Gettysburg Pennsylvania Howard Johnson's
Postcard ca. 1960s: Kummerlowe Archive
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania --301 Steinwehr Ave

Capitalizing on the American History tourist trade, the Gettysburg Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge opened in 1960 adjacent to the Gettysburg Visitors Center, National Museum, Electric Map, National Civil War Wax Museum, National Cemetery, and the main entrance to the Gettysburg National Military Park. Its parcel of land was part of a larger tract which consisted of many residential units. During its initial development, litigation to halt the project was instituted by Paul G. and Jean E. Witt who owned property near the proposed Motor Lodge. The couple had filed suit to prevent the Lodge's construction on the grounds that it would violate restrictive covenants by which the real estate of Steinwehr Development Corporation was bound. However the court ruled that there were no restrictions in the area which prevented a motel operation, and the case was dismissed at the cost of the plaintiffs.

After several years had past, and not without some irony I might add, the Witt's son acquired the Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge in 1975. And according to Mr. Witt, he operated the Motor Lodge as a HoJo's until 1999. Subsequently the property was a Best Inn and since 2006 has been branded as an America's Best Value Inn. Please visit or call 717-334-1188 for more information regarding the former Howard Johnson's (I encourage your patronage of the former Howard Johnson's and all without any remuneration!).


Below: Owners of the former Gettysburg Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge, Paul and Dana Witt, most generously made several vintage views of their historic property available to this site! Please note that the interior view of the Gate Lodge shows a Life Magazine dated May 12, 1961 as well as a stack of generic Gettysburg HoJo's brochures on the counter--WHAT A VIEW!
Photo 1961: Paul & Dana Witt ( 

Right: Gettysburg's Gate Lodge was an early A-Frame which was "squatter" than the later standardized versions.

Below: More than just squatter, Gettysburg's Gate Lodge was a hybrid! That is to say, it was indeed an A-frame but was attached to a conventional structure which served to enlarge the property's public space allowing for meeting rooms and a cocktail lounge.

Below & Lower Detail: Although the Gettysburg Motor Lodge featured signature HoJo's iconography its Lamplighter topped Trapezoid street sign was unique to the property.


"The Gate Lodge, the heart of the unit, has offices, registration desk, PA system for paging and TWX system that connects the Lodge with all other lodges, industry, and business concerns throughout the nation."
Photo ca. 1960s: Dan Donahue
Photos ca. 1960s: Paul & Dana Witty ( 
The Duke Slept Here: When asked for an interesting anecdote from the HoJo's history banks, Mr. Witt wrote: "Phyllis Morelock a long time bookkeeper and front desk clerk would not cash a check for a guest, as per policy. The manager Nelson "Jiggs" Groft said he would make an exception since it was for John Wayne."

Brochure ca. 1960s: Dan Donahue
next page > > >