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Peppermill, Morton, Illinois

The Peppermill Restaurant and Motel (whose name escapes both my family and myself) once served as THE place to dine and stay in the Morton, Illinois area in the late 1960’s and 70’s. As can be seen here, the Peppermill is long defunct, after serving briefly as an antique mall.

The wagon wheels, anachronistic farm wagon and other junk in the parking lot date from the antique mall period.

Out back, a portion of the motel has been demolished, revealing the concrete slab that the rooms once sat on.

The sense of desolation is palatable; I was anxious to photograph the motel before it was completely demolished for redevelopment. With the explosion of national chain hotels nearby, the Peppermill seems like it is doomed to the wrecking ball.

I will never forget back in 1983 or 84 when my family, in the middle of a blizzard, were not able to make it down the road to my grandparents’ farm. After almost getting stuck in a ditch, we made it back to Morton where we stayed the night. The next morning, my grandfather or one of his neighbors had plowed the road, allowing us to safely reach our destination.

4 Comments

  1. I believe it was the "Town House Motel", one of the nicer ones in the area, and The Peppermill was definitely one of the best restaurants around. I worked at The Peppermill in the early 80's, so I frequently got to eat there for free 😉 The remaining buildings were recently demolished; all that's left are the concrete slabs…

  2. We grew up in Morton and remember The Peppermill well. It was our favorite restaurant. We moved away in 1982 and really were disappointed at the changes when we returned for family visits. Our favorite food was the salad with their house dressing and their goulash soup. Does anyone happened to have these recipes? I would love to make them and surprise my husband. It would bring back a lot of good memories.
    Linda Marquart

  3. I also remember the Peppermill Restaurant – a favorite “nice dinner out” destination in the 80’s. The owner Fred Novotny also opened an exclusive restaurant elsewhere in Morton called The Red Baron. He had an actual WWII biplane hanging in the main dining room.

    • I just drove by on Friday, March 1st! I think the concrete foundation pad is still there.

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