Photographs November 1998
Lake Harmony, Pennsylvania
AKA White Haven
 -- I-80 @ NE Ext Pennsylvania Turnpike

Nestled in Pennsylvania's scenic Poconos, the Lake Harmony Howard Johnson's was strategically located at a point where the N.E. Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike met I-80. Motorists were funneled past the Motor Lodge and Restaurant complex as they entered or exited the Turnpike! The location was opened in about 1974 and its Motor Lodge lasted as a HoJo's until 1984.

Remarkably even after the Motor Lodge lost its Orange Mansard, the Restaurant carried on as a Howard Johnson's.



Right: The White Haven Howard Johnson's Restaurant was the very last to feature a towering highway sign--it was just tall enough to alert speeding southbound motorists on the Pennsylvania Turnpike that they had missed the exit! Note that the original sign face, while it featured the roof-logo, did not spell out Howard Johnson's, but just had the letters "HJ" (see the postcard view).

Below: In addition to its spectacular "Roof logo" highway sign, the Restaurant maintained the very last Howard Johnson's billboard along our Nation's Interstate highway system. Unlike the towering sign, its graphics were from the post 1991 FAI era.


By the late 1990s, the Restaurant had lost its original brown trim but retained its Orange Mansard and Beacon. The Motor Lodge had become the Pocono Mountain Lodge and retained its form with original abbreviated balconies with sliders.

Not Quite "As good as you remember"... Colorful post 1991 FAI era advertising graphics decorated the Restaurant, but ice cream flavor choices had dwindled to less than 20 by the late 1990s.
Photographs 2000: Courtesy of Chris Colman

The White Haven Restaurant once did a booming business. In fact after Marriott acquired HoJo in 1985, it did not convert the unit into a Big Boy or Allie's since travelers stopped there because of its HJ name and Orange Roof. By the end of the 1980s Marriott's focus had shifted and the company abruptly abandoned its family restaurant and fast food business (Roy Rogers). At least they found a buyer for Roy's (Hardee's), but for the family restaurants they found none. Instead the 400+ family restaurants were simply closed or sold off in an ad hoc fashion.

Of the 150 Howard Johnson's that Marriott had continued to operate after 1985, White Haven was among its last seventeen. During June of 1991 Marriott transferred White Haven and its other sixteen Howard Johnson's to FAI. When it was finally closed in 2002, it was the Keystone State's last Howard Johnson's Restaurant.