A Sign of Summer: The Mortlake House

Summer travel time is almost here and I personally long for a road trip somewhere. In fact, by the time this is posted I will be in the mountains of West Virginia. At any rate, this wanderlust probably goes back to my childhood riding through southern backroads with my 3 siblings in a big old ’56 Chevy wagon without radio or air conditioning—or seat belts, come to think of it. Locating suitable lodging was sometimes an adventure in the pre-Internet age, but my parents tried to find places that had the “AAA” sign, and maybe even a pool.

WPA file Mortlake House006

It’s easy to see how the house, beautifully framed by tall maples and elms, and with its several additions, could be used as an inn. This photograph was taken as part of the WPA’s “Census of Distinctive Buildings” survey in the late 1930s, when the inn was no longer operating.

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