Not much of a door, but I’m guessing it was a welcome sight back in the 1930s.I spent a few days visiting my brother and my mom in Iowa over the past extended weekend. My brother gave me a short tour of the area around Ames. He included a visit to a restored historic site in Colo, Iowa, where he lived when he was in college at Iowa State University (ISU), and (I think) when he was first teaching in Ames. I would have fact-checked that, but it’s really not important to the story (he can correct it in a comment if he wants to).
As you can see from the photos in the gallery, these aren’t remarkable doors, but the buildings they provide access to are significant.
Back in the 1930s, the intersection where these buildings are located was one of the most important crossroads in the Midwest. It may have still been the intersection of the Lincoln Highway and the Jefferson Highway, or perhaps it was better known as the junction of US Rt-30 and US Rt-65. The Lincoln Highway was the first east-west highway across the United States and the Jefferson Highway was an important north-south crossing.
In the 1930s, gas stations, hotels and restaurants were few and far between. The intersection of these two famed roads included one of each. Gas, food and a place to sleep, if you needed one, were all available. If you want to know what it might be like to experience that kind of a wayside stop, you need to visit that intersection today.
The site includes a restored 1930s era gas station, which serves as a museum; a restored roadside motel and an operational classic diner. My brother stopped so I could snap a few photos (he’s aware of my door addiction). I started to wander around the site when I realized that the café was open. We decided to have breakfast before continuing the tour. Unfortunately, after we were done eating, the area was being drenched in the coldest rain I ever remember falling on me. We ran for the shelter and relative warmth of my brother’s van.
I’m going to give you a break today on the word-count. Most of what I have to share is included in the descriptions of the photos in the gallery and there are a lot of photos today. Please note: My editor doesn’t review the descriptions. Any errors in those are NOT her fault.
As with every other Thursday since that First Door on March 26th, this post is part of the interesting and inspired series of Thursday Doors organized by Norm Frampton. You are encouraged to join us door nuts each week. To learn more, head on over to Norm’s blog.