Business Directory 1970: Robby Delius
Rocky Mount , North Carolina
-- 1821 N Wesleyan Blvd (U.S. 301 N.)

The Rocky Mount Motor Lodge was opened in 1956--around the same time as similarly configured locations in Southern Pines, Ocala, and the prototype in Little Rock. The complex was superbly sited along By-Pass U.S. 301 near where it split off from Business U.S. 301 on the north side of Rocky Mount.

Initially the site featured only 36 guest rooms, and it was considered a novel idea back in 1956 to offer a standardized and branded lodging facility!

Postcard circa 1956: Kummerlowe
Postcards circa 1960s: Kummerlowe
Remarkably Rocky Mount was kept up to date over the years. More modern guest rooms were added, and the property even boasted of having an enclosed heated swimming pool by the mid 1960s.
Since Howard Johnson's Motor Lodges numbered only a few at the time that Rocky Mount opened, the Howard Johnson Company allowed its early franchisees to join the Superior Motel chain. This gave the new Motor Lodges national exposure in Superior's directory of locations. Superior was a referral chain of nonstandard motels originally called Superior Courts United. By the end of the 1950s, Howard Johnson's had a powerful enough presence that sub-membership in Superior was ceased.
Photograph 2002: Bob Venditti
Photographs December 29, 2001: Kummerlowe
The Motor Lodge lost its Howard Johnson's name in 1979 when the nearby Gold Rock complex was opened along I-95. By 2001 a Hardee's had been built where the Restaurant had once been, but the old HoJo's Motor Lodge managed to carry on as the Executive Inn catering to longer term lodgers.
Photographs October 2002 & April 2003: Phil Edwards
Blocked up and stuccoed in the ultra-moderne Nims or Ranch style Gate Lodge is never to be seen again.
Photograph 2008: Robby Delius
Photograph April 2003: Phil Edwards
Postcard circa 1960s: Kummerlowe

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