Information about Broadwell Illinois
Facts, Trivia & Useful Info
Elevation: 591 ft (180 m). Population 145 (2010).
Time zone: Central (CST): UTC minus 6 hours. Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5).
Broadwell is a village in southern Logan County, Illinois. This is a Map of Broadwell.
Broadwell its history
Central Illinois was inhabited after the ice sheet retreated some 11,000 years ago. More recently, Illinois natives and Kickapoos lived here when the first settlers arrived around the early 1800s. However the prairies were not suitable for the farming system of that time and only after the arrival of the railroad was the area effectively settled.
Logan county was established in 1839, at the same time as the Kickapoos had been relocated in the Indian Territories (modern state of Oklahoma).
Around 1840, an inn named "Tantivy" was built 3⁄4 of a mile east of the present village.
The Chicago, Alton & St. Louis railroad (now the Chicago & Alton) passed through the area in the mid 1850s, and shortly after a station was established there. A village was platted in 1856 by Thomas C. Meyer and his business associates on land owned by William B. Broadwell.
The first store was opened by William Sample. The school opened in 1857. Incorporated in 1869. The Illinois Traction System linked the town in 1904 and Route 66 was aligned along an existing state highway in 1926, and remained so until 1977.
The name: Broadwell
Named for the owner of the land where it was founded: William B. Broadwell.
Broadwell: Motels & Hotels
Accommodation and Lodging nearby Broadwell
> > Book your hotel in neighboring Lincoln
More Accommodation near Broadwell on Route 66
See some more hotels & motels nearby
Hotels to the East -towards Chicago
More accommodation Heading West through Illinois
Hotels, further west Missouri
>> See the RV campground in neighboring Lincoln
Broadwell: its Weather
Broadwell has a humid continental climate: hot, humid summers and cool to cold winters.
Its average high for winter (Jan) is 34°F (1 °C) and its average low for winter is 18°F (-7.8 deg;C).
The summer average high (Jul) is 85°F (29.7°C) and its low is 65°F (18.1°C).
Precipitation is lowest in January (1.93 in. - 49 mm) and peaks at 5.08 in July (129 mm).
Yearly rainfall is 36.7 inch ( 1008 mm). Snow falls from November through March and averages 22 inches (55 cm).
Some 7 tornados strike Logan County each year (Broadwell is located in this county).
Tornado Risk: learn more about Tornado Risk on US 66.
Map of Route 66 through Broadwell in Illinois
See the alignment of US 66 in this town, on our Illinois Route 66 Map, it has the complete alignment across the state with all the towns along it.
Route 66 in Illinois: Historic U.S. 66 in Broadwell
Route 66 across Illinois
Read this detailed description of Route 66 in Illinois.
Historic Route 66 was designated as an All-American Road and a National Scenic Byway in the state of Illinois.
Below we provide More information on US 66 in the neighborhood of Broadwell.
Broadwell its Route 66 Attractions
Things to see in town
You can get to Broadwell using Historic U.S. 66 or, alternatively taking the freeway I-55 and use Exit 119 to reach the village.
Broadwell US 66 in 1946
The classic "A Guide Book to Highway 66" written by Jack DeVere Rittenhouse after his 1946 drive along US 66 describes the village as follows: "Pop. 144... gas; grocery; cafe; no garage. Two-score homes surround a tiny depot and the grain elevators which bear witness to the corn growing ability of this region".
The cafe and gas were the now gone "Pig Hip" Restaurant. He didn't mention the Pioneer Cabins (now a motel). The village was and still is small, population is the same.
Drive through Broadwell
Start at the northern tip of the village where the freeway's exit is (119), here Route 66 runs north towards Lincoln as a two lane highway, they are the former northbound lanes of the four-lane US 66 built in the 1940s. The southbound lanes are buried beneath the freeway. But, at this point they reappear at the northern dead-end of West Oak St.
Here, to your right is a brick building belonging to the Logan Highway Dept. Its location and construction suggest it probably was a garage or gas station, but we haven't found proof of it.
Drive south. To your left, beyond the railroad is the village proper. On the western side is the part that used to be on Route 66, and that is now closer to I-55. Just ahead, to your right is a Classic Motel:
Pioneer Rest Motel
161 West Oak St. Broadwell
Vintage post card shows it as having separate cabins, but now it is a very run down one story brick building, rectangular shaped with an end gable roof and 6 rooms.
It is an original ca 1940s motel according to the National Park Service, and its Neon Sign is worth a photo.
Pioneer Rest Motel in Broadwell, Illinois
Next to the motel, south of it is the site of the former Pig Hip Restaurant:
Pig Hip Marker & Sign
101 West Oak St. Broadwell
The Pig Hip Restaurant opened in 1937 and closed in 1991. It later opened as a museum until 2007 when it caught fire and burned to the ground.
Its valuable collection of Route 66 memorabilia was lost in the blaze. But a granite stone marker with a bronze plaque identifies the spot and honors its memory.
The old sign that attracted customers was recently restored to its bright red original appearance.
Pig Hip Restaurant
It was the best known attraction in Broadwell. Ernest L Edwards ("Ernie") operated it right since it opened back in 1991. He retired in 1990 and passed away in 2012.
The site had been inducted into the "Route 66 Hall of Fame" before it burned down.
There was also a gas station at the site.
Pig Hip Marker & Sign in Broadwell, Illinois
The marker says next to a flagpole says:
At Broadwell Illinois
U.S. ROUTE "66"
Operated for over 54 years by
Ernest L. Edwards, Jr. & Family
Home of the celebrated PIG HIP Sandwich-
baked fresh pork with tomato & lettuce on
a toasted bun with the secret sauce
The PIG HIP Restaurant Museum with
Ernie's fine personal collection of
Route "66" memorabilia & artifacts
was destroyed by fire on 5 March 2007
just prior to Ernie's 90th Birthday
But U.S. Route 66
"The Mother Road"
A concrete symbol of
America's Freedom & Opportunity
ALWAYS in the hearts and minds of
her sons and daughers"
On its upper left corner is the logo with the cook with a knife in one hand, the sandwich on a plate in the other and an apron saying "PIG HIP", and his body shaped like a pig hip.
Just ahead, the southbound lanes of the former four-lane Route 66 end in a dead end. Head to the former northbound lanes (present Historic Route 66) and turn right, to head south towards Elkhart.
Historic Route 66 in Broadwell
1926-1940 US 66
The road was originally aligned through Broadwell in 1926 and improved over the years as a two-lane paved highway.
Route 66 After 1940
World War II led to an increase in heavy traffic and the road became congested. A second set of lanes was added making it into a four-lane divided highway. The southbound lanes are now buried beneath I-55's northbound ones to the north and south of Broadwell however a small segment of the original southbound lanes survive as Oak St.:
Original Southbound lanes
They are marked in Pale Blue in the map and are only 1800 feet long. The present "Historic or Old Route 66" through town consists of the former northbound lane of U.S. Route 66.
The new interstate which by 1958 had been completed in this area, replaced the old Route 66 with a new alignment to the west.
From Broadwell to Elkhart
Head south along US 66 (it's only 4 miles) and you will reach Elkhart (don't miss the original 1926 alignment to your left as you reach Elkhart see this Map with directions.
Jack DeVere Rittenhouse, (1946). A Guide Book to Highway 66.
Banner image: Hackberry General Store, Hackberry, Arizona by Perla Eichenblat.