Monday, February 12, 2018

Pair of postcards of old motels

As I've said before, I really should make a directory of all the motel, hotel and inn postcards I've posted on Papergreat over the years. In the meantime, here are two more to add to the collection...


This 1950s postcard showcases the AAA-approved Gateway Motel on U.S. Route 40 near Truckee, California. While Route 40 once had a significant and historic presence in California, it no longer officially exists in The Golden State.

According to the back of this ShiniColor postcard, the Gateway Motel was one mile west of Truckee and featured "27 New, De Luxe equipped, steam heated cottages, all with tile showers and hot and cold running water." The cottages were available year-round and could be rented with or without housekeeping accommodations. R. Joseph was the managing owner, according to the postcard.

It appears that some of these cottages have survived and are now the Gateway Motel Apartments. According to a couple of sources, only six units remain. The address is now 11174 Donner Pass Road. Indeed, these cottages are not far from the infamous Donner Pass.

Other Gateway Motel facts:

  • A December 1997 obituary in the Reno (Nevada) Gazette-Journal states that Armenian native Roxie Josephian Archie, who had died at age 93, had owned the Gateway Motel for for 62 years.
  • Eleven years earlier, in December 1986, the Gazette-Journal had reported on the death, at age 96, of Armenian native Richard Joseph. He had been the owner of the Gateway Motel for the past 50 years and was Roxie's older brother.
  • A September 1982 Gazette-Journal article about taking vacation getaways in Truckee described the Gateway Motel as "a homey place with cabins scattered in the pines and it's fun on snowy evenings, like being at Grandma's."
  • For a time in the 1940s, a Golden Eagle named "Blackie" was kept in a cage at the Gateway Motel. Blackie was known to screech about 12 hours before the arrival of a storm and thus served as the official weather bird for the area. In 1944, Blackie escaped but was quickly recaptured.


And here's an unused card for the Acorn Motel, which was located between Sunbury and Selinsgrove on U.S. Routes 11/15 in Pennsylvania. The motel had "Radiant Hot Water Heat and Tile Baths," plus TV, radio and air-conditioning. The phone number was SHadyside 3-3557.

The motel was officially located in Shamokin Dam, which is indeed between Sunbury and Selinsgrove. Thrifty Car Wash was added to the premises in 1966, alongside the motel, when Howard Schnure was the owner. Both businesses lasted for at least one more year, possibly longer. The oldest reference to the motel I could find was February 1949.

In the 2005 Arcadia Publishing book Snyder County, Jim Campbell writes:
"Entering the Shamokin Dam portion of the Susquehanna Trail, a traveler would come upon the Acorn Motel on the west side of the three-lane highway. ... In addition to 15 units with private baths, it featured an outdoor fireplace and a playground. The motel motel operated until the 1970s. ... The space in now occupied by Don Pontius's Autos Plus."
Does anyone in central Pennsylvania have any additional memories or history of the Acorn Motel to share?

1 comment:

  1. Surely we must have driven past the spot of the Acorn multiple times over the years... is it still standing??

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