Summer of Nostalgia: That time when Howard Johnson’s was everywhere

Beale St. Wollaston, 1980

I shot this photo of Wollaston’s Beale Street in 1980 which includes the building (then occupied by World Realty) that is roughly in the area of Howard Johnson’s 1925 newspaper and ice cream shop that is mentioned in “The Patriot Ledger” article below. My mother remembered going to Howard Johnson’s there with her father when she was growing up in Wollaston.

Many years later when I was growing up in the same area, I remember seeing Howard Johnson’s big Cadillac with his Massachusetts vanity plates, “HJ28” representing the 28 flavors of ice cream his company advertised. That was back in the days long before vanity plates became available to most of us.

The recent Quincy Ledger article “Summer of Nostalgia: That time when Howard Johnson’s was everywhere” describes the days that the orange-roofed Howard Johnson roadside restaurants seemed to be everywhere:

Howard Johnson went from owning a store in Wollaston to building a chain of almost 800 restaurants that left an enduring influence on American life.

For more than 90 years, the iconic orange-thatched roof of a Howard Johnson’s restaurant was part of the landscape near and far. The last restaurant closed in Bangor, Maine, in 2016, but the happy memories of creamy ice cream, first dates, birthday parties, summer jobs and fried clam strips still endure.

Quincy Historical Society photo of a classic facade of Howard Johnsons in 1959

Be sure to read the interesting article by Anastasia E. Lennon on The Patriot Ledger website.


Update 9/6/20:

Slim, the webmaster/photographer at Quincy Daily Photo contacted me to comment on this article. She allowed me to add this interesting photo and post from her site here. 

“HoJos” from QuincyDailyPhoto

“I saw this logo in a doorway of a building on the corner of Beale St. and Newport Ave. in the Wollaston section of this city. It once housed the accounting division of one of America’s first franchises: Howard Johnsons.

“The marker for the site of Howard D. Johnson’s first store (a drugstore), is located across the street beside the parking lot of the Wollaston train station.

“Howard Johnson lived close by on Summit Ave and had the Mayor of Boston to thank for inadvertently boosting the success of his first restaurant  in Quincy.

“Does anyone remember the orange rooftops on the restaurants and 28 flavors of ice cream?
These marketing ideas helped make this one of America’s popular icons and destination.”

Many thanks to Slim for the use of her photo and quote. Please take a look at her site at Quincy Daily Photo for some of her great photographs from Quincy, Massachusetts. Interestingly, when I was in my early teens, I had the paper route delivering Quincy Patriot Ledgers on Summit Ave in Wollaston and walked by Howard Johnson’s former residence every day.

I truly appreciate your interest!  Please Post Your Thoughts, Comments,
Corrections, and Remarks in the “Comments” Section below… \>\>\>\>\>

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