Take U.S. 12

Posted August 25, 2007 by buzzworm
Categories: U.S. 12

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

Posted August 18, 2007 by buzzworm
Categories: Gas Stations, Texas, U.S. 66

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

Posted August 18, 2007 by buzzworm
Categories: Motels, Nevada, U.S. 40

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

Posted August 18, 2007 by buzzworm
Categories: Wyoming

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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A few miles to Williams

Posted July 14, 2007 by buzzworm
Categories: Arizona, U.S. 66

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.

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Looking for a motel in 1933

Posted July 14, 2007 by buzzworm
Categories: Motel Associations

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.

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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.

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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?

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Coast to coast host

Posted July 14, 2007 by buzzworm
Categories: Motel Associations, Oklahoma, U.S. 66

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.

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