The Post War United States Motels and Restaurants

Motels and Restaurants

Postcards used from the collection of Tom Harris.

In 1946, state-sponsored construction crews completed the Highway 1 by-pass around Fredericksburg. Now people could travel rapidly from New York to Florida via U.S. 1, which was first built in 1927, without slowing down to go through the town of Fredericksburg.. A new bridge crossed the Rappahannock at Falmouth replacing many less sturdy bridges that had been built since the early nineteenth century.

Now Highway 1 through Stafford saw the construction of more motels and restaurants for traveling motorists. They dotted the highway from Prince William to the Falmouth Bridge.

Some of the buildings stand today. Postcards describe their modern conveniences.

This postcard shows the “Hotel Virginia.” Other names for the building were “Hotel Stafford” and “Village Hotel and Coffee Shop.” Today it is the site of Aquia Realty near U.S. 1 and Courthouse Road.

Hotel Virginia

Postcards praised the motel: “One of the earliest tourist establishments between Washington and Fredericksburg, Virginia, featuring comfortable rooms with Beautyrest mattresses, foam rubber pillows, Combination tubs and showers. Reasonable rates.” “All modern conveniences, Old Virginia cooking.” “Steam heat – hot water, Dining room with popular prices.”

Today the Eskimo Diner stands as a vacant building next to the road that takes people to the Stafford Regional Landfill. Their postcard said, “Good Food, Falmouth, Va., Steaks-Chops-Seafood.”

Eskimo Diner

Brown’s Auto Court boasted: “It is now one of the Leading Courts Between New York and Florida. Cottages are equipped with Beauty Rest Mattresses, Hot and Cold Water, Showers and with Garages attached.” “Members of AAA, Recommended by Duncan Hines.” “60 Units – Title Baths – Hot water heat. 25 Units with individual heat control. Dining Room serving Virginia’s Famous Foods. Dining Room Seating Capacity – 150 persons.”

Brown’s Auto Court