Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Dippolds Drugstore Mural

I grew up in Gillespie, IL and moved away when I was 18; however, I visit back there almost every year.  Dippolds Drugstore was on a corner and had an old fashion soda fountain many years ago.  When I could scrape up a few pennies for a cherry soda, I made a beeline for there.  It was also a good place to read comic books, newspapers and loiter around until they asked you to leave.  It was a game to see how long you could stay under the radar from Mr. Dippold, the owner and pharmacist.

The drugstore was taken over by his son Edward who ran it for many years.  He finally sold it to the present day owners.  Now they have a mural painted on the side of the building showing some of the history of Gillespie.

 The statue on the right was a WWI soldier and used to be located on the street next to the drugstore.  US 66 ran through Gillespie from 1926-1930 and then was rerouted further east.  Now Rt 4 runs through Gillespie and heads south on the "Hardroad".  Yep, it is a concrete highway and has always been called the Hardroad as far back as I can remember.

There was a parking meter in front of the mural and I photo shopped it so the mural can be fully appreciated.  My thanks go out to my niece Jeanie and her husband Curt for thinking of me and sending the photo.

When I was in school the main street of Gillespie was a busy place.  The Illinois Terminal System (ITS) ran down the middle of main street and the Big 4 railroad crossed over the ITS about a block from my home.  All the stores were open and it was possible to take care of most of your needs and never leave town.  With the advent of cars being so popular the ITS closed down and the Big 4 also disappeared.  The closing of 13-14 coal mines in the area also had a big impact on the town. 

Now the main street has vacant buildings, some missing buildings and a few good stores.  There were also about 8-10 bars on main street including Monky's Corner, Russells, and others whose names I don't remember.  Most of them also have bitten the dust and only a few bars remain.  Times sure have changed back there and I'm not sure it was for the better.

We've seen this all over the US in our travels where the downtown areas are dead and everyone shops at Walmart.  To each his own.

Gerry and I are both fighting a bad cough and have decided to hang around Eureka for one more day and see if we feel up to heading down the road.  I hear the sun is shining in Florence, OR and we may check it out on Thursday.

It looks like our friends Linda & Sherwin have had enough of spending the cold winters in Maine and have sold their home there.  They are are moving to Tucson sometime in July.  Wow, what a change that will be as they sure will be warm in AZ in July-September.  We are happy for them that they can fulfill their dream of moving and it is just around the corner. 

That's all from cloudy, damp and cool Eureka, CA.  


  1. Be sure to visit the lighthouse in Florence at night. It is beautiful.
    Hope you both feel much better very soon.

  2. We had a place called the Malt Shop in Sidney, MT where I grew up. It's gone now which is so sad. Sidney doesn't have a Walmart so it's downtown has sort of survived. It is definitely going to be hot when they move down here. But boy will they love the winters. Feel better soon, friends. Find that sunshine and soak it up.