Ernie Edwards purchased the "Harbor Inn" restaurant in Broadwell, Illinois in 1937. In 1939, he renamed it to the "Pig-Hip Restaurant" after his new, fresh ham sandwich. Ernie says this sandwich was made from fresh ham (not cured), and he claims that the ham came only from the left hip — never, never the right hip.
Ernie claims this distinction was part of the secret of the Pig-Hip’s success (sandwich and restaurant). The other part of the sandwich secret was his special sauce. Ernie’s sandwich motto was–”it made its way by the way it’s made.” His brother ran their Phillips 66 gasoline station next door.
Ernie Edwards, "The Old Coot on Route 66," served thousands of his "Pig-Hip" pork sandwiches from his Pig-Hip Restaurant before he closed the place and retired in 1990.
But he and the Pig-Hip didn't go away. Ernie turned the Pig-Hip into a museum about the Pig-Hip (and Route 66), and ran it for another 17 years.
It burned down in 2007, but Route 66 fans placed a rock with a plaque on the site, declaring defiantly that, "U.S. Route 66 'The Mother Road' Endures FOREVER."
Ernie passed away in 2012 at 94 years old.
Compiled by Neil Gale, Ph.D.