Postcard circa 1960s
Jacksonville, North Carolina -- U.S. 17 Marine Blvd

For many years North Carolina's laws did not allow motels to be pet friendly so Jacksonville's Howard Johnson's Restaurant seized an opportunity to appeal to people traveling with their critters. As more and more Americans took to the road with their pets, Jacksonville's HoJo's Restaurant welcomed dogs and cats in an attempt to garner good will and increase business.

Opened in 1955, the Jacksonville Restaurant stood next to the Circle Drive Motel. The motel featured "90 Air conditioned Guest Rooms with private baths, Steam Heat, Room telephones and TV." Near the Marine base at Camp LeJeune, both the HoJo's Restaurant and Circle Drive Motel were assured of having a steady stream of patrons.

Howard Johnson's Scoop

Postcard circa 1950s
In unorthodox fashion the Circle Drive Motel was transformed into a 62 room Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge and Restaurant in 1964. The single story guest wing seen above on the left was demolished, and a new 2-story standardized HoJo's room wing was added across the front of the property along with a Gate Lodge. Although modified to meet Howard Johnson standards, most of the original motel was utilized in the new Motor Lodge complex.
Postcard circa 1970

Photographs July, 2003: Courtesy of Bob Venditti