The Indians probably should be given credit for being the first hosts to overnight travelers in the Dixon area, but by no extension of the imagination could it be said that they kept anything like hotel facilities. Dixon's first tavern was the pioneer log cabin of "Father" John Dixon and it served, for many, as a resting place on long journeys through northern Illinois. The cabin was composed of the old Joseph Ogee log house, the additional made by Dixon and the subsequent connecting section.

Hotel Blackhawk - in Dixon, Lee County IL
Completed October 1, 1854 - originally called the Washington House


Country Club

A $3.00 Bill - The Dixon Hotel

The Dixon Inn is the name of the new hotel owned by W.A. Schuler on West First Street and which will be formally opened to the public the first of this week. Thoroughly up to date in every particular, this hotel bids for and will receive the patronage it deserves. There are 32 sleeping rooms on the upper floors with two and three bathrooms on each floor and hot and cold water in each room. These rooms are all nicely tinted and furnished with handsome brass beds, dressers, chairs etc., all new. Electric bells are in every bedroom. Assisting Mr. Schuleer, the proprietor, wiill be Harry Bailey, in the management of the hotel.
From the Dixon Evening Telegraph October 3, 1910

ILLINOIS CENTRAL HOUSE - (No Photo Available) - In Amboy Illinois. O. Hughes, propreitor. Board $2.00 per day. Good stabling provided. (The Dixon Sun - December 24, 1873)

The second tavern of boarding house stood at the corner of Galena Ave. and Water St. (now River St. "in 1970" ) and was built in 1835 by Col. Samuel Johnson. It was here that he first recorded death in Dixon occurred when a man by the name of Lafferty died in "JOHNSON'S BOARDING HOUSE" in the fall of 1836.

KEYSTONE HOUSE - (No Photo Available) - Corner of Main and Galena streets kept by Mrs. Brautigam. (The Dixon Sun - 24 December 1873)

Lincoln Lodge

Ash Tray

Lincoln Motel


Elsie Harmon received word (October 2005) from a friend who lives in Dixon that the Memri Motel was on the Southeast corner of North Galena Avenue and the Lowell Park Road.

It was owned and run by Art Benson who sold it and it then became a restaurant with still some rooms below. She and her husband ate in the restaurant about 1956/1957.

It wasn't a motel in the end before it was torn down - not sure when.

During the winter of 1836-1837, the first regular tavern was built by Peter McKenney and H. Thompson on Hennepin Ave. where the large department store now stands (1970).

This tavern-hotel became known as the "MANSION HOUSE" in 1853 and later, when Luman Huntley became the proprietor, it was called the "HUNTLEY HOUSE". S till later it was referred to as the "WESTERN HOTEL" and stood until the City Hall building was built on that site in 1906.