Route 66 Caravan

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Route 66 Caravan Road Log:
June 22, 2003

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Dwight, Illinois "Gets It"

Route 66 in Historic Dwight

Dwight, founded in 1854, is an old historic town on the Mother Road. There's a lot more to this town than first meets the eye. This is a great town to explore. Downtown Dwight boasts a a beautiful railroad depot, a bank building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and a hospital with priceless stained glass windows depicting the five senses.

Lynn Bagdon on Route 66

Old State Route Marker

Lynn Bagdon, board member of the Illinois Route 66 Association, tries her hand at modeling with the only 66 shield painted on an Illinois road. Not bad at all.

This old Illinois State right of way marker in Dwight predates Route 66 by a few years. Later markers from the twenties didn't have "State" on them.


Fettersen's Pizza

Vintage signs welcome the hungry visitor at Fettersen Pizza in Dwight. Do you think they like Route 66 here?


Frank Lloyd Wright engineered the building of the First National Bank in 1905. The bank, on the left in this picture, has its general structure intact including the original woodwork.

First National Bank


Dwight Depot

The Alton Railroad Depot was built in 1891 and is still being used today as an Amtrak Station. The Stonework on this station makes it one of the prettiest I've seen.

Fox Developmental Center Fox Stained Glass

The William W. Fox Developmental Center

Detail of two stained glass windows in the Fox Center.

Illinois Route 66 Association

The Illinois Route 66 Association in Dwight


Ambler's Texaco Station

Amber's Texaco in the 1930s

Ambler's Texaco Station was built in 1933 and ranks as one of the longest operating stations on Route 66. Until just recently it pumped Marathon gas.

Today Ambler's Texaco is undergoing extensive EPA testing of the ground around the old fuel tanks. This work should be done soon so restoration can continue on the station. This is one facet of preservation, especially for old gas stations, that is often overlooked by the general public. It is a factor though and does cost quite a bit of money.

Amber's Texaco 2003

Debbie & Phil Becker

Debbie and Phil Becker have taken on the job of getting the old Ambler's Texaco restored as a Route 66 destination in Dwight. Phil started working here when he was 13 years old.


We didn't put up the Roadside Attraction signs because of the EPA work being done. Nonetheless John and Lenore, Debbie, Jeff, Phil and Jim wanted to celebrate the work being done here.

Amber's Ceremony


Gardner's Riviera and the Streetcar

Riviera Roadhouse The Riviera Roadhouse in Gardner has a fascinating history. This was a favorite haunt of Al Capone and was known as a gangster hangout. Slot machines and booze were offered to the discrete customer. In fact, there's a freezer in the basement with a heavy iron door that was used to hid booze and gambling machines in case of a raid.

Even the bathrooms have class! The toilets are thrones as Lenore Weiss demonstrates. Good food and fun times are still served up at the Riviera.

Lenore Weiss

Historic Streetcar

Another preservation project of the Illinois Route 66 Association is this old street car diner rescued by the Preservation Committee. The streetcar is over one hundred years old and served as a home, rental property, and a diner in its long and illustrious history. The dinner is not quite complete, but knowing this Illinois crew it will be soon!


Gemini Giant in Wilmington

Gemini Giant
This Gemini Giant in Wilmington is one of the few left along the Mother Road and is an eye catcher for the Launching Pad Diner.


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