Oregon, IL 61061
Maxson Riverboat & Restaurant
Welcome to the Maxson Riverboat and Restaurant, formerly the legendary Maxson Manor Restaurant. and the Pride of Oregon, an authentic paddlewheel boat located just one mile north of historic Oregon, Illinois!
Escape to our pristine banks for a truly unforgettable experience at the restaurant and on the riverboat. A beautiful backdrop on the scenic Rock River creates the perfect venue for a banquet, from reunions to business meetings. With an incredible natural setting just a two-hour drive from downtown Chicago, Maxson Riverboat and Restaurant are the region's premiere location for a destination wedding.
Built as a traditional paddlewheel boat, the Pride of Oregon, is a 102-foot replica of the famous Rosie O'Shea paddleboat, and is unique in all of Northern Illinois. Couples enjoy dinner and drinks while skimming the still waters of the Rock River on romantic, moonlit river cruises. Children stay captivated during family outings on a river cruise past Lowden State Park. The 15-mile journey takes passengers under the watchful eye of Chief Black Hawk, the largest concrete monolith in the country.
Maxson Manor's unique and natural setting has turned the restaurant and paddlewheel boat into a tourist destination, with regulars drawn from the road, the air and the river.
A buffet opens every day ~ 365 days a year ~ at 11 a.m. All-American fare is a reliable favorite for diners who know they can expect a hot meal and personal service every time they visit.
The Maxson Riverboat and Restaurant Deck
Banquets & Weddings
Whether you host your guests in one of the two banquet halls equipped with state-of-the-art technology, outdoors on a sprawling 7,000-square foot deck overhanging the Rock River, or aboard the Pride of Oregon, trained chefs will cater steaming hot meals to you.
Riverboat Sight Seeing Cruises
As you pass the undeveloped land, the non-motorized vessel barely stirs a wake, allowing you to witness scenes of nature unfold up close. Find yourself within arm's reach of wildlife in their natural habitat, and photograph bald eagles, deer, and otters. The Pride of Oregon sails from April to October.
The true paddlewheel boat features heating and air conditioning.
Pride of Oregon Paddlewheel Riverboat
The 102-foot paddlewheel's stature allows the Pride of Oregon to skim the surface of the water, barely stirring a wake. Captain Rich pilots the authentic, un-motorized paddlewheel through undeveloped land, past a state park and a flood plain. Passengers can book a seat on a 15-mile river cruise as sightseers exploring nature, and dine during the pleasure cruise.
Elmyr A. Laughlin built his mansion for about $50,000 (almost $1 million by today's economy). After Laughlin married Bessie Elouise Darling, the granddaughter of the governor of Rhode Island whose descendants came over on the Mayflower, their summer home became a weekend retreat for Chicago's most influential residents. Chicago society flooded into Oregon, and "The Grange" became a popular destination for artists, writers and musicians.
In 1952, John Maxson Sr. bought the mansion, renaming it Maxson Manor and opening a restaurant. Old Man Maxson as he was known, a baker, made his restaurant famous by bestowing complimentary orange rolls to his guests.
In March of 1993, a fire burned down Maxson Manor. The restaurant reopened in September 1994, under the ownership of Rich Wiesner. The traditions at this legendary institution continue. The orange rolls are still complimentary, and they're still a hit with locals and tourists.