Payne’s Motor Court, Fredricksburg, Virginia

This is an image of a very typical motel from the early 1950s. Simple, continuous structures with doors which open onto a common parking area and the business office at the front near the road. This one appears to have very few additional amenities beyond the room itself.

Nationwide Specialty Company, Arlington, Texas

The description on the back closely follows that printed on the front:

Payne’s Motor Court

Located on U.S. #1–2–17–Built in 1950

Modern with hot water heat.

In Virginia’s most historical city,


Telephone 687-J

Owned and Operated by Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Payne

–They highlight the presence of heated cabins, as the earlier establishments of the 1940’s were often little more than actual cabins, relying on heavy blankets or wood fireplaces for heat, often without electricity in more remote areas. This establishment was the second wave of construction that provided a more modern and complete accommodation, but additional amenities, such as TV, pool or air conditioning, would come later.

The structure still exists in nearly original condition, but the business has changed hands over the years and is now closed.

The card clearly dates from the 1950s based on the description.

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