Holiday Inn 1956 Directory

Cardboard Motels, Pamphlets and Brochures

In early 1956 Holiday Inn was just beginning to take over as the dominant motel chain. The first Holiday Inn Hotel Courts location opened by Kemmons Wilson at 4941 Summer Ave. in Memphis, Tennessee in the summer of 1952.

HI - Memphis First One

On U.S. 70-79-64
At Memphis, Tenn. City Limits East
120 Rooms & Baths – 100 % Air-Conditioned
Restaurant in Connection
Mailed from Memphis, Tennessee to Mr. & Mrs. Raymond Szukala of Alden, New York on December 6, 1952:
Dear Children,
Well I expect you are at the Doctors now, as it is Friday eve. This place is the nicest we have had, all new. I wish you could see it.

Within two years three more locations would open in Memphis and a few locations across several states.

TN - Memphis

1954 Advertising that ran in Tennessee and Mississippi

By the end of the decade Holiday Inn and their glorious Great Sign would come to dominate the American roadside landscape.

This directory, printed for 1956, shows the chain in its relative infancy. I took the directory and distill it into a few different parts. The first image is the directory entry, the second is a postcard image of the site and the final piece is a view of the location now.

Some of the information was rather difficult to find. I did the best I could to find accurate information on these locations. If I missed something or got something wrong please let me know.


AL, Auburn

U.S. 280 at Junction State 147, on Florida Short Route 3 1/2 miles north of Auburn, a beautiful college town. Restaurant, television in every room, air-conditioned, swimming pool, telephones in rooms.

HI - Opelika


Lyman L. Pittman, Innkeeper
Located at the Intersection of U.S. 280 and Ala. 147
Opened: March 1, 1956
Closed: Sometime after 1980



AL, Birmingham

US 11 South, Birmingham’s only resort hotel. Near ball park, stadium, fairgrounds. Guest privileges Holiday Beach. Complete convention, sales meeting, exhibit facilities. “Restaurant of Distinction,” drug store, barber, playground, kennel, lawns, service station.




On U.S. 11 South – 9 1/2 Miles West of Downtown Mail Address – Box H – Bessemer, Alabama   16 minutes from downtown Birmingham, 7 acres of comfort and pleasure. 110 air-cond. rooms all on ground floor, parking at bedroom door. Restaurant, Cocktail Lounge-Bar. Children’s playground, swimming pool, other resort activities. Color TV.

Louis P. Woods, Innkeeper
U.S. 11, South Third Avenue
Opened: November 15, 1954

Part of the building is still standing. The back row of rooms has been long since torn down, the pool filled in and the restaurant building is no more. However, if you look at the satellite image you can see the footprint of the old Holiday Inn. A dive motel known as the Hiway Host currently occupies what is still standing.



AR, Pine Bluff

In US 65 at Junction with City Route 65. Swimming pool, restaurant, convention facilities, all beds king-size, tile shower and tub combination, room phones, TV, year-round central air conditioning with individual controls, Baby sitters; kennels.

HI - Pine Bluff

Mr. and Mrs. Dallas Biggers, Innkeepers
U.S. 65 at City Route 65
Opened: March 1, 1956

Much of the HI shell still stands. The back rows and part of the front motel building are gone. It is currently Classic Inn.

Pine Bluff


CO, Colorado Springs

On US 85-87 (Denver Highway) at 5700 North Nevada, two miles north of the city. 104 luxurious rooms and suites, all air-conditioned and heated. Swimming pool. All rooms have television, radio and telephones.

HI - Colorado Springs

Opened: October 1, 1955

This one is tricky. I cannot find any trace of what happened to the building. It appears to be long gone.

UPDATE: Thanks to KoHoSo for bringing to my attention that I have a card in my collection that shows what happened to this location after if ceased to be a Holiday Inn.


Albert Pick Motel
5700 N. Nevada Avenue on Denver Highway 85-87
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Phone: Melrose 3-3876 Teletype CU-8436
104 Air-conditioned rooms, all with radio, television, 24-hour telephone service. Swimming Pool. Sirloin Room, Coffee Shop. No charge for children under 12

After hotelier Albert Pick split from the Holiday Inn chains, he rebranded the property under his name. You can see in the postcard above that it is definitely a Holiday Inn layout.

There is nothing left of this location.

Thanks, KoHoSo


KS, Great Bend

On US 50-N in West end of Great Bend (at 5220 West 10th). Large meeting and banquet room, restaurant with small private dining rooms. Barber and beauty shop; service station; swimming pool. Individual heating and air conditioning; telephones.


Opened: May 18, 1956 (a month later than advertised)
Attached to Alexander’s Cafe

KS, Great Bend - 1956-05-18 - Great Bend Tribune, 18 May 1956, Fri, Page 11

Great Bend Tribune – May 18, 1956

This located ceased to be a Holiday Inn a while back, but the building is entirely intact. The former restaurant appears to be the office for a storage facility that erected sometime in the 1990s.

Great Bend


KS, Lawrence

On US 59 at junction with State 10 (23rd St.) in southwest part of city. Excellent restaurant; 52 air-conditioned rooms with free TV. Holiday Room (capacity 100); spacious lobby; service station; complete hotel service. All new, all the best.

HI - Lawrence

Allan E. Hall, Innkeeper
U.S. 59 at Kansas 10
23rd and Iowa Streets
Opened: September 1956

This location was torn sometime after 1991. A Days Inn now stands on the site.



KS, Salina

On US 81 (S. Brodway at Armory Rd., 1 1/2 mi. south of US 40. Swimming pool, terrace, play area. Near Smoky Hill SAC air base and Kanapolis Lake (Federal park project). Complete automotive service. Teletype connection with other Holiday Inns.

HI - KS, Salina

Paul Bryant, Innkeeper
U.S. 81 – Broadway at Armory Rd.
Opened: September 21-23, 1956

The Salina Journal - September 21, 1956

The Salina Journal – September 21, 1956

Amazingly, the majority of the former HI is still standing. Not sure when it ceased to be a Holiday Inn, but the Village Inn sign looks like a post-great sign addition, so it may have lasted into the 80s or longer.



KS, Topeka

On US 24 about 600 ft. west of cloverleaf junction with US 75 at north edge of city. Fine restaurant; Holiday Room (capacity 100); heated swimming pool. Free TV in each of the 52 air-conditioned rooms. Spacious lobby; full hotel service. All new!

HI - Topeka

Mrs. Grace Friend, Innkeeper
Junction Highway 24 and 75 West
Opened: August 1956

This one is also a bit tricky. Based on the location and the fact there was definitely something with an entrance on this spot, it very could have been here. No matter how you look at it, this location closed a while ago.



KS, Wichita

US 54, East (7411 East Kellogg) just a few minutes drive from downtown and from McConnell Air Base, Boeing, Beech and Cessna plants. Glass-enclosed heated swimming pool. Excellent coffee shop; gift shop. AAA approved.


Gary F. Thomas, Innkeeper
East 54 Highway
7411 East Kellogg
OPENED: December 1954

The building was torn down quite a while ago and nothing remains of the old site.



LA, Alexandria

US 71, 165, 167 at State 1 (north end McArthur Drive at circle). Easy access to England Air Force Base and downtown. Fifty miles from Fort Polk. Swimming pool.


The Town Talk – August 23, 1954



James P. O’Neal, Innkeeper
U.S. 71, 165 and 167 By-Pass North on State
Highway 1 – McArthur Drive
Opened: May 1955

I had a little bit of trouble finding this one. The only specific address(es) I could find said McArthur Rd. at circle. it was probably in this general area.



MS, Clarksdale

US 61 North, inside city limits. In the heart of the Delta cotton country, 75 miles south of Memphis. A Holcomb Hotel with Admiral Benbow Inn Restaurant, specializing in seafood. Swimming pool, gift shop, sample rooms, Holiday Room for meetings.

HI - Clarksdale

Teletype: CLKD 185 – Telephone: MAin 4-4391
Enjoy excellent food, in an atmosphere of comfort and convenience. Year-’round air-conditioning with individual controls, swimming pool, TV, advance reservation by Teletype. 24-hour telephone service.

Paul R. Harrington, Innkeeper
U.S. 61, North
1901 State Street
OPENED:  August 8, 1954

The Clarksdale Holiday Inn was the 5th Holiday Inn to open and the first one outside of Memphis. Hotelier Albert Pick franchised this location as part of his growing empire of hotels and motels.

Most of the building is still standing. One of the rows has been torn down, but the covered entrance and restaurant building still stand.



MS, Greenwood

One mile west of downtown Greenwood on US 82 and US 49-E bypasses. 100% air-conditioned and steam heated. Phone in every room, TV. Beautiful dining room, convention facilities. Everything for family groups and commercial travelers.

HI - Greenwood

1900 Strong Ave. – U.S. 49E and 82 By-Pass
Teletype: Greenwood, Miss. 166 – Telephone: 4472
Enjoy excellent food, comfort and convenience, in the heart of the Mississippi Delta. Every room has TV and individually controlled air conditioning. Large lobby, 24-hour service, one rate, no extras.
“The fine old innkeeping tradition in a modern setting.”

R.E. Simmons, Innkeeper
Highway 82 and 49, East By-Pass
1900 Strong Avenue
Opened: March 8, 1955 (Grand opening April 1, 1955)

I believe this is still the same building. I don’t have a picture of the old one, so I can’t totally be sure.



MS, Hattiesburg

US 11 and 49 South (900 Broadway Drive) just off the Clover Leaf. Swimming pool, restaurant, room phones, convention facilities. Wall to wall carpet, TV, tile baths with tub and shower combination, year-round air conditioning with individual controls. Baby sitters; kennels.

HI - Hattiesburg

U.S. Highway 11 South and 49 at Cloverleaf
900 Broadway Drive
Swimming Pool – Air-Conditioned – Restaurant – TV and Telephone in every room.

Charles Wynn, Innkeeper
U.S. 11, South and 49 at Cloverlead
900 Broadway Drive
OPENED: April 1, 1955

Over the past few years this location has gone through a number of changes.

This aerial view shows what once was the restaurant building and the outline of the pool.


A little while later you can see the restaurant and pool have been torn down.


This more recent street view shows the property has been cleaned up a little and grass is growing where people one swan and ate under the glow of the Great Sign.



US 90 on the Gulf, 6 mi. west of Gulfport, 1 1/2 hrs. east of New Orleans. Stable with ten horses, trail rides, lessons for children. Deep-sea fishing. “The Pub,” Lounge, 1500-ft pier for Gulf Fishing. Year-round swimming pool. Fine golf facilities.

Clarion-Ledger, 02 Nov 1955, Wed, Page 23

Clarion-Ledger – November 2, 1955


Courtesy of Matchsets

L. Victor Philippi
U.S. 90 – 6 Mi. W. of Gulfport
OPENED- July 1, 1955

I am not going to lie to you – this one has had me stumped. If you’ll notice in the brochure, this Holiday Inn has a completely different sign than the rest of them. Information is hard to come by.

I believe this may have been the location. Most of the waterfront in Long Beach was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Long Beach


MS, Natchez

Located within city limits at US highway 61-84 by-pass south. 52 air-conditioned rooms, all with radio, television and telephones. Beautiful swimming pool; delicious dining in moderate priced Coffee Shop.

HI - Natchez

The Historical City famous for its Ante-bellum Homes
U.S. Highway 61 North
Ph. 2-3686 – AC: 601 – T.W.X. NHZ 266
Restaurant – Swimming Pool – Free TV
Free Advance TWX Reservations

OPENED: June 1, 1955


This one did not last long in the Holiday Inn chain. The location is no longer listed in the 1959 Fall directory. It looks like a series of motels occupied the building and lasted for about 50 years.

The building is gone now, having been torn down in the late 1990s. However, on the 1996 satellite photo of Natchez, I believe you can see the original structure.

Natchez 90s

Here’s the same location as of 2015

Natchez Now


MS, West Point

Junction US 45-W and Miss. 10 on shortest and best route from Great Lakes area to Gulf, Florida and Southwest. Near Natchez Trace and Columbus USAF Base. Swimming pool; playground and park in connection. Fishing and gold nearby. Fine food.

HI - West Point

James R. Keenan, Innkeeper
U.S. 45 West and Miss. 10
OPENED: July 1, 1956

Another tricky location. I cannot find an image of the overall shape and design of this location. The address is fairly vague, too. I was able to find a couple of motels on Google Earth from 2006 that may or may not be this location.

West Point 20066


MO, Kansas City


13900 East US 40 Highway Greater Kansas City’s Largest and Finest Highway Hotel. Teletype: INDP., MO.61 – Telephone HUmboldt 3-9579

James A. Spears, Innkeeper
U.S. 40 at Noland Road
13900 East U.S. Hwy. 40
OPENED: November 14, 1954

This was the seventh location to spring up. It was torn down years ago in the name of the name of commerce.

Kansas City


MO, St. Louis

HI - St. Louis

By-pass U.S. 66 and 67
4543 North Lindbergh Blvd. at Long Road
Telephone: HA 8-8900
Swimming Pool – Air-conditioned – Restaurant – Free TV – Free Teletype Reservations

William Costello, Innkeeper
By-Pass 66 and 67
OPENED: July 1, 1956

One of the largest locations in the early years with 5 motel buildings and a restaurant. The court was modified in the 70s or 80s and now very little remains of the St. Louis location.

St. Louis


NW corner US 29 north and 16th St. inside city limits – 2 1/2 miles from center of city. Featuring 150-seat restaurant, free television, telephones in all rooms, Honeymoon suite.

HI - Greensboro

U.S. 29 North at 16th St. in City Limits
90 Rooms and Baths – 150-Seat Restaurant – Banquet Facilities – Sales, Sample Room – Bridal Suite – Television, Telephones – Wall-to-Wall Carpets – Tom Kellam, Innkeeper – Phone: BR. 5-5371

Tom Kellam, Innkeeper
U.S. 29 North at 16th Street
OPENED: November 15, 1955

This is one of the most complete locations left. The front building/restaurant is gone but the other two buildings are still standing.



OH, CantonSouth side of US 30 in downtown Canton, Ohio, the last major city you pass through en route to New York City for a comfortable one-day drive via the turnpike. Conference and salesmen’s sample rooms available.

HI - Canton

Courtesy of William Bird

C.L. Maier, Innkeeper
U.S. 30 Downtown
800 W. Tuscarawas
OPENED: July 1, 1956

This is another location that remains fairly intact. The pool is gone, but you can see the outline to the right of the building.



OH, Toledo

Stony Ridge Interchange of the Ohio Turnpike and Ohio Route 120 (Detroit-Toledo Expressway). 18 minutes SE from center of Toledo – 1 hr. from Detroit. In the heart of industrial Ohio and Michigan. Completely new…entirely superior.

HI - Toledo

Highway 120 at No. 5 Interchange Ohio Turnpike
Indoor Pool – Cocktail Lounge Restaurant
Sauna Baths
Phone: Stoney Ridge Ohio TE 7-2045

Paul Richards, Innkeeper
Route 120 at No. 5 Interchange of Ohio Turnpike
OPENED: June 1, 1956

This location is mostly standing as well. The pool has been filled in and the current motel looks like it might be in rough shape.



OK, Oklahoma City

12001 Northeast Urban Expressway on US 66 and 77, one mile west of Turner Turnpike toll gate. Only a few minutes to any place in Oklahoma City. Spacious living combines downtown hotel features with resort hotel luxuries at rates all can afford.

HI - Oklahoma City

Holiday Inn is Oklahoma’s Most Distinctive Hotel. Spacious living combines downtown hotel features with resort luxuries at rates all can afford. Featured are 150 beautiful rooms, year ’round Air-conditioning, 24-hour coffee shop, the beautiful Sirloin Room, Terrace dining. Gift Shop and Swimming Pool.
Holiday Inn Hotel
12001 Northeast Urban Expressway
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
One Mile West of the Turner Turnpike On U.S. Highways 66 and 77

Cliff Potts, Innkeeper
U.S. 66 and 77 Northeast
12001 Northeast Urban Expressway
OPENED: December 1954

No clue. I cannot find this location. The street address does not exist anymore and the other directions are pretty vague. Leave a comment if you have an idea or know where it was located.


SC, Charleston

On US 17 (Ocean Highway) 2 1/2 miles south of Old Historic Charleston. Restaurant, television, swimming pool, 20 minutes drive to world-famous gardens. Fine golf courses, drive-in theater, ocean beaches, Fort Sumter National Monument nearby.


2 1/2 Miles South of Historic CHARLESTON, S.C.
On U.S. Ocean Highway 17
Telephone: SOuth 6-1651 – Teletype CS 286

Kirk Nabors, Innkeeper
U.S. Ocean Highway 17S.
OPENED: February 19, 1955

Another location that I cannot find anywhere on the map. There is no street address and US 17 goes on for miles and miles. I assume it’s gone.


TN, Jackson

US 45 North – on the road to Florida. Near Country Club. Swimming pool, year-round air conditioning, restaurant, convention facilities. Service station, television, wall to wall carpeting, telephone in every room. Plenty of parking space.

Holiday Inn Hotel Jackson Tennessee

W.M. Berfield, Innkeeper
U.S. 45 North
OPENED: Spring 1955

This one was also difficult to find. I believe that this aerial view shows where the HI once stood. It’s the empty lot on the left side.



TN, Memphis Downtown

US 61 South (980 S. 3rd St.) two minutes from center of downtown. Convention facilities for 400 persons. Swimming pool, sample rooms, radio station, shopping center adjoining lobby. Limousine stop for all airlines. 172 rooms.

HI - Memphis South

Memphis, Tennessee
U.S. 61 – 980 South Third
Air-Conditioned – Swimming Pool – Restaurant – In the City’s Business District

Jack Scheibler, Innkeeper
U.S. 61 at 64, 70 and 79 Downtown
980 S. Third Street
OPENED: November 1, 1953

The Jackson Sun, 02 Nov 1953, Mon, Page 11

The Jackson Sun – November 2, 1953

This was the third Holiday Inn to be built. The building still stands but has been heavily modified to become a Traffic Signal Maintenance & Construction supply for the city of Memphis.

Memphis 3rd St,


TN, Memphis East

US 70-79-64 (4941 Summer Ave.) in east Memphis. In the heart of Memphis’ finest residential area, 20 minutes from downtown, within 5 minutes of best golf courses and clubs. Swimming pool, dining room, gift shop. 120 rooms.

HI - Memphis

4941 Summer Ave. – U.S. 70, 79 & 64 East
Memphis, Tennessee
Phone: 34-6687
3 Other Locations in Memphis:
U.S. 61 South – U.S. 51 North – U.S. 51 South
450 Rooms – 450 Baths – 100% Air-Conditioned – Steam Heat – Pleasure Eating – Bridal Suite – Free Swimming Pool for Guests Only

Walker Gray, Innkeeper
U.S. 64, 70 and 79
4941 East Summer Ave.
OPENED: August 1, 1952

This is the original Holiday Inn. It opened in the Summer of 1952. The ribbon was cut by the five children of Kemmons and Dorothy Wilson.


The location stated with 120 rooms and expanded to 450 rooms a few years later. The location was so successful that the Holiday Inn headquarters were located on Summer Ave. nearby.


This location was sold in 1973 and demolished in 1994. An historical marker is located on the site.

Memphis Sign


TN, Memphis North

US 51 North (4022 US 51 N.) at city limits. 20 min. from downtown. Nearest to Firestone, Bruce, Humko, Kimberly-Clark, US Rubber, Int’l Harvester, duPont, Grace Chemical, and largest US Naval air training center. Dining room, swimming pool. 120 rooms

HI - Memphis North

4022 U.S. Highway 51 North
Phone: 56691
3 Other Locations in Memphis:
U.S. 70, 79 & 64 East
U.S. 61 South – U.S. 51 South
450 Rooms – 450 Baths – 100% Air-Conditioned – Steam Heat – Pleasure Eating – Limited Free Sample Rooms Upon Request

Mrs. Kate McDonald, Innkeeper
U.S. 51 North
4022 Thomas St.
OPENED: Winter 1953

The fourth of the original four Holiday Inns. The building still stood as of the 1997 aerial view (the red dot and three long buildings).

Memphis 1997

There is nothing currently at that location.

Memphis Now


TN, Memphis South

US 51 South (2300 S. Bellevue). Ten minutes from Memphis airport. Limousine stop for all airlines. Twenty minutes from downtown. Playground with electric merry-go-round for children. Swimming pool, dining room, 76 rooms.

HI - Memphis 4

2300 So. Bellevue Blvd. – U.S. 51 South
Memphis, Tennessee
Phone WH 8-1522
3 Other Locations in Memphis
U.S. Highway 70, 79 & 64 East
U.S. Hwy. 61 South – U.S. Hwy. 51 North
450 Rooms – 450 Baths – 100% Air-Conditioned – Steam Heat – Pleasure Eating – Limited Free Sample Rooms Upon Request

Valley Hull, Innkeeper
U.S. 51 South
2300 S. Bellevue Ave.
Opened: Spring 1953

The second Holiday Inn Hotel Court to open in Memphis was located on S. Bellevue Blvd. The sprawling complex contained 450 rooms and a restaurant. The location lasted a little while, but changing neighborhoods and tastes, even in the Holiday Inn brand, caused this location to fall out of the chain.

You can see by the aerial view that many of the buildings are still standing.

Memphis South


TX, Amarillo

US 60 & 66 (1411 NE 8th) in north Amarillo. Individually controlled year-round centrail air-conditioning. King-size Gyramatic mattresses, room phones, radios, TV. Heated swimming pool.  Kiddie Korral. Easy access to downtown.

Holiday Inn Motel Amarillo Texas

Bill Currens, Innkeeper
U.S. 60, 66
1411 N.E. 8th Street
Opened: October 31, 1954

The Amarillo location, built at the same time as the Independence/St. Louis location, opened on Halloween day 1954. It was officially the 6th location in the chain (behind four locations in Memphis and the one in Clarksdale, MS.

This is the 1991 aerial view on Google Earth. You can see the shell of the early Holiday Inns. The building would be torn down before the next aerial photo was taken in 1995.


This is the site now.



VA, Portsmouth

US 13 (Military Hwy) just east of junction with us 17, Norfolk county, Va. 10 minutes to downtown Norfolk or Portsmouth. Convenient to Azalea Gardens, historic houses, shopping center. Golf privileges. World’s largest naval base, shipyard nearby.


Courtesy of 1950s unlimited.

W. Ken Howard, Innkeeper
U.S. Highway 13 and 460
438 W. Ocean Drive
Opened: January 15, 1956

Not sure which one of these locations was the HI. I believe it may have been the one on the far right of the aerial view below.


Dr. Pott’s: Archaeology & Disco in the Cincinnati Suburbs

Cardboard America, Cardboard Motels

Come with us on archaeological expedition and DISCOver the story of an archaeology themed disco located within the Holiday Inn Riverfront in the Cincinnati suburb of Covington, Kentucky.


1963 Holiday Inn Cincinnati Riverfront postcard 

The Holiday Inn Riverfront had opened in the 1960s with a modest Holiday Inn restaurant attached to the side. Over the next 15 years people ate, people chatted, and people moved on through without giving the restaurant much of a thought. The basement featured a conference room and a small bar, but no real entertainment.

By the late 1970s, tastes had changed and a new dance craze had taken over the country and Cincinnati was no different.


By the end of 1979 the area was home to a number of disco clubs and disco-themed restaurants including:

  • Amanda at 311 Delta. Ave.
  • Bentley’s at 36 W. 5th
  • Lucy’s in the Sky at Eighth at Linn on the Top Floor of the Holiday Inn Downtown
  • Tomorrow’s at Fifth and Race
  • Rookwood Pottery at 1077 Celestial St. in Mt. Adams
  • Max and Erma’s at 123 Boggs Lane
  • Lighthouse Ltd. at Vine and Calhoun
  • Spanky’s in the Holiday Inn North at 2235 Sharon Rd.
  • The Conservatory at 640 W. Third in Covington
  • Past-Times Saloon at 2640 Glendora
  • Badlands at 419 Plum St.
  • Trumps at Princeton Pike and Kemper Rd.

The glut of clubs did not stop entrepreneur Jeff Ruby from opening a new club in the basement of the Holiday Inn Rivermont. A short bio about Jeff Ruby from his website:

Ruby took a job in 1970 with Winegardner and Hammons’ Holiday Inn in downtown Cincinnati. There, he turned a 12th floor bar into the “Den of the Little Foxes” (a lá the Playboy club) at Lucy’s in the Sky disco and made it the place to be for those who wanted to see and be seen. His success at Lucy’s quickly propelled him to the post of Regional Director of all seven Holiday Inns in Cincinnati.

Ruby had a complicated history with nightclubs. Ruby had helped Lucy’s in the Sky in the Holiday Inn Downtown to success. However, it wasn’t all great. Ruby was in attendance at the Beverly Hills Supper Club on the evening on May 28, 1977 when an inferno swept through the sprawling club. 165 people died but somehow Ruby had managed to escape. That event did not deter him from wanting to open a new nightclub.

In a December 1978 interview Ruby said that he believed “there’s still a (dance) market for real people,” and he wanted to have a “clientele less chic and more down-to-earth than some of the discos around town.” Ruby would

Through his Holiday Inn connections he met Robert Fields, who had opened clubs in several Holiday Inns including Peary’s Explorers Lounge in Anchorage, Alaska and Runway 22 at Chicago-O’Hare, the new club would contain a theme very close to Fields’ heart.

Archaeology had been a hobby for Fields since childhood. During his teen years he told his father that he wanted to be an archaeologist but his father had told him that he couldn’t do it because he would never make any money. Fields was determined to prove that he could be successful and still share  his passion.

Fields’ design featured an archaeological themed nightclub/disco replete with 700-100 Peruvian textile fragments in the walls near the bar, replica Aztec pottery and a central room that resembled an Aztec temple. The new club would hold 350 people and featuring local bands and hottest disco tracks available.

The new place would be called Dr. Pott’s. The logo featured a character with a bow tie, pit helmet and coat eerily similar to Howard Carter, the famed archaeologist who discoverd King Tut’s tomb in the 1920s.


Cincinnati Enquirer – December 14, 1979

Dr. Pott’s opened on December 15, 1979. Featuring celebrity host Jim LaBarbara and the both live and recorded disco sounds of  Mason-Dixon Dance Band, the opening night celebration was a major success.


Cincinnati Enquirer – December 15, 1978

Throughout 1980, Dr.Pott’s became THE place to party, find “romance” and dance the night away. However, not everybody was allowed to join in the fun. On January 29, 1980 country music stars The Gatlin Brothers were denied entry because they were wearing faded denim jeans.


By the middle of 1981 the disco craze had faded and the music itself became a joke. Ruby and Dr. Pott’s continued to book live entertainment but disco was a thing of the past. By 1986 the club, struggling to maintain a crowd, tried once again to capitalize on a fad and became a comedy club. The Dr. Pott’s/comedy marriage would only last a short time and a new comedy club called Cassidy’s would open in the same location.


Cincinnati Enquirer – October 5, 1986

Dr. Pott’s success was short-lived and all the memories of the archaeology-themed restaurant would be forgotten. However, Jeff Ruby would not fade away. After forging a business partnership with Cincinnati Reds legends Johnny Bench and Pete Rose,  Ruby would go on to numerous bigger and better things. His website gives a brief timeline of the successes to come:


After opening The Precinct in 1981 he followed with The Waterfront in 1986, Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse in 1999, Carlo & Johnny in 2001, Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse, Louisville in 2006, and Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse, Nashville in 2016. Consistency and quality are hallmarks of a Ruby restaurant – a fact supported by the 3 decades of success at The Precinct, Cincinnati’s longest continually-running fine dining restaurant.

Today, managing the growing Ruby brand is a family affair as each of Ruby’s children is deeply involved in the company. Daughter Britney Ruby Miller serves as Corporate Director of Operations, and sons Brandon and Dillon fill roles as General Manager of The Precinct and Assistant General Manager of the Nashville location respectively. Together, the family owns 5 eateries in 3 states with another 2 steakhouses in development.

*In addition to the Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire, Ruby would survive a 1987 accident that left him in critical condition with a fractured skull and a blood clot on the surface of his brain. He slipped in and out of a coma for nearly two weeks. Chances of survival were around 10% and yet Ruby managed to check himself out the hospital 33 days later.

Holiday Inn – Anniston-Oxford, Alabama

Cardboard America, Cardboard Motels
 On Interstate 20 Where “U.S. 431 & Ala. 21 meet U.S. 78”
Swimming Pool – Air-conditioned – Restaurant – Free TV – Free Holidex Reservations

1965 Holiday Inn Passport Description and map

A fairly standard early 1960s Holiday Inn design. The postcard shows the Great Sign, the exterior layout, cars in the parking lot,  a restaurant (not sure the name-can’t find it anywhere) and a very early photocropping job of the sky. You can see it in the lines on the tress and the majestic splendor of nature’s blurs.The card is from a few years before the guide based on the cars.



The property went through a few changes, but I am pretty sure that this is the location. The exterior was painted, the Holiday Inn signage on the building gone and the sign has the all the marking of the 80s Holiday Inn signs that replaced the GREAT sign. The property fell on hard times and became, at one point, Oxford Inn and Suites.

Here’s an aerial photograph dated January 7, 2004. (thanks to Google Earth) It’s difficult to tell if it is still a Holiday Inn or not. It has the trade mark lay-out.


A 2008 Google Maps street view of the Oxford Inn and Suites:

An undated, but probably 2012 aerial photo of the property being torn down

The final aerial view taken on November 28, 2012 shows only the outline of the motel


The final street view from 2014 shows that there’s an empty field and a Bojangles on the current site.There is a newer Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites just down 431 on Colonial Drive.