http://www.blogger.com/html?blogID=4316350785635987648 Cave Dwellings: I Really Do Like Trains…Historic Trains….

July 4th , 2016

July 4th , 2016
Den and me

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I Really Do Like Trains…Historic Trains….

  I took a bike ride “downtown”, if you can call it that.  We have an historic train car “diner” in our town that we acquired in the 1930’s.  It originally debuted in the Columbian Exposition (Chicago World’s Fair), in 1893.  It cost $25,000 – old No. 4483, and affectionately named Isabella….by whom, I have no idea.  It was called a “Palace Car”, with it’s wicker, mahogany, velvet and crystal interior.  I have eaten in the train car, and it is beautiful.  When the fair ended, the train car was employed by Burlington to serve as one of their cars on the line’s Crack Flyer, “The Pride of the Burlington”.

  This train car also went on the political campaign trail with Teddy Roosevelt during the presidential campaigns of 1900, 1904, and the “Bull Moose” campaign of 1912.  After that, she was retired..Then, in 1931, Isabella was sold as junk to a gentleman from Sandwich…for $75.00. She was turned into a diner located on the main drag through town. The road the dining car was on was then known as Route 18, which connected Chicago and Denver, extending all the way to California..This route is now called Route 34.  Our little Diner became quite the attraction on our town.  It hosted such names as The Glen Miller Band (come on, I know SOME of you know that band!), Max Baer (you DO remember Jethro from The Beverly Hillbillies!), Cary Grant, Guy Lombardo and Princess Grace, just to name a few.

  Bill Wright, and his wife, Betty, ran the train car diner, and it was then called Wright’s Diner.  The Wright family lived in the house right next door to the diner. They were known for their homemade strawberry pie, that Bill made himself…When I was in high school, my friends and I used to go in just to get a pie slice. At that time, it had a counter, stools , and booths, just like a diner..DUH!  In 1977, that house and the diner were sold to Paul and Terry tePoole, a German couple, and they attached the Wright home to the diner, creating the building that exists today, and making it much larger. .  It was then called Kelly’s Pub and American Grill.  However, the train car was just recently sold again…and the new owner is tearing off the metal covering of the train car down to the original wood siding.  He is entirely restoring the train car..I cannot WAIT to see it when it is done…

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Above is a picture of how it looked just one month ago, when it was Kelly’s Pub and American Grill…..Notice the metal on the sides and top..and the door in the middle…

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..Above is the work in progress…The middle door is gone, and they uncovered an oval window near the front.  The Railroad Crossing lights were added by the Kelly’s Pub…”clik the pik” to make bigger…(I have a feeling Sam will…)

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..There are some beautiful stained glass original windows inside, as you can see from my pictures… and beautiful chandeliers, which you must take my word for…I walked up to the door and found out that it is considered a “Hard Hat” area..I wasn’t wearing one…I wonder if a “Hard Head” would qualify…

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They had this sign on the door…See the new name?…Now that you know the history, you get the reason for “The Bull Moose” name??  YOU DON’T??…If you still don’t get why THAT is the new name, you are cheating…You need to re-read the train car history..There will be a quiz later.


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Above left, you are looking North from what used to be our only stoplight in Sandwich, IL, on the corner of Route 34 and Main St. The center picture is the front of the train car..This is NOT the original front..I wonder what they have planned for that, if anything…Right pik is the house where the Wrights used to live, and is now part of the restaurant. There was an outdoor patio there, as you can see.  Word has it that the guy who bought the restaurant has a bazillioin dollars AND is a train aficionado…(I AM getting pretty good at the fancy words, eh??)

I will update you as the construction progresses..I may even steal a Hard Hat so I can snoop around when they are working. I haven’t been naughty for a very long time, and I feel the need to “push the envelope”…you know… ,see how much trouble my detective son-in-law can get me out of.

6 comments:

  1. What a great save, that Old Pullman Palace car is priceless,if he restores the wood to it's original condition it will be a work of varnished art. That front end sheet metal job look's like a clunky attempt to copy the look of the original Burlingon Zephyr Stream;iner. Hope they think og someting better, we are home tonight, so it won't take long to start thinking about another trip, how did your council meeting go? Be safe out there. Sam & Donna

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  2. What a great save, that Old Pullman Palace car is priceless,if he restores the wood to it's original condition it will be a work of varnished art. That front end sheet metal job look's like a clunky attempt to copy the look of the original Burlingon Zephyr Stream;iner. Hope they think og someting better, we are home tonight, so it won't take long to start thinking about another trip, how did your council meeting go? Be safe out there. Sam & Donna

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  3. Heck, Sam liked this post so much he commented twice! That's quite a neat old diner. I sure hope they maintain the outside looking like it is, that would be a neat attraction especially for all the train buffs like Sam!

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  4. Now Sam needs to put that on his list of places "to see." Heck, I think I'll put it on my list also.
    How neat that someone saw the real value of this unique train car and is going to restore it.
    I can't wait to see the progress as you show us. Don't forget to show us!!!

    Mike & Gerri

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  5. nice piece of history you have in Sandwich!!..keep us all posted!..as for your geocaching comment..we are so there...where do you want to meet?..lol...drinks, pajamas and the gps!!

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  6. Will be interesting to see what they do with that railway car. We ate at a nice one in Wilcox, Arizona this past winter. They must have really been something in their hayday.

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