Some Motor Palace History!
I always forget how long it takes to paint! The first couple of days, we focused on the bathroom. The sooner we finish it, the sooner we can stay in the building instead of renting a motel room.
With a cup of coffee at the ready (in a Winslow correct Harvey House Cup!), we went to work.
While at Casey’s Hardware store getting the paint mixed, the very nice Indian man helping me shook his head and said in a disgusted way, “Where do they come up with these names?” I didn’t notice until I got back to the Motor Palace what it was called….
On a subsequent trip to pick up more paint, the same man shared some fresh details about our building! We’ve had trouble getting specifics about the history. People have said it was a notorious bar; we’ve heard bowling alley; pool hall–all of which are partially right, but this man finally gave us a name! It was called Art’s Pool Hall, and he said he spent all of his teen years there. They had pool tables and snooker tables, and walls lined with pinball machines. He said it was the fun place to go after school and had such a smile on his face as he recounted how the teenagers would go play pinball and then watch movies across the street at the theater.
He said the city closed Art’s down when the proprietor started to allow gambling even though the teens were still in there. Plus, we learned from another visitor, Raymond, that it became a rowdy after hours kind of place, where booze would be passed from Jenny’s bar next door through a hole cut in the wall (Art’s didn’t have a liquor license), both of which led to the demise of Art’s Pool Hall and Jenny’s. A couple years before we bought the two properties, all but the back part of Jenny’s, the thing we call the Carriage House, fell down. Art’s building, though, (our Motor Palace) is still standing strong. We hope to bring back at least some of the fun our friend from the paint store remembered so fondly.
We also cruised the Winslow Historical Society’s Old Trails Museum, and at last found a picture! Somehow our building had a knack for eluding cameras. We’ve looked in several books and countless historic photographs, but can never find one of our building. Finally, in this panoramic from 1910, you can see the distinctive roofline of our Motor Palace! We were surprised to see it predated some of the buildings we assumed were older than ours. Now if we can just find a picture of the front to see what it looked like before the glass block.
As for the rest of the week, we had a nice taste of what it will be like operating the Motor Palace. Along with many other visitors, we had a great group of British motorcycle toursits walk over to photograph the Harley Hummer parked outside, and spent quite a bit of time visiting with them.
Brian even helped solve one of their motoring problems! Floppy bags on bikes aren’t good, so he took inspiration from my kin and gave their bikes the hillbilly treatment! Might not have looked pretty, but it worked, and they were very thankful.
We have one more day of work today (our fifteenth wedding anniversary!) and will have a final update over the weekend.
P.S. To find out more about the Motor Palace, pop on over to Brian’s blog!