Tag Archives: Mathewson’s Motor Cabins

UPDATE: Friday Flashback #38

Westport has had its share of inns: The early ones, where George Washington stayed on his travels through town. The Pine Knoll and Hawthorne, which I think were more like rooming houses. The Inn at National Hall on the west bank of the Saugatuck River (whose bottom floor is soon to be the ‘Port restaurant).

Today of course, there’s the Westport Inn.

We’ve had actual hotels too, including the Westport Hotel (on the corner of the Post Road and Main Street, which in 1923 became the site of the Westport YMCA and is now Bedford Square).

But back in what appears to be the 1930s or ’40s — judging from the hard-to-see automobiles in this postcard from Jack Whittle’s collection — we also had Mathewson’s Motor Cabins.

Click on or hover over to enlarge.

According to the postcard, they were located on the Boston Post Road/Route 1.

Motor cabins — also called “motor courts” — sprouted in the 1920s and ’30s, when Americans took to the roads in cars. They were a step up from rudimentary “tourist camps.”

According to Wikipedia, the price of motor courts was higher. But the cabins had electricity, indoor bathrooms, and occasionally a private garage or carport. They were arranged in attractive clusters or a U-shape.

Does anyone remember Mathewson’s Motor Cabins? Where exactly were they? Who stopped there? Did they have any impact on Westport?

Click “Comments” below, to fill us in on this lost era of town history.

UPDATE: Thanks to alert reader Tom Leyden, we’ve got an aerial photo from 1951. It shows Mathewson’s Motor Cabins right where the Westport Inn is today (as noted in the “Comments”) section). Check it out:

Mathewson's Motor Court - aerial photo - 1951