OLD HOTELS OF LEE COUNTY






Nachusa Hotel. Click here for the
History of the Nachusa Hotel
In 1837 marked the beginnings of the history of the Nachusa House as it is known today. The Dixon Hotel Company was organized in that year and in 1840 the Dixon Hotel was built on First St. In August 1855, the building was moved to Galena Ave by its owner, Henry McKenney and later became known as the City Hotel.


The "RAINBOW INN" on Palmyra avenue in Dixon operates on the business policy of "the most of the best for the least." Betty and Carl Petersen are owners of this popular dining place and they employ 24 people to provide accomodations for a capacity of 225 guests. The Rainbow Inn was opened in May, 1932. In addition to regular meals for transient guests, the inn also specializes in serving banquets and parties. Organ music provides pleasant background for diners and on Saturdays and special occassions, the inn offers dancing. Rainbow Inn is a member os the IL State Restaurant Assoc., the IL State Retail Liquor Dealers Assoc and Assoc. Tavern Owners of America.
Dixon Evening Telegraph Centennial Edition May 1, 1951


In 1837 the ROCK RIVER HOUSE was built on River Street about fifty feet west of the southwest corner of Galena Ave. I was first run by gentlemen named Crowell and Wilson and later by George Holly and Isaac Robinson. SHortly after being built, its name was change dto the "PHOENIX HOTEL" and in 1846 was burned to the ground.


The "SHABBONA HOUSE" was constructed in Dementtown in 1856 and served the two existing railroads then enjoying a very large business. The hotel was a five story affair with 65 rooms, two parlors and "An elegant dining hall" according to the local newspapers. When it was opened on August 10, 1857, its name wa changed to the Dement House; a name that failed to catch on and was little used. H.E. Gedney purchased the property in 1863 and named it the St. James Hotel; only to see it burn on November 20, 18971, never to be rebuilt again.


"TRANSIENT HOUSE" was one of five Dixon Hotels in the 1890's.

It was located at 564 Depot avenue, near the Chicago & North Western railroad station.

It was erected in the early '90's to serve the needs of travelers on the two railroads passing through the city.


The Three Bottle Inn was built in 1839, the second oldest home in Lee Center, and is the home of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Conibear. The inn was originally built across the road from its present site, but has been at the present location for many years. It has all the original woodwork, floors and doors. The first floor isdivided into two large rooms, separated by a wide entrance hall. The second floor was one large rom with two small dressing rooms. Dances were held there and if there were overnight lady guests they slept there. The old barn was large enough that a team of oxen and a wagon could be driven right inside. Men staying overnight slept in the loft of the barn. It was not a regular stage stop, but the stage did stop there upon occassion. It has been the Conibear family home since 1890. (From the Dixon Evening Telegraph Feb. 28, 1976)


WASHINGTON HOUSE -(No photo available) Corner of Main & Ottawa streets. Good stabling in connection. H. Remmers, proprietor. (The Dixon Sun - December 24, 1873)

From George Lamp 1970: The Washington House, built in 1854, served for many years and is now called teh Blackhawk Hotel.


Two other hotels were constructed in the community to render service to the railroads and their guests; The Waverly House, built in 1860 by Cheney and Company n ear the Northwestern Depot and the Transient House, opened in 1890 at 564 Depot Ave. in Dementown.

OLD HOTELS Page 1

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