Route 66 in the News

Texaco Restoration Completed

2007-04-25 17:21:17

DWIGHT, Ill. - The village of Dwight has completed restoration of the historic Ambler-Becker Texaco Station at the intersection of Old Route 66 and Illinois 17.

Commemorating the restoration on Tuesday was a plaque presented to village officials by the National Park Service at the station.

The restoration, Dwight Village Administrator Kevin McNamara said, was completed through a partnership program with cost-share grant assistance from the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program run by the park service.

The station was considered the very western edge of Dwight for many years because Route 66 ran right in front of it.

Ambler's Texaco was owned by Basil "Tubby" Ambler in the mid-1950s. Ambler had originally worked at the Keeley Institute. The institute in Dwight was a world-renowned treatment center for alcoholics, and dated to Civil War soldiers. It was also known to treat the rich and famous from throughout the world.

Phil Becker, of Dwight, grew up down the street on Route 17 (Mazon Avenue) and began hanging out at Ambler's when he was about 9.

He bought the station within three years of graduating from Dwight Township High School in 1967.

Becker and his wife, Debbie, ran the station from 1970 until 1996. Ambler had operated the station for 28 years.

The Beckers in 1996 opened Beckers' Hotrod BP at Interstate 55 and Illinois 47 in Dwight.

They later donated the old station to the village.

Now the station, refurbished to its 1940s style, will serve as Dwight's Route 66 visitor center.

~Sheila Shelton, Pontiac Daily Leader

 

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