Tourist cabins, auto and motor courts

Discussion in 'The Golden Era' started by Ghostsoldier, Jun 24, 2017.

  1. Ghostsoldier

    Ghostsoldier Call Me a Cab

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    I made a search here and couldn't find anything on this subject, so I thought I'd start one for those who are likewise interested. If there is a thread here that I didn't find, please let me know and I'll fold this thread into that one. :)

    Seeing as how many of us here are fond of vintage gas stations, roadside ephemera, motels, vintage signs, ghost signs and the like, I figure there's a few others (besides myself) who are fascinated by roadside travel courts and cabins, and the romance of overnight lodging in the pre-motel days.

    These are places where folks would stop and spend the night in relative peace and quiet, with separate lodgings (sometimes with individual carports, even), before the heyday of the roadside motel boom brought noisy next-door neighbors, revving car engines in the parking lot, and screaming kids at swimming pools.

    Any vintage photos are welcome, as are modern photos of surviving examples...of which sadly, there are so few. Here's my contributions to kick off the thread...

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    Rob
     
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  2. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    And this could be our thread's movie: 1940's "One Crowded Night"

    From IMDB: At a small, struggling motor court in the Mojave Desert, events in the lives of many people climax on the same night

    We just started watching it yesterday (about 20 minutes in), but so far, all the action takes place at a motor court with a fanfreakintastic diner attached. The Fedora Lounge eye candy in this movie is outrageous. From the motor court and diner (napkin dispensers, china, ice boxes, etc. - all perfect) to the cars and trucks (some crazy tourist bus just showed up) to the clothes (truck driver with chambray shirt and leather jacket), it doesn't even matter if the movie is good or not (so far okay) - the period details are incredible.

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  3. Ghostsoldier

    Ghostsoldier Call Me a Cab

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    I've got to find a copy of this! :)

    Rob
     
  4. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

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    "The Hitchin' Post," which ran in my home town from the 1930s to the 1980s. The parents of one of my grade-school friends ran it in the 60s and 70s. The cabins were extremely rustic and spartan, but the camp wasn't particularly isolated or rural -- that's US 1 running down the left of the photo, and there was a Shell Oil Company oil depot and tank farm across the way. The big house and one of the cabins still survive, but the rest are gone.
     
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  5. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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    I recorded it off of TCM. If you get TCM (the greatest station on cable), keep your eye on it as it will play again. I'll write it up in the "Last Movie You Watched" thread once I finish it.

    But as noted, even twenty or so minutes in and story aside, I can say the period details are insane.

    And kudos to you, this is a great idea for a thread.
     
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  6. Ghostsoldier

    Ghostsoldier Call Me a Cab

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    I figured you folks would appreciate this type of thread...I've got tons of photos (well, a lot, anyway) that I've never done anything with, so I figured this would be a good place to share them.

    Rob
     
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  7. John's Modern Cabins, on Route 66 near Newburg, Missouri.

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  8. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

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    Alamo Heights ☀️ Texas
    Ollie Hopnoodles Haven of Bliss.
    Cabin by the lake.
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    Like the movie, the folks actually packed the car like this when
    we went camping
    at the lake.
    The odor of the cabin and the out-door plumbing was something else!
    But who cared...it was vacation-time!
    JG.jpg :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
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  9. dh66

    dh66

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    Some postcards from a few that are and were around here.

    The Keystone and the Wigwam Village are long gone, but the others are still in operation.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
     
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  10. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

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    IMG_7952.JPG

    For a time guests could reach the inn only by boat. It became a tradition to sign and date a Tarpon scale and place it on the wall in the front room. Among the famous patrons was president Franklin D. Roosevelt who fished here in 1937. Duncan Hines spent his honeymoon here and recommended the food for the next 25 years. The inn has housed many area residents during storms and served as headquarters for the Red Cross, Salvation Army and Military units.


    Port Aransas.
    IMG_7958.JPG
    The bait shop no longer exists except in
    this oil painting I did back in '86.
    At the time part of the pier had been
    demolished.
    Later it was all gone.
    That's the "Blue Water" owned by my brother.
    I took liberty in putting the boat closer to
    the bait shop which is actually shallow waters in that area.
    But, it's my painting & I like it! :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2017
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  11. My wife's grandparent's had a station on Route 66 in Springfield, MO.

    They sold the station and the property to Mr. Brightwell who built the Rest Haven Court. It is still in operation.

    The duplex cabins were eventually connected with adjoining rooms.

    The station was moved behind the motel and used for storage.


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  12. dh66

    dh66

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    That's Awesome! Glad it's still going.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
     
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  13. Fading Fast

    Fading Fast

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  14. 52Styleline

    52Styleline A-List Customer

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    SW WA
    snoqpass18.jpg
     
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  15. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    When I first moved to Seattle, I-90 was what is now the siding road and the access to the ski areas. If I'm not mistaken, it's the very road in the photo above. I recall parking right alongside the Interstate and clumsily shlepping skis and poles and whatnot while wearing ski boots, within feet of highway traffic. That major expansion of the road, a decade or so later, was a major improvement, for sure.

    I believe the nearest structure in this image still stands.
     
  16. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    in May of 1980 my parents and a brother were motoring back to Seattle from a trip to Yakima, Wash., where they looked at a property they were considering purchasing, when Mount St. Helens erupted and turned day to night and reduced visibility to mere feet. This had them in search of overnight accommodations in Ellensburg.

    Across the road -- University Way, which is also Business Route 90, the "old" highway --from their hotel was an old motel for sale, a place called the Spur, one of those U-shaped stucco-sided places with a row of neon near the roofline and covered parking spaces between the dozen or so rooms.

    Long story short: they bought the place, but the Old Man had a hand in its management so of course the business eventually failed. The structure still stands, although it scarcely resembles what it was 37 years ago. The covered parking spaces between the rooms were converted to living space and the place has been re-sided and, and, and ...

    It's not a motel anymore, either. It's low-rent apartments, last I heard, catering in large part to students at Central Washington University, which is a fairly short walk away.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
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  17. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

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    This is still active but...:(
    ~ IMG_7949.JPG
     
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  18. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    Love this place. The sign is obviously "inspired" by the truly iconic Holiday Inn "great sign" (which, in my view, they were foolish to abandon), which first appeared in the early 1950s.

    I freely admit to getting a bit misty-eyed over motels and other roadside attractions from my earliest years. I've taken to collecting old motel memorabilia -- postcards, mostly, which were given away in the motel offices, where you could drop 'em in the mail after affixing your greetings and a five-cent stamp on the back. The cards can be had cheap.

    Not quite so cheap, but still inexpensive, are the plastic key fobs, with "drop in any mailbox, return postage guaranteed" etched on the back. Got a few of those, too.
     
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  19. Ghostsoldier

    Ghostsoldier Call Me a Cab

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    Me too...key fobs, post cards, ashtrays, matchbooks, and all that type of ephemera.

    Rob
     
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  20. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    My collections (got quite a few old maps and advertising posters and campaign yard signs and commercial calendars and ... ) aren't particularly precious. That's among what I like about them. I like all of it, and I have no intention of parting with any of it, but none of it really valuable.

    It's fine by me that in the view of most collectors and appraisers of paper ephemera "condition is everything." It's all to my good that a poster or a map that shows signs it was actually used for its intended purpose can be had for a small fraction of what a pristine example would fetch.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
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