Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Hotel postcards of the past: Summertime road trip nostalgia

On my endless list of projects, I really need to index all of the Papergreat posts on the topic of old hotels and motels. There are more than you could shake a stick at. You can't swing a dead cat around Papergreat without hitting a post about an old motel. You get the drift...1

Here are two more to add to that collection of posts. At some point, I'll probably accidentally blog about one of these hotels or motels for a second time, but today is not that day.

First up is this unused postcard — no year or publisher is indicated — for the Ocean Grove Motor Inn in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. Ocean Grove is an unincorporated place a little bit south of Asbury Park.2

The back of the postcard touts the very-pastel Motor Inn as being New, Modern, Complete, and "Open All Year." The hotel was, at the time of this card, owned and operated by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. The OGCMA was founded in 1869 and is still going strong today.

Here's an excerpt from an article in the September 14, 1975, issue of the Asbury Park Press with the headline "Summer's Twilight Falls on the Grove":
Ms. Victoria Davis, manager of the almost-always-full Ocean Grove Motor Inn came by and talked of the golden days, finally offering her definition of the community:

"Ocean Grove is not for subways. It's for strolling. And I like that."

Next up is this undated, unused postcard for the Mammoth Cave Hotel at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky.3 The color photo is by W. Ray Scott4 and this postcard was published by National Park Concessions Inc. of Mammoth Cave, Kentucky.

This room really has it all — brick walls, faux-wood paneling, heavy drapes, reddish-orange vinyl chairs and what appears to be an autumn-themed bedspread that "ties" everything together in a way that I'm sure would have given Walter Gropius a seizure.

The text on the back of the postcard adds this description:
"The Mammoth Cave Hotel Rooms are furnished for comfort and convenience. There are Studio Rooms as well as double and single bedrooms. Each room has Patio or Balcony. Air Conditioned — Open all Year."

1. That whole paragraph would be a nightmare for ESL students. My apologies.
2. I once spent an hour in the newsroom of the Asbury Park Press, prior to covering the 1990 Atlantic 10 men's soccer championship game between Penn State and Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights, whose roster included Alexi Lalas, won the game, 3-1.
3. It was almost precisely one year ago that I wrote about Crystal Cave in Kutztown, Pennsylvania.
4. According to this Flickr site maintained by Jeff Kubina, "W. Ray Scott (1913-1987) was National Park Concessions photographer and public relations director from 1946-1967. ... He was renowned for his skill at cave photography." That also tells us that his postcard is likely from no later than 1967.

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