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Dateline Dixon: Sit down for this walk down memory lane

Vintage Dixon page a hub of historic conversation

Screenshot of Vintage Dixon, IL Facebook Page

DIXON – A soda shop photographed in black and white appears in my Facebook news feed.

Soon enough, the comments flow in.

“Where was this at?” one person asks.

“Was it Walgreen’s?” “Ford Hopkins?” The commenter is sure to remark about his fondness for Ford Hopkins’ warm dinner rolls in the process.

The administrator chimes in: “I feel sure this store is neither Walgreen’s nor Ford Hopkins. Both of those were drug stores, and there is no indication of this store being anything but a soda shop/candy store.”

Welcome to the Vintage Dixon Facebook page, where a photograph drums up conversations of yore.

Ron Pritchard, better known as Dixon Park District president, created the page in June 2011, using photos of his grandfather Walter C. Pritchard’s home on Chicago Avenue.

A friend from Los Angeles, who posted historic photos from there, inspired Pritchard to start the Facebook page.

Pritchard now receives vintage photos from all sorts of people and gathers even more from the Loveland Community House & Museum to post.

Pritchard said the real magic is in the comments.

Whether it be the collapse of Truesdell Bridge in 1873 or a postcard of Lincoln School from 1938, comments flow in. The images trigger memories, or historical anecdotes.

It’s rare to see a photograph here that doesn’t spark a conversation with anywhere from five to 25 comments.

To someone who loves the history of Dixon, like Pritchard, this page is a great resource and even a rebirth of memories.

Even to someone like me, who did not grow up in Dixon, it’s fascinating to recognize the buildings downtown in old photographs, and see what they once were, or to gain a little historical context on the city I’m covering.

The page has certainly grown a following.

In June 2011, it had 284 likes, according to a Sauk Valley Media article. Today, it has 1,960.

Pritchard welcomes any vintage photos, and even does slideshow presentations for clubs and senior groups in the area.

Sound interesting? Click here to visit the page on Facebook. Click like, and watch the black-and-white memories roll in.

Stop by

Derek Barichello's “office hours” will be from 1 to 2 p.m. today at Books on First, 202 W. First St. Feel free to stop to ask questions, suggest story ideas, or just chat.

He also can be reached at or 800-798-4085, ext. 526.


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