Michael Bates of Batesline blog writes:
I'm fascinated by old roadside architecture (I live about a mile from Route 66) and was intrigued by your photos of the Toddle Inn Tourist sign, so I did some digging. Google found an eBay item labeled "Toddle Inn Tourists Home, Ridgefield NJ, 1930s" that sold back in October on eBay for $15.95 -- a postcard presumably. Unfortunately, the listing has expired.
The site is on US 1/US 9 near the intersection with US 46, so it would have been a prime location for catching the attention of passing motorists. I wonder whether the house was the entire hotel or whether there were tourist "cabins" surrounding it. Before the advent of motel chains, someone with a farm or largish piece of land along a highway could make some extra money by building a few simple houses -- bed and bath -- around or next to the main house. (This postcard of the White Elk Motor Court is a good example.) There are still a couple of these still standing, but closed for business, along old 66 in east Tulsa. It's possible that the Toddle Inn had a few such cabins which were torn down when the inn closed.
Thanks, Michael, for reading my blog, and thanks for the insight! Very interesting. I guess that sign goes back to the 1930s or more!
I love stuff like that.