Leland was a popular name for Illinios hotels in the early 20th century. There was a Leland Hotel in Springfield, Rockford, and Belvidere. I was walking north on State Street in Belvidere and saw a large, painted sign on the side of a building as I crossed the river. I was immediately intriqued; especially by the door close to the river. I imagined it was a perfect setup for delivering liquor during prohibition.
As I passed the building, I peered inside. There looks to be apartments on the second floor and a closed restaurant on the first floor, to the right. I could see a portion of an empty apartment on the first floor to the left. I had to know more.
I found articles from the Belvidere Daily Republican online that explain portions of the restaurant’s history….
It was as I thought.