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home : news : north central illinois   April 29, 2016

1/18/2013 1:36:00 PM
Sublette officials brainstorm about what to do with downtown lot

Tamara Abbey
Mendota Bureau Chief

SUBLETTE — Members of the Sublette Village Board this week started considering different options for a lot on Main Street where the former Coachmen Inn once stood.

After numerous building code violations, the village finally took ownership last year and the building was torn down. Village president John Stenzel said there are no firm plans for the lot, but several ideas that would revive traditions are being considered.

“I did bring up a couple ideas that I had, like a Memorial Day celebration and a small beer garden,” Stenzel said. “The other thing, if we get grass to grow, years and years ago they used to have movie nights in town. They had a projector and they’d set up a screen and have a movie. I thought that’s something that was done years and years ago.”

The board hasn’t decided if the village will retain ownership or attempt to sell the lot. Stenzel said the village hosts several events through the year and the lot could be used as part of events such as car shows.

Don Dinges, economic development coordinator, compiled a history of the building. It originally was two separate structures that were joined. According to the village’s history, the east side was apparently the first store built after the original village of “Soublette” was platted.

The buildings were home to hardware, plumbing and implement businesses as well as several bars and restaurants. The second story was once the location of Dr. Benjamin H.S. Angear’s office in the early 1900s. Angear went on to establish a hospital specializing in the “twilight sleep” method for expectant mothers in Sublette, Dinges said.

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