The Motorist’s Playground


Here are ads for three Croton “road houses” from the June 12, 1921 issue of the New-York Tribune. They were part of a full page ad for Westchester hotels and restaurants that appeared under a banner reading “Westchester County, the Motorist’s Playground, 900 Miles of Good Roads.”


It’s hard to imagine what driving was like in the 1920s, when most roads were not “good roads” and gas stations were few and far between, but another article, from a 1917 issue of Variety, gives us an idea of what it was like when the Croton road houses were “too far away from New York to catch any but” the “neighborhood trade” and “those owning fast cars.”

“The Blue Goose” is the proposed name for a road house to be promoted by E. H. Sommers on the co-operative plan. Mr. Sommers placed Tumble In, near Peekskill, N. Y., on a profitable basis. He recently left the management of that resort, which is a hotel (21 rooms) and restaurant, overlooking the Hudson. Previously Sommers had operated Nikko Inn at Harmon, N. Y., both in neighborhood vicinities and too far away from New York to catch any but those owning fast cars, depending upon road traffic and neighborhood trade. Mr. Sommers became quite well known in restaurant and road circles through his successes with these far-away places. His “Blue Goose” proposition is disclosed by a prospectus offering 750 shares at $100, par, in the corporation, no purchaser to secure more than one share, and all to participate in the profits, besides being allowed a 10 per cent discount upon all checks they may run up in the “Blue Goose.” The location is to be on the Boston Post road, this side of New Rochelle. The benefits to subscribers mentioned in the prospectus are the 10 per cent discount, secured upon presentation of a non-transferable membership card, . . . preference to shareholders in reservations, private parties, etc., use of reading and writing rooms, also showers, the general scheme being to lay out the road house on the plan of a country club. A co-operative road house around New York will be an oddity. Sommers also has an idea of opening a road house on the Albany Post road, situated between Nikko Inn and Tumble In.”

For some postcards of Tumble Inn, see here.

For a postcard of the Nikko Inn, where T. Moto of Mikado Inn previously worked, see here.

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