Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dark Side of the Motel

Picture Lake Motel #3

From Dave Brigham:

When I was a kid, my grandparents lived in Lakehurst, NJ. Most times when we visited, we stayed at their house in a retirement community. But on at least one occasion, we stayed at a place called the Moon Motel (after a bit of research, I'm pretty sure that this is the place. Located in Howell, NJ, this motel is about half an hour from Lakehurst, and is described in a few locations online as being "infamous" and "easily the shadiest place in town.") I don't recall much about the place, but I remember swimming there in the evening and thinking that was really cool. Nobody in my family has much recall on the place, either, other than to remember that it was either "a dump" or "not anything fancy."

Still, I have a soft spot in my heart for old motels, especially ones with loads of neon, nice pools and just a hint or two of mystery. I never stay in them, however, so I'm a party to their demise.

Picture Lake Motel #4

The Picture Lake Motel in Bourne, on Cape Cod, seems like it was just such a place, minus the groovy neon. The abandoned motel is located a few doors down from the spot where the My Tin Man Diner burned down 10 years ago (see Backside's "Two Hearts Beat As One," 7-28-10).

A thorough search online turns up nothing whatsoever about the place, other than generic listings in lodging directories. It's like the place never existed.

The pool, at least, is probably listed in the minds of Bourne-area skateboarders as a cool place to ride, late at night. But watch out for the cops cruising on Route 28, especially under a full moon.

Picture Lake Motel Pool #2


  1. Drive by this frequently, been watching the slow decay for years. Thanks for sharing!

  2. i love that pool picture its so creepy and awesome

  3. Thanks, Michelle. I have a close-up pic, too, that shows a bumper sticker-and-hand-written sign that reads "Shit Pit."

  4. I worked as a chambermaid here as my first job in the early 70's. I would check in with Henrietta in the morning and she would tell me when to come in. The next week I picked up my pay in a little yellow envelope-cash with all the tax withholding boxes neatly filled in...I remember a neat little place...linoleum tile floors, blonde wood furniture, chenille bedspreads, really cool cranberry bathroom fixtures and of course, the little bars of ivory soap. (I even remember being cautioned to only leave 2). As neighborhood kids, we all walked to the motel to buy candy. Some kids tried to buy cigarettes, but George and Henrietta would have none of that! I took a walk around the property recently...some rooms look eerily untouched, others...,my favorite #9 has oil drums stored in it?...a last word about the pool, how I longed to jump in, but it was only for guests.....

  5. Wow -- Cheryl thanks for sharing! Any idea how long it's been vacant?

  6. My mother still lived around the corner until 5 years ago, so I have seen the activity/lack of....I' moved back to the lake almost 3 years ago. I could be way off...I know it's been at least 25 years since the place was fully occupied. I'd guess about 15 since any business activity, but I believe the Spragues continued to live there long after the motel closed for business-possibly the rest of their lives.

  7. It is no more.

  8. Thanks for the update, Mary H.