Thursday, March 15, 2018

Quirky-looking, colorful Ohio motel

This place looks like what you'd get if Howard Johnson's expanded into the Black Forest. (Imagine the cranky gnomes and trolls showing up at the zoning-board hearing for that.) In reality, though, this setting is nothing as magical as Schwarzwald. Instead, it's Ohio.

There's no date of publication on this never-used Plastichrome postcard, by way of Kull Studio, but I'm guessing from the cars that it's the 1960s.

Here's the intriguing information on the back:

Gate 3, Ohio Turnpike
Wauseon, Ohio
(419) 335-5026 — 335-9841

Food, Fuel and Airstrip available. SWISS CHALET
for parties, receptions and conferences.
250 Clinton St. Wauseon, Ohio 43567

We need a Wauseon-area correspondent to let us know if this hotel still exists. My guess is that it does not. If nothing else, some cursory research seems to indicate that it changed hands frequently over the years. Also, I'm not sure if the Swiss Chalet mentioned on the postcard is related to the Canadian-based chain of restaurants that launched in the 1950s.

I did find this newspaper tidbit about a harrowing incident involving Orville Richer on March 30, 1966:
WARDSBORO, Vt. (UPI) — Two Ohio men escaped with scratches Wednesday when they landed their single-engine plane in a pasture, tearing off one wing and damaging the landing gear.

State police said Orville Richer, the pilot, and his passenger Richard Bishop were flying from their home in Wauseon, Ohio, to Sanford, Maine, when they ran low on fuel.

Richer landed the craft in a pasture beside Route 100 near the Wardsboro Elementary School.
I wonder if the fact that Richer was a pilot has anything to do with the fact that "airstrip available" is noted on the postcard. Because that's not normally a thing you look for in a good motel, unless you're living a life of smuggling or espionage.

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