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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 01 – Helper, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]



During the Rio Grande Reminders quest, we also encounter the remnants of the 50’s, 60’s and the 70’s along the route; "Mom and Pop" gas service stations, groceries, cafes, restaurants and motels. But they seem rapidly disappearing today.

50’s, 60’s and the 70’s are the ages when Rio Grande was truly the "ACTION road". So if we decided to build contemporary Rio Grande layout, they are the necessaries. Thus, I think they are worth recording.

Accordingly, I represent some of them here town by town as "Reminder of the 70's". I wish these posts help you developing ideas for the structures or layouts.



main&center_helper.jpg: Main & Ivy, Helper, UT Sep. 10, 2014

Helper, settled in c. 1881, is a city in Carbon County, with a population of 1964 according to 1970 Census, 2201 according to 2010 Census.

The city is named after the Rio Grande helper engines stationed at the city. The passenger depot Rio Grande Zephyr made a stop and California Zephyr makes a stop today is a minute walk from the center of the city at Main & Ivy St.

The city’s old Commercial District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979. The unique Balance Rock is on the ridge, shown at the far left in the photo below.

Map below shows the location of my interests in Helper. Introduction for each item will follow this post.

helper-balance-rock.jpg: Helper, UT Sep. 10, 2014

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 02 – Martinelli Motel, Helper, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

martinelli-motel_01.jpg: Helper, UT Sep. 10, 2014
martinelli-motel_02.jpg: postcard maybe printed in the 50’s

Martinelli Motel was located at the north entrance of Helper, Utah on 99 N Main St (old US Hwy 50 & 6), faces the Rio Grande main.

The motel was built by Louis A.(1902 – 1985) and Delta Erickson(1915 – 2012) Martinelli[1]. They owned and managed it for more than 30 years. It is still active today as Riverside Motel, owned by Richard Pasmann, managed by Mark McDonald.

[1] Delta E. Martinelli obituary;

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 03 – Balance Rock Motel, Helper, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

balance-rock-motel_01.jpg: Helper, UT Sep. 10, 2014
balancerockmotel_02.jpg: Helper, UT Sep. 10, 2014

Balance Rock Motel was located at northernmost of Helper, Utah on 1110 N Martin Rd (old US Hwy 50 & 6), near Utah Railway Martin Shop; Rio Grande main is at the back of motel, opposite the Price River.

Ross(1903 – 1996) and Stella Felice(1913 – 2009) Gigliotti built the motel in 1929[1]. They managed the motel and adjacent Ross’s Service Station for 67 years. According to Utah Division of State History (UDSH), the motel building was built in 1944: the service station building in 1940[2,3].
The motel was named after the distinctive rock formed above the cliff behind the town. Unfortunately, the motel is no longer in business.

[1] Ross Gigliotti obituary;
[2] UDSH Historic Building Search;
[3] UDSH Historic Building Search;

balance-rock-motel_03.jpg: Helper, UT Sep. 10, 2014
balance-rock-motel_04.jpg: Helper, UT Sep. 10, 2014

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 04 – Price, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

main&center_price.jpg: Carbon & E 2nd, Price, UT Sep. 10, 2014

Price, settled in 1879, is a city in Carbon County, with a population of 6218 according to 1970 Census, 8715 according to 2010 Census.

The city is named after William Price who explored the region in 1869. The city was once served by Rio Grande: Rio Grande Zephyr made a stop at the depot located at Carbon & E 2nd St. The center of the city is listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2008.

Map below shows the location of my interests in Price. Introduction for each item will follow this post.



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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 05 – Motel El Rancho Siesta, Price, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

motel-el-rancho_03.jpg: Price, UT Sep. 10, 2014
motel-el-rancho_04.jpg: William’s postcard maybe printed in the 70’s
motel-el-rancho_05.jpg: Ronald’s postcard maybe printed in the 50’s

Motel El Rancho Siesta was located at the west entrance of Price, Utah on 145 N Carbonville Rd (old US Hwy 50 & 6); faces the Rio Grande main.

Ottmar Karl Emil(1893 – 1967) and Bell Jemina(1893 – 1964) Reichert built the motel[1]. Their son Ronald O.(1923 – 1980) and Lillian A. Reichert succeeded the business in the 50’s. William L.(1908 – 1998) and Una Vivian(1907 – 1997) Burton, Donald Hansen(1924 – 2006) and Leona Barbara(1924 – 2006) Winter succeeded the business in turn[2,3]. The motel is still active today as Legacy Inn, managed by Zofia Krozeo.

El Rancho Siesta means The Nap Shack: exotic idioms such as La Siesta, El Rey, El Rancho, Frontier and Trading Post are often used in the west for the travel business names in the 30’s to the 50’s.

[1] Ottmar Reichert obituary;
[2] William L. Burton obituary;
[3] Donald Winter obituary;

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 06 – Park View Motel, Price, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

unknown-motel_01.jpg: Price, UT Sep. 10, 2014
unknown-motel_02.jpg: Price, UT Sep. 10, 2014

This structure is located at the north entrance of Price, Utah, on 685 N Carbonville Rd (old US Hwy 50 & 6); faces the Rio Grande main.

According to the 1972 USGS aerial photo, there are only two motel structures at west of Price on US Hwy 50 & 6. One we know is the El Rancho I introduced previously. That makes Park View Motel West at City Limits...PRICE UTAH, according to the postcard, the only candidate for this structure. If so, Spanish mission style porches and parapets might have added later: original doors and windows seem surviving.

The motel was established no later than 1941: June 24, 1941 Salt Lake Telegram has an ad of the motel. The back of the postcard writes, Geneve Marie Oliver(1897 – 1981) and Florence Annie Bogarte(1890 – 1979), both daughter of Erin John Anderson Howard(1858 – 1933), as the owner of the motel. The motel caught fire in 1952[1]. Today, this structure is occupied as Hi Way Apartments owned by David Place.

[1] May 12, 1952 Ogden Standard-Examiner

park-view-motel.jpg: Postcard maybe printed in the 40’s

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 07 – Wellington, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

main&center_wellington_01.jpg: Main & Center, Wellington, UT Sep. 10, 2014

Wellington, settled in 1878, is a city in Carbon County, with a population of 922 according to 1970 Census, 1676 according to 2010 Census.

The city is named after wellington Seeley, Jr., who was the judge of the Emery County Court. The city was once served by Rio Grande.

main&center-wellington_02.jpg: Main & Center, Wellington, UT Sep. 10, 2014

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 08 – Pillow Talk Motel, Wellington [Photo Archives_Roadside]

pillow-talk-motel_03.jpg: Wellington, UT Sep. 10, 2014
pillow-talk-motel_01.jpg: Wellington, UT Sep. 10, 2014

Pillow Talk Motel is located at the center of Wellington, Utah on 430 E Main St (US Hwy 50 & 6).

Sep. 17, 1949 Salt Lake Tribune has an ad of MOTOR COURT WELLINGTON[1]. According to the 1952 and 1972 USGS aerial photos, this structure was the only motel in the town those days. So, the history of structure may go back to the 40’s.

John Franklin(1891 – 1967) and Grace Murl(1894 – 1982) Pinegar owned and managed this facilities between 1957 and 1967 as Tuxedo Motel[2].

According to the Pillow Talk Motel Facebook page, the motel was reopened (as Pillow Talk Motel) in 1969[3]. Today, Jim Nandarino is the manager.

[1] MOTOR COURT WELLINGTON ad
[2] May 31, 1967 Salt Lake Tribune
[3] Pillow Talk Motel Facebook page

postcard_tuxedo motel.jpg: Tuxedo Motel postcard maybe printed in the 60's

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 09 – Green River, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

main&broadway_green-river_01.jpg: Main & Broadway, Green River UT Sep. 10, 2014

Green River, incorporated in 1906, is a city in Emery County, with a population of 1033 according to 1970 Census, 952 according to 2010 Census.

The city was once served by Rio Grande. The depot at the end of S Broadway, where Rio Grande Zephyr made a stop and Amtrak California Zephyr makes a stop, is minutes walk from the center of the city. Greyhound Lines bus connecting Las Vegas and Denver also serve the city at Knights Inn on US Hwy 50 & 6, about a mile from the depot.

Main Street (US Hwy 50 & 6) and the Green River Bridge today was begun to use in 1948. Former main is left as Elgin Ave at east of the river and Green River Ave at west of the river; old bridge is gone.

The town hosted Utah Launch Complex from 1964 to 1975. The town has a plan to host Rock River Resources’ crude oil refinery and adjusting rail facilities. Blue Castle Holdings has a plan to construct a nuclear power plant at the west of town. The city is rich in 70’s remnants and fortunately some are still active.

Photos below show Main Street east and west from the center of the city, before and after sunset. Map below shows the location of 70’s remnants in Green River. Introduction for each structure will follow this post. Movie below shows Phillip Phillips' Home PV went on location here at Green River.

All photos taken on Sep. 10, 2014.

neon&billboard_01.jpg: W Main, Green River, UT
neon&billboard_02.jpg: E Main, Green River, UT
neon&billboard_03.jpg: W Main, Green River, UT
neon&billboard_04.jpg: E Main, Green River, UT




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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 10 – Green River Fire Department, Green River, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

fire-department_01.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 10, 2014
fire-department_02.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 10, 2014

Green River Fire Department is located opposite the depot at the center of Green River, Utah on 200 W 200 S St.

According to Utah Division of State History (UDSH), this structure was built in 1965[1]. City hall used to stand opposite the fire station. The framework of the structure was once damaged by wind during its construction[2].

Displayed in front of the fire station is the 1970 Pontiac Bonneville Ambulance.

[1] UDSH Historic Building Search results;
[2] Sep. 3, 1964 Times Independent

fire-department_03.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 10, 2014

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 11 – Robbers Roost Motel, Green River, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

robbers-roost-motel_01.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 10, 2014
robbers-roost-motel_02.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 10, 2014
robbers-roost-motel_03.jpg: postcard maybe printed in the 60’s

Robbers Roost Motel is located at the center of Green River, Utah on 325 W Main St (US Hwy 50 & 6).

Henry C.(Harry, 1894 – 1967) and Ethel Lily Loane(1894 – 1975) Tasker built the Robbers Roost Hotel in 1943[1,2,3,4]. It was enlarged with new cabins and a new home for the Taskers in 1953[5].

It went through several owners. Melvin O.(1920 – 1999) and Marian Katherine Freeman(1925 – 2012) Cline succeeded Taskers and built the pool in 1959[4,6]. George(1935 – 1989) and Arlene(1939 – 1989) Weihing succeeded the motel in the early 70’s[7]. It is still active today, owned by Arthur Hughes.

Robbers Roost is the name of the hideout located in Wayne County, UT used by such as Butch Cassidy.

[1] Nov. 9, 1944 Times Independent
[2] Apr. 20, 1967 Times independent
[3] Jan. 22, 1948 Times independent
[4] Feb. 21, 1959 Salt Lake Tribune
[5] Jan. 29, 1953 Times Independent
[6] Apr. 9, 1959 Times Independent
[7] Apr. 26, 1973 Times Independent

robbersroostmotel_ad.jpg: Jul. 21, 1955 Green River Journal

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 12 – Sleepy Hollow Motel, Green River, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

sleepy-hollow-motel_02.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 10, 2014
sleepy-hollow-motel_06.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 9, 2017
sleepy-hollow-motel_05.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 10, 2014
sleepy-hollow-motel_04.jpg: postcard maybe printed in the 60’s

Sleepy Hollow Motel is located at the center of Green River, Utah on 45 E Main St (US Hwy 50 & 6).

This ranch style commercial structure was built in 1955 by Vail Frank(1922 – 1986) and Betsy Thomson Hatt[1]. Betsy owns the motel to this day. Vail was the mayor of the city and he also owned River Terrace Motel besides Sleepy.

The motel is named after the short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving first published in 1820.

[1] Jul. 21, 1955 Times Independent

sleepy hollow motel_ad.jpg: Jul. 21, 1955 Green River Journal

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 13 – Howland Motor Lodge, Green River, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

budget-inn_01.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 10, 2014
budget-inn_03.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 10, 2014

Howland Motor Lodge was located at the center of Green River, Utah on 150 E Main St (US Hwy 50 & 6).

Harry James(1900 – 1964) and Florence L.(1904 – 1982) Howland built the eight units motel in 1948[1]. Arthur Cornelius Ekker(1945 – 2000) purchased the motel in 1973[2].

Robert and Ardella Burdick succeeded the business in 1975[3]. They renovated and reopened it as Cottage Motel in 1976. Lowell and Cheryl Curtis purchased it same year[4].

Kanhai lai-Sah of India owns and manages it today as Budget Inn Motel since 1997[5].

[1] Jun. 25, 1964 Times Independent
[2] May 17, 1973 Times Independent
[3] Mar. 11, 1976 Times Independent
[4] Nov. 11, 1976 Times Independent
[5] Sep. 21, 2014 Salt Lake Tribune;

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 14 – Stott’s Motel, Green River, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

mancos-rose-motel_01.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 10, 2014
mancos-rose-motel_02.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 10, 2014

Stott’s Motel was located at the center of Green River, Utah on 20 W Main St (US Hwy 50 & 6).

According to Jo Anne Chandler, Isaac Bushnell(1894 – 1969) and Elvira Ann(1892 – 1966) Stott built this minimal traditional style commercial structure in 1946[1]. His son Max Lance(1925 – 1992) and Marian(1932 – 2013) Stott managed the motel between 1962 and 1980[2].

The motel changed its name to Rose Mancos Motel after that: Micheal R. Anderton owned and managed it since 1987[3]. It was named after the flower native to NM, CO and UT. It seems under restoration; got fresh paint and pavement.

[1] Jo Anne Chandler, Green River and Gunnison Valley, Arcadia Publishing, 2008
[2] Nov. 8. 2005, Emery County Progress;
[3] Rose Mancos Motel Business information;

stotts-motel_ad.jpg: Jul. 21, 1955 Green River Journal

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 15 – Midland Hotel, Green River, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

midland-hotel_02.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 10, 2014
midland-hotel_03.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 9, 2017
midland-hotel_01.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 10, 2014

Midland Hotel was located at the center of Green River, Utah on 110 S Broadway.

According to Utah Division of State History (UDSH), this Prairie School style structure was built in 1912[1].

Isabelle C. Waddell(1880 – 1967) built the hotel[2]. Belle and her remarried spouse William Clark Hickman(1886 – 1980) managed the hotel till 1921 when Victor Roy Bush(1888 – 1975) took over the business[3,4].

Hugh C.(1893 – 1951) and Elizabeth T.(1892 – 1973) Gallagher succeeded the business no later than 1932. After the decease of Bess in 1973, her sister Mary Thompson(1903 – 1981) took over the hotel[5,6].

Today, Gary Orona and Tabitha Stevens own it as their private second house[7].

[1] UDSH Historic Building Search results;
[2] Jun. 5, 1947 Times independent
[3] Jan. 7, 1932 Times Independent
[4] Mar. 17, 1921 Times Independent
[5] May 26, 1932 Times Independent
[6] Jun. 14, 1973 Times Independent
[7] Gary Orona homepage;
* 1912 as new photo of the hotel;

midland-hotel_ad.jpg: Jul. 21, 1955 Green River Journal

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 16 – Oasis Motel, Green River, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

oasis-motel_01.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 10, 2014
oasis-motel_02.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 10, 2014
oasis-motel_03.jpg: postcard maybe printed in the 60’s

Oasis Motel was located at the center of Green River, Utah on 90 W Main St (US Hwy 50 & 6).

According to Utah Division of State History (UDSH), this ranch style commercial structure was built in 1960[1].

The motel was owned and managed by Wallace DeVere(1903 – 1981) and Estella Schenck(1908 – 1993) Curtis[2]. Restaurant/cafe was added in 1948[3].

Bernice(1919 – 1983) and Lella Davis seem succeeded the business in the 70’s[4]. Bijan Talebreza, formerly of Persia, bought the business in 1976[5]. Unfortunately, it is no longer in business today.

[1] UDSH Historic Building Search results;
[2] Aug. 21, 1952 Times Independent
[3] Jun. 24, 1948 Times Independent
[4] Feb. 19, 1976 Times Independent
[5] Oct. 14, 1976 Times Independent

oasis-motel_ad.jpg: Jul. 21, 1955 Green River Journal

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 17 – Bigelow Motel, Green River, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

bigelowmotel_01.jpg: Green River, UT. Sep. 9, 2017

Bigelow Motel was located at the center of Green River, Utah on 410 W Main St (US Hwy 50 & 6).

According to Utah Division of State History (UDSH), this ranch style commercial structure was built in 1960[1].

William Levon(1912 – 1991) and Sylvia Levern(1915 – 2000) Bigelow owned and managed the hotel/motel for decades[2,3]. The name of the business changed from Bigelow Hotel to Bigelow Motel, and to Castle Country Motel.

Unfortunately, it is no longer in business today. Notice the letters BIGELOWs painted on the roof of only four units structure.

[1] UDSH Historic Building Search results;
[2] William Bigelow obituary;
[3] Sylvia Bigelow obituary;

bigelowmotel_ad.jpg: Jul. 21, 1955 Green River Journal

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 18 – Ray’s Tavern, Green River, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

ray's-tavern_04.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 9, 2017
ray's-tavern_02.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 10, 2014
ray's-tavern_03.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 9, 2017

Ray’s Tavern is located at the center of Green River, Utah on 25 S Broadway.

According to 1910 and 1917 Sanborn Map, this single story brick building with 16 feet high metal cornice, 18 inch fire wall, and an iron eaves was built between 1910 and 1917 as a Moving Pic.

According to Utah Division of State History (UDSH), this one-part block Victorian eclectic style structure was built in 1910[1].

1920 photo by the D&RG official photographer George Lytle Beam(1868 – 1935) shows the structure with "FURNITURE" sign[2].

The restaurant was established by Ray(1919 – 1988) and Louise(1918 – 2008) Sherrill in 1943[3, 4, 5]. Aluminum door and glass front was installed in 1964[6]. Robert G. and Judy Ann Scott succeeded the business in the 70’s. Cathy Jo Gardner operates the restaurant since 1995 to this day.
revised, Aug. 13, 2015
revised, Nov. 7, 2016
revised, Jan. 10, 2017

[1] UDSH Historic Building Search results;
[2] 1920 photo by George L. Beam;
[3] Ray's Tavern homepage;
[4] Oct. 16, 1975 Times independent;
[5] Louise Sherrill obituary;
[6] Apr. 30, 1964 Times Independent;

ray's-tavern_05.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 9, 2017
19550721greenriverjournal.jpg: Jul. 21, 1955 Green River Journal. Ray’s shown far left

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 19 – Ben’s Seven Gables Cafe, Green River, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

ben's-cafe_05.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 9, 2017
ben's-cafe_06.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 9, 2017
ben's-cafe_04.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 10, 2014

Ben’s Seven Gables Cafe was located at the center of Green River, Utah on 125 W Main St (US Hwy 50 & 6).

According to Utah Division of State History (UDSH), this commercial structure was first built in 1960[1].

Ben(1924 – 2007) and Erma Lee(1920 – 2014) Coomer converted the former Rock Shop & Theatre structure to the cafe[2]. Ben also owned Uranium Motel, Ben’s Drive-Inn and Ben’s Steak House & Lounge at Green River[3,4].

Today, it is active as Mexican restaurant La Veracruzana owned by Armando Zeferino.

[1] UDSH Historic Building Search results;
[2] May 15, 2007 Emery County Progress;
[3] May 3. 1956 Times Independent
[4] Aug. 15, 1968 Times Independent

ben's-cafe_07.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 9, 2017

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 20 – Chow Hound, Green River, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

chowhound_02.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 9, 2017

Chow Hound is the drive-in located at the center of Green River, Utah on 18 E Main St (US Hwy 50 & 6).

Glenn L. and Jo Baxter built the Chow Hound in 1973[1]. Today, it is owned and operated by Mary Ellen Bastian as Ellen’s Chow Hound. Ellen also operates Cut & Curl beauty salon at 42 S Broadway.

Baxters and theChow Hound appear in the video This Is Green River created by Alice Masters and Pete Collard.
revised, Feb. 3, 2017

[1] Jun. 21, 1973 Times Independent



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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 21 – Arbon Cafe, Green River, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

arbon-cafe_01.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 10, 2014
arbon-cafe_04.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 9, 2017
arbon-cafe_02.jpg: postcard maybe printed in the 60’s

Arbon Cafe was located at the center of Green River, Utah on 45 S Broadway.

According to Utah Division of State History (UDSH), this one-part block commercial structure was built in 1920[1].

Charles Pennock(1910 – 1963) and Molly Marche(1908 – 1973) Tasker opened the cafe in 1948[2,3]. Anthony M.(1921 – 1986) and Allene A. Spadafora succeeded the business in 1973[4]. Unfortunately, it is no longer in business.

The postcard shown above seems a ready-made with the letters added by order.

[1] UDSH Historic Building Search results;
[2] Apr. 15, 1948 Times Independent
[3] Jun. 7, 1973 Times Independent
[4] Nov. 1, 1973 Times Independent

arbon_ad_03.jpg: Jul. 21, 1955 Green River Journal

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 22 – Silver Dollar, Green River, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

frank's-pizza_03.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 9, 2017
frank's-pizza_02.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 10, 2014
frank's-pizza_01.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 10, 2014

Silver Dollar was the pool hall located at the center of Green River, Utah on 130 S Broadway.

According to 1910 and 1917 Sanborn Map, this single story concrete block building with 6 inch fire wall was built no later than 1910 as a S. It was extended with 12 feet high metal cornice and 12 inch fire wall, and was a Billds. in 1917.

According to Utah Division of State History (UDSH), this one-part block commercial structure was built in 1910[1]. It is made of rock-faced concrete block.

In 1925, J. P. Simonson of Broadway Drug Store sold his soda fountain and fixtures to Leland Sharp Madsen(1894 – 1955)[2]. Lee renovated it to Silver Dollar pool hall. Howard Lundy Meeker(1891 – 1936) and Harold Cornelius Ekker(1908 – 1991) momentary succeeded the business in 1935[3]. Garney Lawar Madsen(1896 – 1968) succeeded his brother Lee in 1955[4]. Charles Wendell Weber(1939 – 2008) had taken charge of the hall from 1960 to 1965[5,6].

It was Gary’s Silver Dollar maybe operated by Gary Ekker in the early 70’s[7]. Sep. 22, 1977 Times Independent has a photo of the structure with the round sign, maybe imitating the silver dollar coin.

It was Ted’s Bar in the 80’s according to the Jun. 23, 1986 High Country News photo[8].

Today, it’s Frank’s Pizza Bar owned by Frank Vetere Jr[9]. Unfortunately, it caught fire in 2008 and is closed to this day.
revised, Jan. 10, 2017

[1] UDSH Historic Building Search results;
[2] May 7, 1925 Times Independent
[3] Oct. 17, 1935 Times Independent
[4] Feb. 10, 1955 Times Independent
[5] Sep. 8, 1960 Times Independent
[6] Charles Wendell Weber obituary;
[7] May 31, 1973 Times Independent
[8] Jun. 23, 1986 High Country News;
[9] Emery County Business List;

frank's-pizza_04.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 9, 2017
silver-dollar_ad.jpg: Jul. 21, 1955 Green River Journal

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 23 – Pastime Pool Hall, Green River, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

pastime_01.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 10, 2014
pastime_02.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 10, 2014
pastime_04.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 10, 2014

Pastime Pool Hall was located at the center of Green River, Utah on 85 S Broadway.

According to 1910 and 1917 Sanborn Map, this single story concrete block building with metal cornice and 6 inch fire wall was built no later than 1910 as a Harness. It was with 16 feet high metal cornice and 12 inch fire wall, and was the P.O. and a Jew'y. divided by a frame partition in 1917.

According to Utah Division of State History (UDSH), this one-part block commercial structure was built in 1920[1]. It is made of block, finished with stucco.

Eben Eiisworth Johnston(1862 – 1934) operated men’s furnishings store here for 22 years[2]. Barely seen on the wall of the structure above is E. E. JOHNSTON・MEN’S WEAR. Margaret K. Johnston succeeded the store after the demise of her husband.

Charles Henry Semken(1890 – 1973) might have established the Pastime Pool Hall. Clive Verner Rigney(? – 1931) succeeded the business from Charles in 1926[3]. It was transferred to Leland Sharp Madsen(1894 – 1955) of Silver Dollar next year[4].

Phillip Franklin(1894 – 1952) and Marie Pasternack(1895 – 1992) Herron succeeded the Pastime in the 30’s. Phil purchased the Johnston store property from Margaret and relocated the pool hall in 1939[5]. Phil renovated the hall in 1947[6].

It leans a little bit to the south today. The neon sign itself seems installed obliquely from the beginning. Unfortunately, it is no longer in business.

A namesake pool hall and cafe once existed at Cisco in the 1910s.
revised, Jan. 10, 2017
[1] UDSH Historic Building Search results;
[2] Sep. 27, 1934 Times Independent
[3] Oct. 28, 1926 Times independent
[4] Aug. 4, 1927 Times Independent
[5] Jan. 12, 1939 Times independent
[6] May 29, 1947 Times independent
* Marie P. Herron obituary;

pastime ad.jpg: Dec. 22, 1955 Green River Journal
pastime_cisco_ad.jpg: Jan. 17, 1913 Grand Valley Times

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 24 – Pat’s Bar, Green River, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

pat's-bar.jpg: Green River, UT Sep. 10, 2014

Pat’s Bar was located at the center of Green River, Utah on 160 S Broadway.

According to 1910 and 1917 Sanborn Map, this single story concrete block building with metal cornice and 6 inch fire wall was built no later than 1910 as a Hardw. It was with 16 feet high metal cornice and 18 inch fire wall, and was a Gen'l. S. in 1917.

According to Utah Division of State History (UDSH), this one-part block commercial structure was built in 1910[1]. It is made of rock-faced concrete block.

Patrick J. Gahagan(1923 – 1981) owned and operated the bar at least until 1964[2]. Pat is a son of Arbon Cafe proprietor Marche Tasker.

Written on the wall were BILLIARD ROOM, TOBACCO, CIGARS・CANDY, COLD-DRINKS, ICE CREAM and GROCERIES. Now, it is owned and occupied by non-profit organization, the Epicenter. Glenn L. Baxter seems owned the structure when the Epicenter was established[3].
revised, Jan. 10, 2017

[1] UDSH Historic Building Search results;
[2] Apr. 9, 1964 Times Independent
[3] Mar. 4, 2010 Epicenter blog;

pat's-bar_ad.jpg: Oct. 20, 1955 Green River Journal

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 25 – Crescent Junction Service Station, Brendel, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

gasstation_brendel.jpg: Brendel, UT Sep. 11, 2014
crescent-junction_02.jpg: postcard maybe printed in the 60’s

Crescent Junction Service Station was located at Brendel (or Crescent Junction) Utah on 20 E Old Cisco Hwy (old US Hwy 50 & 6), next to Rio Grande main.

Charles Edwin(1900 – 1951) and Erma Mae(1900 – 1992) Wimmer established the gas service station and cafe in 1947[1]. Their son Bruce Patten(1927 – 1984), daughter Bette(1922 – 2006) and Alvin Ernest(1921 – 1999) Lange, granddaughter Lee Anne(Lani) and Rod Asay succeeded the business in turn[2]. Lee Anne closed the station in 2003. Joe Downard of Moab bought and reopened it as Papa Joe’s Stop & Go in 2008[3].

[1] Charles Edwin Wimmer obituary;
[2] Nov 2011, Moab Happenings;
[3] May 4, 2009 KSL TV;
* 1956 photo of the service station;
* articles by Pat's son Colleen Wimmer;

crescentjunction_ad.jpg: Jul. 21, 1955 Green River Journal

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 26 – Thompson Springs, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

thompson_main.jpg: Sego Canyon Rd and Frontage Rd, Thompson Springs, UT Sep. 10, 2017

Thompson (Springs), founded in 1883, is a town in Grand County, with a population of 39 according to 2010 Census.

The town is named after E. W. Thompson, who filed on the water rights of a spring located slightly southwest off the center of town. The town changed its name several times; Thompson’s Springs, Thompsons, Thompson, and recently, Thompson Springs in 1985. However, Rio Grande kept calling the depot at Frontage Rd “Thompson”, where Rio Grande Zephyr made a stop. Amtrak California Zephyr also served the town till 1997; the town was the gateway to Moab and the surrounding National Parks.

Map below shows the location of 70’s remnants in Thompson Springs. Introduction for each structure will follow this post.



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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 27 – Schoolhouse, Thompson Springs, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

schoolhouse_thompson_01.jpg: southwest elevation
schoolhouse_thompson_02.jpg: south elevation
schoolhouse_thompson_03.jpg: north elevation

Schoolhouse is located at northernmost of the town on Thompson Canyon Rd.

This schoolhouse was originally built at the coal mining town of Sego located about five miles north of Thompson. The journal Canyon Legacy has a photo of the schoolhouse at Sego[1]. Written on the wall is “established 1907”. But it’s uncertain what it means.

The structure itself was first built in 1919[2]. W. E. Ware was the architect, W. A. Shafer was the contractor. It was sold and moved to Thompson in 1955 when mines at Sego were closed[3]. Additional wing was designed by architect Claude Shepherd Ashworth[4].

When the school at Cisco was closed in 1959, Thompson school became the last one outside Moab operated by Grand county school district[5, 6]. There were once four; at West Water, Cisco, Sego and Thompson. The school was finally closed in 1962.

All photos taken on Sep. 11, 2014

[1] Canyon Legacy, Vol. 50, Dan O'Laurie Canyon Country Museum, spring 2004
[2] Jan. 24, 1919 Times Independent
[3] Jan. 6, 1955 Times Independent
[4] Dell Ashworth Architectural Drawing Collection;
[5] Aug. 13, 1959 Times Independent
[6] Jun. 28, 1962 Times Independent

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 28 – Desert Moon Hotel, Thompson Springs, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

desertmoonhotel_01.jpg: Thompson Springs, UT Sep. 11, 2014
desertmoonhotel_02.jpg: Thompson Springs, UT Sep. 11, 2014

Desert Moon Hotel (Cafe, Grocery and Cactus Cabaret[1]) was located at the center of the town on Frontage Rd (old US Hwy 50 & 6), opposite the Rio Grande depot.

According to Terby Barnes, the hotel was built in 1936 by Clarence William(1900 – 1937) and Elise Genevieve(1900 – 1991) Rogers[2, 3]. Sidney Clark succeeded the business in 1948[4]. Clarence's son Lester Wayne(1927 – 2003) and Margie Marie(1932 – 1991) Rogers succeeded the business in 1949. Les and Margie also managed The Cooktent Eats cafe and the 3000ft Rogers Roost Airport south of the town. Unfortunately, it is no longer in business.

Once, a homepage carrying the restoring and reopening of the hotel existed in the early 2010s. It had some interior photos and also help-wanted ad for the cook. But, it’s disappeared unnoticed.

In 2015, space next to the hotel on westside became Desert Moon RV Park managed by A.J. Rogers[5].

[1] Jul. 21, 1955 Green River Journal (see below)
[2] Terby Barnes, #50 Canyon Regacy, The Southeastern Utah Society of Arts & Sciences, Inc., 2004
[3] Jan. 23, 1936 Times Independent;
[4] Nov. 18, 1948 Times Independent;
[5] Desert Moon RV Park home page;

desertmoonhotel_ad.jpg: Jul. 21, 1955 Green River Journal

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 29 – Thompson Motel, Thompson Springs, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

thompson-motel_01.jpg: Thompson Springs, UT Sep. 11, 2014
thompson-motel_03.jpg: Thompson Springs, UT Sep. 11, 2014

Thompson Motel was located at the center of the town on Frontage Rd (old US Hwy 50 & 6), facing the Rio Grande main.

George (1892 – 1987) and Sadie M. (1912 – 2001) Dutos built the motel in 1948[1]. They also owned and operated the Silver Grill Cafe opposite the depot[2].

According to Herbert Steiner, the motel, the cafe and Amtrak gave up their business at Thompson in the same period of time[3]. Dutos’ kept owning the motel to its end.

[1] Aug. 19, 1948 Times Independent;
[2] May 12, 2001 Desert News;
[3] August 24, 2011 the Stranger;

thompson-motel_ad_01.jpg: Jul. 21, 1955 Green River Journal

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Reminder of the 70's along Rio Grande 30 – Silver Grill Cafe, Thompson Springs, Utah [Photo Archives_Roadside]

silver-grill_03.jpg: Thompson Springs, UT Sep. 10, 2017
silver-grill_02.jpg: Thompson Springs, UT Sep. 11, 2014

Silver Grill Cafe was located at the center of the town on Frontage Rd (old US Hwy 50 & 6), opposite the Rio Grande depot.

In 1935, George(1892 – 1987) and Sadie(1912 – 2001) Dutos succeeded the by then Thompson Pool Hall[1,2]. In 1947, Al Garrett leased it from George for only a year[3]. Al later leased Oasis Cafe at Green River in 1954.

Ernest Edward Stone(1889 – 1970), later Arco Poloni operated the cafe in the 50’s[4]. The cafe was burned to ground in 1961[5], but Dutos rebuilt it with red brick next year[6].

Antonio J(1918 – 1997) and Rose Louise Lemieux owned and operated the cafe in the 60’s and into the 70’s[7, 8]. Russell and Lorene Busick succeeded the business in 1975[9]. Russell also owned and operated the Texaco Station built new at the I-70 exit[10].

July 1985 Trains magazine tells us that the cafe took lunch order of Rio Grande Potash Turn crews. 1989 movie Sundown and 1991 movie Thelma and Louise were filmed here. Dennis Gale Spykerman(1948 – 2001) and Beverly Ann Shaw(1927 – 2007) seem co-operated the cafe in the 90’s[11, 12]. Unfortunately, it is no longer in business.

Neon sign is stored in the barn next to the cafe on south. The roadside billboard still stands at the corner of Utah State Route 94 and Bureau of Land Management Route 144.
revised, Sep. 19, 2017

[1] May 12, 2001 Deseret News;
[2] Aug. 8, 1935 Times Independent;
[3] Sep. 30, 1948 Times independent;
[4] Mar. 13, 1952 Times Independent;
[5] Nov. 4 1971 Times independent;
[6] May 3, 1962 Times Independent;
[7] Dec. 29, 1966 Times Independent;
[8] Jun. 14, 1973 Times Independent;
[9] Dec. 25, 1975 Times Independent;
[10] Aug. 21, 1975 Times Independent;
[11] Jun. 3, 2001 Deseret News;
[12] Firmage, Richard A., (1996) A History of Grand County, Utah State Historical Society
* 1996 photo of the cafe with neon sign;
* 2006 photo of the cafe with neon sign;
* 2006 interior photo of the cafe;
* still photo from the movie Thelma & Louise;

silver-grill_05.jpg: Thompson Springs, UT Sep. 10, 2017
silver-grill_04.jpg: Thompson Springs, UT Sep. 10, 2017

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