point the parent domain was lost.
- June 2004
- Swa and Nadine embark after 10 years on a month-long end-to-end trip down Route 66. They timed the trip to be in Tulsa for the International Route 66 Festival held there by the National Route 66 Federation.
- Nov 2004
- We open a forum based on phpBB to allow our guestbook to retire as it is ever increasingly used to chat between our visitors, as well as an ongoing battle against spammers abusing the guestbook.
- A redesign of the looks of the site is completed. This included the artwork commissioned from Bob Waldmire as a banner for the first time.
- June 21st, 2008
- Swa Frantzen is awarded the Will Rogers Award in Litchfield, IL. The inscription on the award reads: “You not only have the oldest website on the internet but your contribution in promoting the road internationally is unequaled“.
- September – October 2014
- After having traveled only portions of the legendary Route 66 in recent years, Swa and Nadine retrace -20 years after their first trip- the mother Road end-to-end on a 6 weeks “expedition” documenting and exploring Route 66.
- A refresh of the looks of the website as well as an update of the content was done.
- June 2017
- A rather significant upgrade of the underlying software was done, building a foundation for future enhancements. This is mostly visible in the forum that got an entirely new look and feel in the process.
- May 24th, 2018
- The forum is closed down and replaced by a Facebook Group. The timing is to preempt any legal concerns the introduction of the GDPR poses for visitors from the EEA. The other underlying reasons is that the interesting discussions are moving naturally away from forums and onto social media anyway.
Special thanks go to the moderator team that helped keep it a safe place for 14 years.
- July 2018
- The website receives another overhaul in look&feel to keep it contemporary in design and features.
- The website that started in 1994 is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2019.
Celebrating our 25th year as a website!
- July 15th, 2019
- The facebook group “Historic Route 66” that replaces the forum since May 2018 reached a milestone of 10000 active members.
- July 13th, 2020
- A new owner for the Historic Route 66 website: Marián Pavel and Jan Švrček, the founders of Route 66 Navigation and Route 66 Passport will continue the work of Swa and Nadine.
- October 31st, 2020
- The facebook group “Historic Route 66” reached a milestone of 23000 active members.
- January 1st, 2021
- Brand new and redesigned Historic66.com website launched with new features and enriched content with more than 1300 points-of-interests.
The site received a lot of awards over the years, some of the more prominent ones are below.