Searching For Old 51 – Part 4

Post Cards from the Road

Arbor Vitae Motel

Arbor Vitae Motel, late 1950s

In researching my Highway 51 project, I stumbled across some old postcards of businesses located on Old Highway 51.  These three postcards are from the late 1950s.  Part of our mission on the road trip was to try to snag current photos of these locations.  As it turns out, two of the three businesses are still in operation and the third, Antlers Supper Club, is still a viable location but with entirely different businesses.

Arbor Vitae Motel (Woodruff, Wis.)

Arbor Vitae Motel

Arbor Vitae Motel Today

It has been remodeled but is still in business.  Note that the sign has moved and that the roadway has been built up higher.  In the original postcard the entrance is at grade with the road while today there is about an 8 to 10 foot drop down into the parking lot.

Sky Club Restaurant

Sky Club Restaurant, 1950s

The Sky Club (Stevens Point, Wis.)

The Sky Club has been remodeled and the lettering has been removed from the stonework, but it is still there and still in business.  Note some changes:  Traffic lights and curb and gutter that aren’t in the postcard and the building has been expanded over the years.  Flag pole is still in the same spot but is taller now.

Sky Club Restaurant

Sky Club Restaurant, today

The Antlers Supper Club (on Lake du Bay)

The Antlers Supper Club

The Antlers Supper Club, 1950s

Alas, The Antlers is no more.  I suspect that business dried up when Highway 51 was moved to the east in the 1960s.  We walked around the property and the original building still sits there but a large addition has been added.  Notice that the sign is still on the property, faded but legible.  The Tiki Bar is located on the lower level beneath the old restaurant and offers a nice patio on the lake.  The prominent addition now houses a business called Toyhauler, LLC.

Antlers Supper Club site

Site of Antlers Supper Club, today

This entry was posted in Auto Archeology, Automotive History, It's Not 3D But..., Look At What I Found!, Marty Densch, Roadside Attractions. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Searching For Old 51 – Part 4

  1. Scott Kelley says:

    I enjoy the combining of auto and auto travel tales with history.

    When a lad-like imp back in the 1960s Dad would, at times, toss me into the car and we would bounce down the roads east of the San Francisco Bay area and look at stuff.

    Some of the most interesting to me were the tiny towns in the Sacramento/San Joaquin Rivers delta area.

    Some of the hamlet’s histories could be traced to the gold rush era.

    Some buildings had once been owned by Oriental folks as evidenced by architecture, signage, etc.

    Many were no longer in use and may have been unusable.

    As the years passed many of the old buildings collapsed, burned down or were razed to the point where a similar trek today reveals but a fraction of what was observable a mere 30 to 40 years ago.

    I have noticed that older buildings, generally, seem to be more prevalent away from the high-growth areas.

    I hope that more articles appear hereabouts appear showing the USA’s past as it relates to autos, travel or just basic “old stuff” akin to me… old.

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