Sunday, February 3, 2013

Flint Postcards: Elms Motor Lodge

The Elms Motor Lodge in the mid fifties.

UPDATE: The former Elms Motor Lodge went up in flames on February 2, 2012.

Here's the original post from July 5, 2008.

Jim of L-Town comments: It has been a long time since the Elms looked that good. Last time I was there, I was accompanying the Flint vice squad on a prostitution sting for a story in the Journal. The room the decoy was using was so dirty and smelly that no one wanted to sit anywhere for fear that something small would hop on your clothing and hitch a ride outside. I remember thinking about what kind of person would ever put their head on a pillow in such a deranged place. There is a hotel/motel across the street in the same area that rents rooms by the hour/day/week/month. It is actually worse.

11 comments:

  1. What a rare find. To see that property in such beautiful shape is a true look back to yesterday.

    The old-timers here can probably remember when Dort Highway was then named Dixie Highway, and it was also the main route of US-10, before I-75 came into being. What a glorious time to be alive then.

    I'm betting most of the former Elms Motor Lodge (the new name escapes me...Genesee Motor Inn, I believe) is now a house of ill repute. Damn the 21st century!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a coincidence. I was browsing books at a half price store the other day and found a tome on post war roadside motels. Flipped through a few pages and lo and behold there was a postcard of the Elms!! I'll try to track down the title.

    Anybody know about Mum's Motel on N. Dort or N. Saginaw? A while back there were some bizarre videos online that were shot there. The videos featured one Doris Morgan Boss and Bob Colson... um... I CANNOT express the strange dada/avant garde/cinema of transgression I witnessed... you must view it for yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It has been a long time since the Elms looked that good.
    Last time I was there, I was accompanying the Flint vice squad on a prostitution sting for a story in the Journal.
    The room the decoy was using was so dirty and smelly that no one wanted to sit anywhere for fear that something small would hop on your clothing and hitch a ride outside.
    I remember thinking about what kind of person would ever put their head on a pillow in such a deranged place.
    There is a hotel/motel across the street in the same area that rents rooms by the hour/day/week/month. It is actually worse.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Say, was the Elms Motel, in Flint near the corner of Lapeer Rd & Dort Hwy.? Seems there was a Superior Pontiac-Cadillac dealership across the street and a Pizza Hut.

    Can anyone remember the Crago or Crapo Elementary School on West side of S. Dort Hwy, couple miles south of Elms Motel circa: 1948?

    ReplyDelete
  5. well at the genesee motor inn it is now the place recently flooded and they wouldn't even give back half the money that was due,always wanting more money for something,all is just terible there

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. One footnote to this particular story of change and loss is the fact that essentially all the elm trees had died of Elm Disease by the mid-1960s or so.

    Elm trees were a universally loved and respected part of nature, very common in Michigan, and quite beautiful on sunny summer days for the graceful cooling shade they provided. Presumably the motel's name was intended to communicate to the prospective visitor its beautiful shaded setting.

    Times change.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the postcard image, there of course appears to be a scarcity of shade trees, elm or otherwise. Note however that while the caption says "mid fifties", the motel canopy promotes in-room Color TVs. That was technically possible in the fifties, but unlikely in a motel until the early 1960s. It wasn't until the 1965 TV season that color programming really took off. So, the postcard photo may have been shot after the demise of namesake overhanging elms.

      Delete
    2. Sigh, yet another caption error on Flint Expatriates. At least I can blame the postcard itself this time. Of course, seemingly reliable sources are the source of many errors in the media, but still no excuse. Thanks for the detective work.

      Delete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The station wagon looks to me like a 1957 Oldsmobile, and at least one, (and probably two), of the cars in the background are pre-1955 models. Back then, there may have been a color tv, (notice that the sign is singular), but you would have had to go to the lobby to watch it. There were a few shows broadcast in color by 1960, so this post card could still well be from the very late 50s.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting.
www.teardownbook.com