“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Dwight in Livingston County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Mom and Pop Motels

The Paulsen-Strufe Motel

Mom and Pop Motels Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, September 30, 2020
1. Mom and Pop Motels Marker
Titles have faded but marker is still somewhat readable.
Inscription.  During the heyday of Route 66 from the 1930s to the 50s, there were no motel chains. Instead, local families operated small campgrounds, cabins, and motor courts. The Paulsen-Strufe Motel, built in 1935, was more than just a place to stay; it was a home for the family and an integral part of the community.

The Strufes

In 1952, John and Dorothy Strufe purchased the business and called it the Strufe Motel. After remodeling and enclosing the carports in 1959, they renamed it the Arrow Motel.

The Paulsens

The motel began in 1935 as a gas station owned by Danish immigrants, Marlin and Metha Paulsen. They built five cabins with carports and called it Paulsen Court.

A Family Affair

The Strufe and Paulsen children grew up here. Running a motel was truly a family affair, from washing and hanging sheets to pumping gas. Everyone helped out.

The Paulsens and Strufes named rooms after female family members: 1-Rita, 2-Peggy, 3-Carol, and so on. Repeat travelers would remember which “girl” they had stayed in the last time through.

Mom and Pop Motels Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, September 30, 2020
2. Mom and Pop Motels Marker
Marker is next to private property

“The job I remember liking the least was the daily laundry. Sometimes the clothesline would fall down and I had to wash everything all over again.”
– Metha Paulsen
Erected by Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceRoads & Vehicles. In addition, it is included in the U.S. Route 66 🛣️ series list.
Location. 41° 5.421′ N, 88° 26.371′ W. Marker is in Dwight, Illinois, in Livingston County. Marker is at the intersection of Old U.S. 66 and South Street, on the right when traveling north on U.S. 66. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 320 S Old Rte 66, Dwight IL 60420, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Welcome to Dwight (approx. ¼ mile away); Full Service on Rte 66 (approx. ¼ mile away); Dwight, Illinois (approx. ¼ mile away); A Well Connected Village (approx. 0.6 miles away); War Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away); 1879-1979 (approx. 0.6 miles away); Shifting Roadways (approx. 0.7 miles away); Pioneer Gothic Church (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dwight.
More about this marker. This is one of four "Wayside Exhibits" in Dwight erected by the Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway group.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 21, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 21, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 53 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 21, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.
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Mar. 6, 2021