Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lanes Redwood Flats

I found this postcard and had to have it.  It embodies what I love about vintage travel images...the play of light...the roadside attraction...and vintage vehicles...and the fact that it's gone, but immortalized for posterity.

Lanes was started by George Lane, who purchased the land to preserve the trees from the lumber gangs who were decimating the redwoods.  He was also, evidently, involved in the Save the Redwoods League, though I can't find any more specific information.  I love that he set up shop here in the Redwoods.  I would work there in a heartbeat.

The Redwoods

Joseph B. Strauss

Here, sown by the Creator's hand.

In serried ranks, the Redwoods stand:
No other clime is honored so,
No other lands their glory know.

The greatest of Earth's living forms,

Tall conquerors that laugh at storms;
Their challenge still unanswered rings,
Through fifty centuries of kings.

The nations that with them were young,

Rich empires, with their forts far-flung,
Lie buried now-their splendor gone:
But these proud monarchs still live on.

So shall they live, when ends our days,

When our crude citadels decay;
For brief the years allotted man,
But infinite perennials' span.

This is their temple, vaulted high,

And here, we pause with reverent eye,
With silent tongue and awestruck soul;
For here we sense life's proper goal:

To be like these, straight, true and fine,

to make our world like theirs, a shrine;
Sink down, Oh, traveler, on your knees,
God stands before you in these trees.

Monday, April 26, 2010


I love vintage labels. It amazes me that anyone spent the time and effort to create such beautiful things to stick onto other things.  So elegant.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Motor Court Mania

The advent of auto travel and the development of interstate roads really changed the face of travel. Now the promise of the open road was available to everyone...if only there were a place to stay. While hotels had been around for a long time prior to this, then tended to be expensive and usually located within cities and not necessarily handy to the interstate roads of travel. For the hardy, autocamping was one possibility, but for many, it was just a bit too rustic and, over time, the autocamps gained a somewhat unsavory reputation. Enter the Motor Court. All the comforts of home in an atmosphere that more closely approximated one's "home". The fashion and styles of these varied greatly, from programmatic or themed buildings like teepees and English cottages to the precursors of standard motels. Most of these were "mom and pop" operations that sprung up as necessity dictated. Because they didn't have the advertising strength of the more proper (and more expensive) hotels, many of the owners joined syndicates which collectively advertised and attempted to maintain specific standards so that guest could feel comfortable that any motor court within a given syndicate would have amenities roughly comparable from location to location.

Motor Courts flourished up until the late 50s to early 60s when the motel juggernauts like Holiday Inn, Howard Johnson, and others cashed in on the brand recognition and consistency that consumers of that period craved. While Motor Courts continued to operate, since the 60s they have been in steady decline though many still operate today (in varying capacities...cough cough). Many of the early syndicates though (like Best Western and Quality Inn) continued to operate through the evolution from Motor Courts to motels.