Roadside Finds: Dwight, Illinois

Ambler’s Texaco Gas Station on Historic Route 66, Dwight, Illinois

For our drive from Wisconsin back to Charlotte, we decided to stick completely to back roads.  Taking 2 1/2 days to make a drive that many would make in 1 is just the way we roll.  We encountered a number of interesting places along the way, some planned, many unexpected.

Ambler’s Texaco Gas Station on Historic Route 66, Dwight, Illinois
Ambler’s Texaco Gas Station on Historic Route 66, Dwight, Illinois
Ambler’s Texaco Gas Station on Historic Route 66, Dwight, Illinois
Ambler’s Texaco Gas Station on Historic Route 66, Dwight, Illinois

Case in point is our stop in Dwight, Illinois.  We were attracted to Dwight because of the old Texaco gas station that is associated with Route 66.  While at the gas station, I spoke with the docent there who encouraged me to visit some of the other landmarks in  town, including the historic railroad depot.  Never one to pass up a railroad depot unknowingly, we headed into town.

The Chicago & Alton Railroad designed Dwight in 1854 around a “depot ground” between two main streets. By 1891, the expanding town needed a new station. The railroad hired Henry Ives Cobb to design this Richardson Romanesque building. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
The Chicago & Alton Railroad designed Dwight in 1854 around a “depot ground” between two main streets. By 1891, the expanding town needed a new station. The railroad hired Henry Ives Cobb to design this Richardson Romanesque building. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
The Chicago & Alton Railroad designed Dwight in 1854 around a “depot ground” between two main streets. By 1891, the expanding town needed a new station. The railroad hired Henry Ives Cobb to design this Richardson Romanesque building. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

In addition to the depot, there is a bank building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and a building  that once housed an at-that-time famous treatment center for alcoholism.  We couldn’t find the windmill or the church immediately and decided to not take more time looking.

Built in 1905, the First National Bank on West Main in Dwight, IL was designed by world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Of the three banks he designed, it is the only one still in existence. Its simple yet dignified style rejected classical influences of the time.
William Fox Developmental Center in downtown Dwight, Illinois. The building originally housed The Keeley Institute, founded by Leslie Keeley in 1879, was the first to treat alcohol addiction as a disease rather than a vice. At its peak, 800 patients arrived here by train each week, and over 200 branches of the Institute were operating in the US and Europe. The famous “Keeley Cure,” reputedly gold chloride injections, we never accepted by the mainstream medical community.
Dwight, Illinois
Dwight, Illinois

6 thoughts on “Roadside Finds: Dwight, Illinois”

  1. Thanks for this post Tom. I admit to having a fascination with this route (as many do I suppose). I’ve driven various parts of it and have never been disappointed. I have often thought of doing the entire length of it at a leisurely pace. Dwight looks like a cool place indeed.

    1. Interestingly, the docent at the gas station told me that last year over 2/3 of their visitors were from Europe. Evidently Route 66 is popular on both sides of the Atlantic. Pacific, too!

      We want to eventually see the more “famous” parts of Route 66 out west – Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, etc. For now that little slice will need to suffice.

  2. Humph, I wonder who Dwight was named after. Interesting post and informative. I have never heard of the Keeley Cure and did some research in which it seems to be a bit of a successful money scam. I love the train depot images and nature was kind enough to offer some lovely clouds for you.

    1. I wondered the same thing about the name, but did not see a reference to it in any of the usual places.

      I can’t imagine how “gold chloride injections” could possibly cure anything. Although maybe we should try it on the Coronavirus. 😉

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