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Visitors Guide

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2017 Official Alton Visitors Guide
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Get Steamed Up in Grafton

 

A group of Stanley Steamer car enthusiasts will steam their way through the Meeting of the Great Rivers Saturday, Sept. 9 through Friday, Sept. 15 including a stay at the Ruebel Hotel in Grafton.

The Ruebel Hotel will once again host the Mid-West Stanley Steamer Car group for an extended stay. Members of the group will drive their steam powered cars along the Meeting of the National Great Rivers Scenic Byway to Grafton. They will showcase their classic cars from 5 to 7 p.m. each day in front of the Ruebel Hotel, 217 E. Main St., Grafton.

“We are very excited that the Mid-West Stanley Steamer Car group wants to return to Grafton and the Ruebel Hotel,” said Mo Khamee, owner and general manager of the historic hotel. “Having the cars parked in front of the hotel will give everyone a chance to see these historic cars that people still drive along the roads. And we are even getting one car that is coming from Australia.”

Stanley cars were manufactured in the U.S. for nearly 25 years and at their peak were considered one of the most powerful vehicles of their time. The steam engine used vaporizing gaoline and kerosene to power the vehicle. The compact engine created 10 to 20 horse power and a Stanley Steamer vehicle set the world record for the fastest mile in an automobile in 1906 at 127 miles per hour .The cars were made with a wooden body and could carry two to four passengers. The Stanley car was also one of the most expensive of its time with prices of $3,950 for a sedan compared to Henry Ford’s Model T which sold for $500.

The Stanley Steamer, often called “The Flying Teapot”, was eventually phased out when the internal combustion engine hit the automotive scene and the production line closed in 1924. Only about 11,000 Stanley steam cars were produced.

The Ruebel Hotel is among the more historic buildings in Grafton. Built in 1879, it features an original bar from the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.

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