The Post House Ballroom has stood tall at the corner of Second Street and Galena Avenue for more than a century.
“It’s like a jewel here in northwestern Illinois,” said manager Cathy Reglin.
She’s worked at the Post House for 16 years and learning its history has become her passion.
“It’s just a beautiful historic building,” Reglin said.
When it was first built in 1911 it was Dixon’s grand post office, complete with an $8,000 revolving door that was the first of its kind in Dixon. Reglin said for some of the post office’s first customer it took some getting used to.
“People who were hanging out around the outside [and] noticed this young lady come in and go around the revolving door. [She] couldn’t figure out how to get in the building so she went right back out,” Reglin said.
In the 1960s and 1970s two different owners began to renovate the post office, turning it into a ballroom.At the time white leather couches lined the walls and red carpet covered the floor.
“It was like New York Saturday night up there,” Reglin said.
Today the Lee County Council on Aging is based on the bottom floor, but the top level plays hosts to weddings and parties almost every weekend of the year.
Two large, ornate chandeliers have hung in the ballroom for decades, and Reglin said no one is quite sure where they came from. Some people say they used to be in New York Waldorf Hotel, but Reglin is still getting tips about their origins.
But you don’t have to know where they came from to appreciate their shine.
“People come in from out of town [and] they’ll look at the chandeliers and say, ‘Wow,'” Reglin said. “I love that.”
That’s Reglin’s favorite part of working at the Post House Ballroom — sharing her town with people from all over the country.
“They say there were literally thousands of people here the day the post office opened,” Reglin said. “Dixon was pretty important. We’re still pretty important.”