This December, I’ve been posting daily vintage Christmas postcards on the catobear.com Facebook page (click here). Although these cards are not necessarily what you would normally find in my collection (that is, mid-century chrome cards featuring motels), they are quite nice. Most are embossed and some have foil leaf on them. The writing on the back is always in black ink from a fountain pen, as these cards are from 1900 – 1915 or so.
Some of my penpals may find one of these in their mail this Christmas, provided I can actually catch up on my work and my Christmas cards and everything else I am behind on. I have yet to even put up the decorations and we’re just over a week to the solstice.
Anyhow, if you want to see the full set of cards, follow catobear.com on Facebook through this whole month. Wishing you a joyous holiday season!
I am slowly continuing on with the Class101 online painting class. If I painted as much as I thought about painting, I’d rarely leave my studio. But it’s no good to paint if you’re physically, mentally or emotionally too tired and this time of year can make you feel all three at once. Above is an assignment on glowing again, like the previous candles.
I’ve always been quite afraid of perspective and can never quite get it right. This assignment was on perspective, and I wanted to try something a bit more difficult. Does it look familiar, like from a movie?
Right now I’m working on a garden scape. I think I have three more lessons after that, and then I’ve signed up for a nocturne painting class. Honestly, painting has been the best new year’s resolution I have come up with.
In other news, coronavirus is changing how the holidays will happen. Even though I’ve been congratulating myself on stress management, I’ve had several things happen that are making me think I’ve been lying to myself. If I owe you a text or a letter or an email or a phone call…I’m pretty much paralyzed at this point when it comes to doing anything but barely making it through the day and going home with Bob and Maxy where I put the rest of the world behind me until the alarm clock goes off the next morning. Repeat.
The WESTERNER HOTEL 161 Colorado Place (U.S. 66) Arcadia, California Phone: Douglas 7-3501 Luxurious Rooms and Suites. Beautiful filtered and heated swimming pool. Family Santa Anita Race Track across the street. 1/4 mile to Golf Courses 3 miles East of Pasadena 15 miles East of Los Angeles
This place no longer stands, unfortunately. Carol Libby and Karen Hou have a post on it here along with some earlier linen cards from the old place.
It’s National Postcard Week 2020, and once again I designed and will be sending cards. The smallest package I could order was 50, and once I added up all my addresses that turns out to be the perfect amount.
This year’s theme is Maxy and quarantine. This has been an interesting year for sure. We are now required to wear masks when we go out in public. The shelter has been shut down since March 17th.
I believe this motel could be the one Mom, Dad and I stayed in when I was young and we went to Niagara Falls, Canada for the first time. I only remember it had something to do with lucky or clover.
Clover Leaf Motel Highway 20 & 3A at Queen E. Way 3514 Lundy’s Lane Niagara Falls, Canada 43 completely modern and air-conditioned units. T.V. in every room. Wall-to-wall carpeting. Private tiled showers and tubs. Family units, swimming pool. 3 miles to the Falls. Telephone (416) 354-1849.
Lee-Way Drive In
Mouth Watering Hamburgers, Fried Chicken, Shrimp (Oh, Shrimp), Short Orders
Malts — Shakes — Curb Service
17814 Gulf Blvd. – Redington Shores
St. Petersburg, Florida
Phone: [none printed on card]
Natural Color Reproduction – Curteichcolor Art-Creation Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.
Created by Foldes, St. Petersburg, Fla.
While this card is unused and undated, the Curteichcolor dating site has this print date listed as 1956. From the card, it looks like a counter and limited seating, a small place. But wouldn’t you like to try the shrimp? Yum!
From what I could dig up online, the Lee Way became Le Pompano some time around 1974 (owned by Michel and Clarine Denis), The Pepper Mill in between, and The Lobster Pot from 1979 to at least 2013.
From the Tampa Bay Times, June 9, 1992:
After the Lobster Pot, it looks like in 2015 the place was run as the Cocina Aqui Southwest Restaurant and Tequila Bar, and opened as Beach Brewz in 2018 (check out their website here).
According to Google Street View, here it is today as Beach Brewz:
Although we had snow on Monday, we are now heading towards the end of April and it’s never too early to start the list for our Summer Reads 2019. If you’ve read something outstanding in the past few months, drop me a line and let me know!
524 So. Federal Hwy.
Lake Worth, Florida
Apts., Efficiences, Hotel Rooms. Electric heat and cross ventilation. Nice Patio. Quiet homey atmosphere. Centrally located near shopping, churches, lake, ocean, New Pier and golf courses. Open all year, special summer rates.
Owner-Manager, Fred and Anne Seybold
Tel. JU 5-9828
Photo by Lamm Photo Service
This lovely vintage card was mailed from Lake Worth December 1961 using a four-cent purple Lincoln stamp to Mrs. Wallace White, 2830 Viki Terrace, Cincinnati, 11, Ohio. It reads:
Hi- Really having a ball. Very poor bridge but they have fun. Have a date to play Wed with mother’s former landlady. Very nice but wouldn’t take the dog. Just lives 1/2 block. $300.00 per mo. Judi
Unfortunately, I’ve struck out on looking up much on Mrs. White, Judi, the motel or the Seybolds.
Note: this post is a compilation of previous posts on the Bahamas Princess Resort and Casino. 2018 Update Below.
The Bahamas Princess Tower
Photo by B.J. (Chris) Lothian
Ernie’s Studio & Camera Center, Ltd., Freeport, Grand Bahama, W.I.
So, here’s the backstory on this one. Mom and Dad went to the Bahama Princess (and stayed in the Country Club) when my sister and I were quite young (pre-1980?). Years later, they took us there on vacation (we stayed at the Tower). The Bahamas Princess Resort and Casino was a phenomenal place, sitting on 1,000 acres with pools and a casino. It was right next to the International Bazaar.
The Princess resort was built sometime in the 1970s and was a pretty big deal. Sometime after our visit in the early 90s, the Princess Towers became Bahamia Royal Oasis Resort, owned by Driftwood Properties (it seems the country club became the Sunspree Holiday Inn around that same time). As late as the year 2000, the Resorts at Bahamia was still in business. But things changed, and several tropical storms/hurricanes hit the Bahamas. The business closed down.
In 2007, the Royal Oasis Resort was purchased by Harcourt Development Group for $33 million. They had plans to transform the site into the Crowne Plaza Golf Resort and Casino at the Royal Oasis. Then the financial meltdown of 2008 happened. The Crowne didn’t open.
Closed and abandoned for so many years, on September 23, 2010 a fire broke out at the Towers on the 7th floor:
I sent an email to Harcourt Development Group, inquiring as to the status of this lovely resort, but didn’t get a response.
I dug up some family photos from maybe 1991, for your viewing pleasure. I skipped the one where I was having my hair beaded and braided.
View from our room in the Princess Tower:
The International Bazaar:
This article in the Freeport News (autumn 2013) discusses the International Bazaar, which is currently up for sale. The location has 85 retail stalls.
As of November 2013, Harcourt Developments was still listing the Royal Oasis like it’s a fully functioning, open business. I again emailed them to see if they can provide an update on the development, and again I did not hear back.
Looking around in January 2014, I found another link for the Royal Oasis Resort Hotel, Casino and Convention Center, this one from AECOM Capital. From their website:
The Royal Oasis is a well-established resort hotel located about 10 minutes from the airport, adjacent to the International Bazaar. While not located on the beach, the hotel complex is renowned for the tropical settings of its pool areas, which offer respite for guests after nights in the casino or out on Grand Bahama Island.
AECOM provided masterplanning and full design services for the existing 300,000 square foot, 400-room hotel, as well as for the 45,000 square foot casino and 55,000 square foot convention facility. In addition, a new 350,000 square foot hotel tower was added that includes 250 rooms as well as a new lobby, spa and fitness center. New residential 1, 2, and 3 bedroom 650 timeshare units were also part of the project scope.
I contacted both the company and one of the principal architects and once again haven’t heard anything at all. The Freeport News notes in this article that the International Bazaar is still for sale.
Apparently The Freeport News likes to steal photos. This article about the West Sunrise Highway reopening uses my photo above, the view from our room in the Princess Tower and they credit themselves with the image. You can see they cropped the photo, but my watermark still partially shows on the top of the ‘b’ on catobear.com. I have the original print, which was scanned in.
Here’s their website:
Here’s my original scanned photo with watermark:
I appreciate the reporting on the Bahama Princess, but I’d like to be credited for my own photos in other articles, and linked back to my website.
Anyhow, on to the update article, which I have linked and included the text as sometimes things disappear on the internet.
This article (link here, text below in case the link eventually fails, by Denise Maycock, Tribune Freeport Report, email@example.com) tells a more recent update of the Bahama Princess after another hurricane and a more uncertain fate:
WHILE the island of Grand Bahama is now in restoration mode post Hurricane Matthew, the old Royal Oasis resort property and the International Bazaar in Freeport have fallen into further disrepair.
The main entrance dual thoroughfare is littered with debris, and some of the tall Royal Palms and decorative lamp posts lining the entry-way were blown down in the storm.“
It is an eyesore within an eyesore, if that’s possible. This area was once the gem of Freeport and it is sad to see it in such poor state,” said one Freeport resident.
The 500-room tower resort, and the 900-room country club and timeshare, was the island’s premier anchor resort property for many years. The casino was the main attraction and visitors flew in from the US to gamble and enjoy Freeport’s nightlife, while staying at the hotel.
Guests would shop at the nearby International Bazaar which housed souvenir shops, retail stores, restaurants and bars.
In 2000, the Princess Resort properties were sold to Driftwood, which changed the hotel’s name to Royal Oasis Resort and Crowne Plaza. The developers closed off West Sunrise Highway, a major road artery that passed through the property.
The Bazaar thrived off the resort, which had high occupancies and employed about 1,500 persons. Hundreds of Bahamians were also employed in the various shops there.
In August 2004, Hurricane Frances struck and the resort was severely damaged. The developers closed the property, leaving thousands of workers jobless. Businesses at the Bazaar were also affected and many merchants were forced to close or relocate to the Port Lucaya Marketplace.
The only remaining merchants are the Asian restaurants and a few straw vendors.
Harcourt Development later purchased the Royal Oasis resort property, but was unable to redevelop and open the hotel and casino property due to lack of sufficient funding. The hotel and Bazaar deteriorated after years of neglect.
When The Tribune visited the property recently, it looked like a jungle of dried up trees and overgrown vegetation and there appears to be no urgency to clean up and remove debris.
Meanwhile in Port Lucaya, restoration work has commenced at the Marketplace and stores are expected to open when power is restored there.
Royal Oasis was bought by Harcourt Development Group in 2007.
If you like international hotels, you might like these:
Vintage Postcard – Whispering Pines Accomac Virginia
Published by Edwards Camera Center, Onancock, Va.
Silvercraft – Made by The Dexter Press, Pearl River, N.Y.
This lovely vintage card was mailed with a green one-cent George Washington stamp from Tasley Virginia on June 27, 1947. It was mailed to Mr. Ernest Graves, RFD #2, Amherst Mass. It reads:
Dear “Dad” Have had a grand trip so far – and we are both feeling good in spite of the 400 miles we traveled. This is a nice place and cottage with all conveniences. We could have made it in one day but didn’t want to rush. Love Freddie and Elizabeth
Whispering Pines Motel-Hotel
Perfectly appointed Motel or Hotel accommodations. AIR-CONDITIONING – Television – A Spacious Dining Room and Soda Fountain.
Ocean Hiway – U.S. #13
Phone: 707 – SUnset 7-1300
Hannau Color Productions, 475 5th Avenue, N.Y.
Color Masters INC
This Koppel card features the AAA logo and was mailed with a purple four-cent Lincoln stamp from Accomac September 11, 1964 to Mrs. R.M. Milligan, 312 W Britannia St, Tarenton, Mass. It reads:
Fri Night Accomac, VA. Good trip so far – Traffic average Over 500 miles today Will write Sun or Mon. Love Roy
Roy is Roy M Milligan, writing to his wife, Naomi B Milligan. The home at the address on Britannia Street still stands, according to Google Street View:
I didn’t find any details on the Ernest Graves, Freddie or Elizabeth, and not very much at all on the Milligans. I was especially interested in Whispering Pines Accomac Virginia after reading American Fire by Monica Hesse.
It was a really interesting book, and made me want to look more into the area. If you’re looking for a fast read, you might want to check it out. Anyhow, the Whispering Pines was something in its day. Advertised in newspapers like the Wilmington Delaware Morning News (12/11/1947):
Or the same paper on December 9, 1954:
Or later, in the Salisbury Maryland Daily Times (10/29/1995):
This website has motel construction as 1932 by Charles F. Russell, and held and run by the family until it was sold in 1972 (Charles passed in 1963). It was sold at auction in 2012 for $28,000.