Archive for August 2007

Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees

August 25, 2007

These colorful brochures and maps were handed out to lake-goers in the late 1940s. This huge lake — 1,300 miles of shoreline — provides recreation and hydroelectric power for the region. Flirtatious bathers look out while playing in the water. The inside of the brochure are packed with ads for lake services and tourist stops. The Buffalo Ranch was once a must-see along Route 66 and the Grand Lake area. It’s simple advertisement gives a clue to what the Ranch featured.

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Colorado Main Streets

August 25, 2007

From a state known for its scenic landscapes, here are a few beauties to check out. The first photo is downtown Montrose situated on U.S. 50. Dense clusters of buildings, sweet signs and people walking give the town a bustling flair. This photo looks to be from the early 1960s.

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Next up, the eastern Colorado town of Limon. Most people know this as a stop along Interstate 70. But this view, from the early 1970s, shows a still vibrant town surviving along the old route U.S. 40. Gas stations, cafes and bars line the road.

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The famous mining town of Cripple Creek is next. This 1950s photo shows a long main street anchored by the Imperial Hotel.

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Cortez, Colo. is located in the southwest part of the state. The town is nearby Indian reservations and Mesa Verde National Park.  This 1950s view looks west along U. S. 160. Like all these Colorado Main Streets, a Coors beer sign is present.

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Finally, we travel to the northwest Colorado town of Craig. This gorgeous stretch of street is U.S. 40 and is filled with much to see, including the stunning West Theatre marquee.

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Take U.S. 12

August 25, 2007

Travel the route 0f Lewis & Clark. This beautiful road traversed the northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountains before ending in the Oregon city of Portland. This vintage brochure was handed out by the more than 400 members of the Highway 12 Association. Printed in the late 1950s, the guide uses the ubiquitous cowboy to lure travelers to western adventures.

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The back of the guide has simple drawings highlighting stops along the route. Check out the small towns along the way, each dependent on the highway for tourists and commerce.

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Stop in Shamrock

August 18, 2007

Shamrock, Tex. is located on the eastern side of the Texas panhandle. This flat landscape is punctuated by several towns that catered to Route 66 travelers. Shamrock offered the gamut of roadside services. Gas stations were sprinkled along the highway through town, including the well-known Tower Conoco. This Art Deco masterpiece sits at the corner of U.S. 66 and U.S. 83, which guaranteed brisk business. Today, the station has been restored and is a must photo-op along the highway. Another of the photos shows the Dixie Restaurant, topped with a huge chicken. Sadly, the sign is gone. This selection of photos, most from the late 1950s or early 1960s, show U.S. 66 in and around Shamrock. Looks kinda quiet, doesn’t it?

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Reno’s finest

August 18, 2007

Check out this awesome brochure for Harold’s Pony Express Motel. Located on U.S. 40, this lodge was only a few blocks from Reno, Nev. colorful casino center. The cover of the guide shows a motel built in Ranch-style architecture.

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The guide shows off a crisp room filled with mid-century blonde furniture sitting on a cool-looking western carpet. No wonder the couple looks so pleased.

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A birds-eye view of the motel could not be better. A pristine roadside scene filled with amazing cars, people and a well-groomed landscape.

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Jackson Hole

August 18, 2007

Located in the shadows of the Teton Range, this beautiful town in Wyoming offers much to the traveler. The usual lineup of good-looking gas stations and cafes are seen. This 1950s view of  downtown is highlighted by the famous Cowboy Bar. Although the bar has undergone a few changes since this picture was taken, one thing that remains is the splendid sign. Imagine the sign lit up with sparkling bulbs and neon. What a sight! Check this site out for more historic photos, including a night shot.

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