Archive for July 2007

A few miles to Williams

July 14, 2007

The tha-thump – tha-thump of the concrete seams on your tires would be clear on this section of Route 66. This 1950s photo shows the highway heading west toward the town of Williams, Ariz. Williams is a good stop along the Mother Road, offering lots to see and do, including the nearby Grand Canyon. Oh, that mountain in the distance is called Bill Williams Mountain, named for a old-time frontiersman.



Looking for a motel in 1933

July 14, 2007

One of the earliest motel referral services was United Motor Courts. This association was based in Santa Barbara, Calif. and was made up of “a friendly group of independent owners of motor lodges…” During the 1930s and 1940s, United Motor Courts produced some dazzling motel guides, most with pictures of each court. This 1933 guide has a simple cover illustrated with a speedy car. The U.M.C. shield logo sign could be found hanging out in front of the best motor courts.


The back of the guide uses persuasive language to encourage travelers to stop in. Interestingly, the guide notes the variety of accomodations that could be found. No cookie-cutter architecture here.


The interior of the guide has a splendid layout showing an array of motor courts. The A-1 Motor Court in Redding, Calif. has a stand out front that even sells milkshakes. Which one would you choose?


Coast to coast host

July 14, 2007

Most everyone can remember the magnificent signs that signaled a Holiday Inn. These signs are extinct now. But postcards, brochures and matchbooks carried the symbol for decades. This postcard, from the early 1960s, is from the Holiday Inn in Clinton, Okla. The motel was located along U.S. 66 and offered all the amenities found in the rest of the chain, including free TV.