Great Depression & World War II Hospitality Industry

Hospitality Industry

New roads through Stafford County brought economic development potential. U.S. Route 1 actually brought on a celebration in 1927. By 1932, Stafford had something approaching a road network.

Jefferson Davis Highway Opening Pagent

Numerous businesses thrived in Stafford County on U. S. Route 1 between 1920 and the mid-1960s. One such local landmark was Victor’s Hollywood Hotel, Cottages, and Restaurant. The numerous brick buildings that comprised this facility stood on the west side of U. S. Route 1. These disappeared in the 1990s and most of the site was lost to construction of the new bridge across Route 1 that leads to the Stafford Regional Airport. Just south of Victor’s and on the same side of the road was another tourist camp called Oak Grove. This used to occupy what’s now a vacant lot in the northwest corner of Route 1 and Mountain View Road.

Oak Grove Court Postcard

The Hollywood Hotel was built in the early 1940s by Victor Menache (1896-1973) and his wife, Evelyn (1894-1958). Each spacious 13 foot by 17 ½ foot cottage featured two beds, two chairs, a writing desk, a dresser, one nightstand with a lamp and telephone, one radio, and one radiator for heat. As an added luxury, each cottage also had its own private bathroom with shower — no need to share with the neighbors. Behind each cottage was a garage.

According to the description on the back of the postcard, these were “modern, steam-heated, sound-proof brick cottages, with a private bath in every room. Beautyrest mattresses – pleasant type Swiss furniture. Large dining room serving excellent food – Southern fried chicken and Virginia ham dinners. Where Service is our Watchword and our Guest is King.” The proprietor also offered gasoline and a gift shop.

The Hollywood had what may well have been Stafford’s first swimming pool, long before the advent of air-conditioned homes and public and private swimming pools so common today. The pool was in front of the cottages and restaurant making it very visible from Route 1.

Victor’s Hollywood Hotel Postcard

Brown’s Court was another successful motel.

Brown’s Court Postcard