Sunday, July 17, 2011

Historic Route 66: Broadwell, IL

My third stop on my sightseeing tour of historic Route 66 was Broadwell, IL. (You can read more about my previous stops: Dwight and Springfield.)

Broadwell was a quick stop, but a fun one. As you can see from the photos below, Broadwell was once home to the famous Pig Hip Restaurant, which was open from 1937 to 1991. It served as a museum until 2007, when it was destroyed by a fire.

The proprietor of the restaurant, Ernie Edwards, worked there during the operation's entire 54-year run. Ernie's house still stands adjacent to the site and purports to be a museum, but the house was for sale and I didn't see a sign of anyone. All that remains on the actual restaurant site are the "Pig Hip" sign, some stone markers, a mural of how the restaurant and adjoining motel once looked, and the remains of the motel (photos below).

As of the 2000 Census, Broadwell only had 169 residents (it may very well be less now), but, amazingly, this small town has sent two residents to the Illinois General Assembly during the past half-century: John R. ("Jack") Lauer served as state representative from 1973 to 1978, and Robert F. ("Bob") Olson served as state representative from 1986 to 1994. You can read more about Broadwell, IL on its Wikipedia page.

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