It's hard to imagine a time when there were no Holiday Inn's, Hampton Inns, Super 8 or even Motel 6's. My latest trip back thru Decatur this week reminded me of the time when there were real entrepreneurs who never heard of the word "franchise" and were limited only to their own ingenuity... here are a few examples, starting with "Texas Plaza" in Decatur, Texas.
I missed this landmark on my first trip to Decatur, but I couldn't skip it on my secong trip. It's located on the old business highway 287, just south of downtown. It has an old tourist court,
the now famous petrified wood Texaco,
and the "Whistle Stop" Cafe, famous for its apple pie. All of these buildings are in good condition and it looks as if the owner lives in a rock house located next to the cafe.
Staying on "Old 287", I came to Alvord, a small town that had seen better days, before they moved the highway a half mile west. Here are the remains of another rock front tourist court. The owner made a steel frame to keep these landmarks standing and filled the empty window froms with wrought iron art.
Still traveling north you come to Bowie - "On the Old Chisholm Trail". Here I found these rock courts which were neat as a pin. I can only imagine the stories these courts could tell.
This nifty sign is just across the street.
My destination on this trip was Tipton, Oklahoma. Just before arriving I found the town of Frederick, and the home of the once "Grand" hotel. This hotel was once a welcome stop for travelers north of the Red River.
and what's a Grand hotel without a grand coffee shop?