Do you know the location of weather vane #169? Scroll down to the bottom to see the answer!
Today's weather vane was seen along Route 12 in West Boylston, Massachusetts. It's a "blast from the past" for anyone who remembers the New England countryside dotted with Howard Johnson motels and restaurants. This two dimensional scene of a child and a lamplighter was sometimes seen atop the orange roofs as a "Simple Simon met a Pie Man" scene from the nursery rhyme.
This orange roofed HoJo motel is now the Classic Suites and Inns. They have kept the orange roofed building as a reception area, and kept the original weather vane. It's a true piece of 20th Century Americana, dating back to the days when American first hit the road for vacations with their automobiles. Most rest areas on the Massachusetts Turnpike and other major highways had Howard Johnson's restaurants in the mid 20th century.
|An old Howard Johnson's postcard|
There is a book about the history of this restaurant chain, with a photo of this weathervane on the cover! A History of Howard Johnson's: How a Massachusetts Soda Fountain Became an American Icon by Anthony Mitchell Sammarco, The History Press, 2013 (also available on Kindle)
Click here to hear an interview with Anthony Sammarco about his book on Howard Johnson's from the Fieldstone Common website:
Classic Suites and Inns website http://www.classicsuites-inns.com/
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Copyright 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo