Holbrook, AZ


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With the development of automobile travel, Holbrook businesses came to line two main streets, Navajo Boulevard seen here looking north in 1937 and Hopi Drive running west and east one block north of this view. Joy Nevin Avenue and the railroad tracks are just behind the photographer of this “real photo postcard,” the prolific Burton Frasher (1888-1955) of Pomona, California. The left side of this block is hard to recognize today, taken over by giant plaster dinosaurs advertising a rock shop. The white house that was home to Scorse’s Green Lantern Café in 1937 is still there, but the Holbrook Hotel built in 1884 and housing a Buick-Oldsmobile dealership in 1937 is long gone.

This is the intersection of Hopi Drive and Navajo Boulevard, looking northeast about 1952. The cupola of the courthouse is seen above the yellow-brick Masonic Lodge (1917). Motorists on Route 66 headed east would drive the length of Hopi until arriving at this intersection at lower left, then turn left to proceed north on Navajo, passing the courthouse. If they turned right, they would pass the scene pictured above in 1937, cross the railroad tracks and the river with the option to head south toward Snowflake (Highway 77) or southeast toward St. Johns (US 260 in 1952 but renumbered 180 today).

Judging by the number of cars, The Motaurant was a popular stop on west Highway 66, Hopi Drive in Holbrook when this postcard was issued late in 1953 or early 1954. Not a complete octagon, the café wing was nevertheless built to resemble one of the better Navajo hogan homes. Another postcard for The Motaurant from the late 1940s advertised organist Fred Laskowsky playing your requests in the “refined cocktail bar” at left. Drinks and then back on narrow, two-lane Route 66 at 50-65 mph.

“Sleep in a Wigwam” said the back of this Petley Studios postcard from the 1950s, “a novel and unique place to stay.” Built in 1950 by Chester E. Lewis based on a design used for six other such motels from California to Florida, it was first called Wigwam Village No. 6. Though closed from 1974-1988 when I-40 bypassed the downtown, today it is still operated by the Lewis family. Besides the seven Villages, there were other teepee design motels, including one in Tempe. (source: https://arizona100.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/80/ )

Click the map image below to open Google Maps of this area.