Over Memorial Day weekend in 2011, my dog Gracie and I explored the National Road all the way across Ohio. That road is now US 40 in most places. I’m bringing the long trip report over from my old Roads site.
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.
Reynoldsburg begins inside Licking County, but most of it is in Franklin County.
My favorite sight in Reynoldsburg is Connell Hardware. Sadly, Connell’s closed for good in 2013.
My favorite of its two neon signs is the one facing the side street.
As I entered Columbus proper, I thought I had stepped back into the 1950s because of all the great old motels still operating. 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.
It doesn’t look quite as tidy as the Homestead.
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.
I love to see these old motels still operating and kept in good nick.
The road soon reaches the the town of Bexley, which Columbus surrounds.