View Full Version : Little or No Vacancy

06-28-2016, 07:27 PM
In anticipation of receiving my copy of Ralph DeSilva's new book I thought I would go back and read the first one over again. There were plenty of good stories and I enjoyed the stories about the lodging choices in the Illinois Valley area over the years. So here is a recap of what was available over the years , warning , it is a bit depressing. Feel free to add any stories you can recall. Ron Hill , I hope you don't need to edit any responses.

1) Ralph talked about the Tou-Rest Motel on RT6 in Peru. While the sign has changed it is still open and I believe you can still get a room there , most are rented out by the month to permanent residents.

2) The Peru City Hotel. Ok , so I was born in 1964 and I had no recollection of this place so I had to call my parents to find out where it was located. It is now an empty lot on the corner of 4th and Grant Streets in Peru.

3) So if you attended the first ever DePue Nationals in 1961 you may remember this place as being the host hotel that year, the Hotel Kaskaskia in downtown LaSalle. Once the pride and joy of lodging in the Illinois Valley it has long since closed. The ballroom on the top floor , with its wooden dance floor , acoustic ceiling and big stage was the home to many dances and high school proms. There were rumors of it being purchased and upgraded but those plans have been long since been abandoned.

4) I have been told by the organizers of the 1961 Nationals that Daniel's Hotel was used as an overflow once the Kaskaskia was filled. Located on the north side of LaSalle it is still open today but the outdoor pool is no longer useable.

5) and 6) Oh the Pine Cone Restaurant and the Tiki Inn. Ralph said it was the viable option to the poor service at the Holiday Inn. It was closed many years ago and fallen into disrepair. The Pine Cone ,and the Golden Bear restaurant , was often the choice for the late night bar crowd to try and sober up. The dimly lite parking lot was often rumored to be a favorite of truckers who had acquaintances in the Tiki campground next door.

7) The Holiday Inn , yes that Holiday Inn that once tried to deny Marshall Grant's reservation , big mistake. This was the home base for many of the 60's and 70's Nationals. The pictures says it all , only one small building remains.

8) Perhaps you stayed at the Howard Johnsons which was across the road from the Holiday Inn. After changing hands a few times it was finally shuttered 5 or 6 years ago. Probably it could use the wrecking ball.

9) And next door was the Motel 6 , the only thing that remains is the skeleton on a sign and the property is now a cornfield.

Well there you have it , rather depressing isn't it. I'm sure a good time was had at all the places back in the day.

07-04-2016, 07:48 AM
The Ranch House , Bureau IL. The longtime choice of the race teams from the great northwest until a fire destroyed the bar and restuarant. The bar has reopened in the lower level of the office and over looks the lake. They have a few rooms for rent and a little flat of grass by the lake for rough camping.