If you are like me and enamored with Route 66 stops then you will love a stop at Henry’s Rabbit Ranch. The ranch is located in Staunton, Illinois along the historic Route 66..
Keith and I traveled to Henry’s Rabbit Ranch with the grandkids after stopping in Litchfield to eat at Jubelts. We took Lilly and Cade on a Route 66 experience. This summer we are doing a number of semi-educational outings that Lilly is calling Grand-Camps!
The Rabbit Ranch has an appeal to the kids and they loved Jubelts. When we arrived at Henry’s Rabbit Ranch the first thing we saw was a fun sign stating, “Hare it is”.
The rabbit ranch has both the bunny kind and the VW rabbit kind of rabbits! We saw some VW’s buried front down as we drove in. Inside the replica Route 66 gas station we met Richard Henry, the owner of Henry’s Rabbit Ranch. There was a lot of Route 66 memorabilia. Outside was a cage with four furry rabbits that my grandkids immediately gravitated to.
While they couldn’t hold them, they were able to reach through the fence and pet the rabbits. I had read on his website that the rabbits began when his daughter Emily had a few that multiplied. Rick had taken to them and since then he has taken in rescue rabbits and the population has been up and down. There were only four on the day we visited.
I took a few minutes to see what Rick’s story was and how the Rabbit Ranch came about. On my Traveling of Adventures of a Farm Girl Facebook Page you can see an interview with Rick and hear his story on video!
“It was first going to be an insurance office and I was going to do licensing and titling,” Rick said. “I grew up on Route 66 and decided to do what you see here today.”
Rick grew up in the St. Louis and other areas along Route 66 and is enamored with the Mother Road. When he returned home to Staunton, he saw there was nothing representing Route 66 in the Staunton area and decided to change that. He started out with a visitors center with a 1930’s and 1940’s theme. “The bunnies came along in 1999. We started out with 16 rescue bunnies. We have a lady here today that was here in 2010. She showed me pictures of her bunny Big Red. This is a lot of fun.”
I took a look at Big Red, the picture showed a bruiser of a bunny.
Memories of the Mother Road are shared there with visitors from all over the world. Rick has a log in for visitors. The day we were there, visitors from Canada and Japan were there. We also spoke with a woman from New York who was a producer traveling on Route 66 from Chicago to California!
Before heading out to visit with the grandkids, Rick said to make sure we didn’t miss the Giant Rabbit out back! He added, “I hope to keep doing this as long as the Lord allows me physically and mentally! My phone number is 618-635-6555. Call ahead I’m not always here. I’m semi-retired so not always here, so it is important to call ahead!”
The giant rabbit was a fun surprise, it turned out to be a huge statue that the kids and I were able to climb up on and offered us a great photo op!
In 2012 Henry’s Rabbit Ranch was inducted into the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame, now located in Pontiac, IL at their Route 66 Museum. This was a fun place to stop at and visit and reflect at. Rick is friendly and his bunnies are quite cute, what more could you want?