Dr. Patrick’s Postcard Roadside

The Dalles

This 1950s view of The Dalles, Oregon, preserves the “Gas Station Cluster at the Edge of Town” that once book-ended America’s small town Main streets.

Here, 2nd Street carries westbound US 30 traffic downtown past 6 service stations, including 2 Texacos. In most towns, the Gas Station Cluster has been replaced by one or two large convenience store-gas stations. In The Dalles, 0 of these 6 gas stations have survived, replaced by one large Sinclair convenience store on East 3rd Street.

Lazy L Motel

Back in the 1950s the Lazy L Motel served those lonely motorists traveling through Osborne, Kansas on US 281.

This Great Plains highway stretched unobstructed for miles and miles of miles and miles from Canadian border at North Dakota’s International Peace Garden to the Mexican border at Brownsville, Texas. The open-L design of this integrated motel may have inspired the name.

Dutch Village Motor Court

Northern Delaware’s Mid-Megalopolitan location between Philadelphia and Baltimore helped make its section of US 40 a motel strip, especially after the opening of the Delaware Memorial Bridge to New Jersey in 1951.

At that time, Massachusetts-based Howard Johnson’s was the most popular roadside chain restaurant in the East, so popular in fact that motels would open next door knowing the HoJo’s lot would be filled at dinner time with travelers who would then look for a place to stay for the night.

This postcard view shows the orange-roofed Dutch Village Motor Court nearly surrounding one of Howard Johnson’s stock Georgian Revival units. Realizing the pirated opportunity, Howard Johnson’s expanded into the motel business in 1954.

See related article.