Vacations: Florida in the Summer of 1954 - Page 1.

January 3, 2016:  I have been scanning some old photos from Florida vacations for the past few days.  I am posting them today starting with a trip to Daytona Beach, Florida in 1954.  I also have a 1955 vacation page for Daytona Beach and Saint Augustine, Florida that follows this page.

The first day of the trip took us from our home town of Dalton, Georgia to Lake City, Florida.  This was a time before the Interstate Highway System existed.   US 41 and US 341 (bypassing Macon, GA.) were the routes for today.  Here is an old post card showing the US 41 bridge across the Suwannee River just north of Lake City.   It was still in use in 1954 & 1955.  This view is looking south since the railroad bridge is on the left side of the photo.
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This new bridge has replaced the old truss bridge seen above.  The railroad bridge is still on the east side of US 41.
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Gone is the structural steel bridge from long ago.  Looking north from the south end of the bridge in the photo below, you can see signs for the Suwannee River and Columbia County.  I left this image at full size to show the sign details.   Please use the scroll bar at the bottom of your browser window to read the signs.
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This was the Dickens DeLUXE MOTOR COURT in 1954, located on US 41 a few blocks south of the town square in Lake City, Florida.  This image was the morning of day two of our vacation.  The camera taking these photos is a Kodak Brownie using black and white 120 roll film.  Mom took this photo of my brother Billy, my sister Jean, and me with the buzzed haircut closest to the camera.  She drove our 1953 Chevrolet 393 miles from our home in Dalton, Georgia to Lake City, Florida.  FL54_001A.jpg (356322 bytes)

Here is an old 1940's advertising post card for this motel.  These were popular ways for these independent hotel owners to get more business.  This was a time when some of the first national chains of motels were starting.  This motor court was approved by the American Automobile Association as noted by the AAA oval trademark.  The adjacent restaurant run by the family is seen in the upper right inset on the photo.  That oak tree just to the right of the AAA logo is the same one seen at the right side of the photo above.  A sidewalk and a bench were added after the postcard was printed.
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Here is how the restaurant building looked in February 2010.
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Here is a view of the restaurant building looking looking southwest across US 41.
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A wider view south of the old restaurant building shows the old motel office and guest cabins are gone now.  Some of the old oak trees have survived including the one in our old photo seen above.
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Day two took us to Ocala on US 441 then east on state route 40 to the Silver Springs attraction.  This was the place where the TV show Sea Hunt with Lloyd Bridges was filmed, along with those Johnny Weismuller "Tarzan" movies.  There were still monkeys in the trees along the river when I lived near Ocala in the 1980's.   This was my first ride on the glass bottom boats.
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This is the motel where we stayed on route A1A at 918 S. Atlantic Avenue.   The land is now empty as seen on Google Earth.
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We had some time to get into the surf this first afternoon near the beach.   That is my sister Jean at age 12.  The long shadows and the squinting from the sun tells you how mom posed us to get a good picture.  I scanned these images with the default mode "color" and it shows the aging of the photos.
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Bouncing a ball and catching at the top of the bounce is a lucky shot with a Brownie camera.
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Jean is smiling, but I don't have a clue what I was thinking at the time as I was just SEVEN years old and this is the last photo of the day.
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Day 2 - Florida 1954 Back to Family Album Menu CLICK HERE for MAIN MENU