Sunday, March 17, 2019

Russell's Cabins, 1950

During the period between the 1930s and 1950s, before motels became popular, tourists passing through Middleborough were provided accommodation in overnight camps and tourists cabins, many of which lined Route 28 from North to South Middleborough. Among them was Russell’s Grove Cabins which stood on the now vacant parcel opposite Lorenzo’s, later the site of Rae’s Colonial Gift Shop.

 The property, a former woodlot owned by Levi O. Atwood of Rock, was acquired in May 1934 by Durell and Gladys J. Russell who eventually transformed it into a delightful roadside grove intended to lure tourists to stay for the night in a cabin set among the trees. In addition to the cabins, the Russells also conducted a small restaurant as part of the operation.

 Tourists of the era were less demanding than today and the cabins afforded a simple, affordable and pleasant solution for travellers’ needs a indicated by one postcard sent by Helen in July 1950 to her friend, Mrs. Mattie Quinn at Hudson Falls, New York.

“Sunday night, Dear Mattie and All, These are the cabins we are staying at tonight. We drove 233 miles today. Have double beds. Have bed all to myself. We just had a wonderful dinner and are now out on the enclosed porch. X marks our cabin. We made wonderful time. We are only about 80 miles to drive tomorrow. Love to you all. Helen.”

In April 1956, the Russells sold the cabins and retired to Florida.


beatlejim said...

Great story!!! Didn't they have Benson's Cabin's down in South Middleboro just before the 195 exit to the Cape???

Mike said...
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Mike said...

Yes there were a number of overnight cabin operations in Middleborough, mainly on Route 28, including ones operated by Perley Ballou, Lillian White and Harrison Holbrook. Benson's was conducted by Austin Benson and operated during the same period as Russell's. Modern motels and the construction of Route 25 (now 495) led to the demise of these operations.

beatlejim said...

Great...thanks for the info...

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