By the time I reached greater Columbus, I could see that I had left the rugged terrain of eastern Ohio behind. The road tracked straight, and except for a US 40 bypass of tiny Etna, the old and abandoned alignments had all dried up. But what central Ohio lacks in old alignments, it makes up for in roadside sights. I couldn’t believe all the old motels still operating, and still in good exterior condition, along US 40. You’d think it was still the 1950s!
I came upon the Homestead Motel first as I entered Columbus from the east. Its sign is similar to the one for Baker’s Motel on the National Road in Norwich. But this isn’t the Homestead’s first sign; this page shows postcards of two other signs this motel has used, as well as cards of other Columbus motels.
The Capital Motel is next.
Of all the old motels I saw in Columbus, I liked the sign for the Brookside Motel the best. The top once rotated, and the other side of the top is white letters on black. (See it here; see it lit here.) This motel was originally the Brookside Tour-O-Tel and had a different sign saying so.
Perhaps the best known of Columbus’s old motels, the 40 Motel is way out on Columbus’s west side. Here’s its sign when lit.
A nice bit of neon identifies the 40 Motel’s office, too.
I’ve driven the National Road from its beginning in Baltimore, MD to its end in Vandaila, IL. To read everything I’ve ever written about it, click here.
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