Goshen motel sign another Lincoln Highway loss

Fans of the Goshen Motor Lodge’s vintage sign knew it was a matter of time before the classic 1950s shape would be replaced, The once-exuberant sign along the Lincoln Highwy in northern Indiana declined in recent years, and friends on Flickr reported that new owners planned a purely plastic replacement. Sure enough, as seen below in a photo by Spiny Norman, plastic has replaced neon and vintage plastic atop the original poles.


Unfortunately, buying a plastic sign seems easier and cheaper than maintaining an old one, and to many owners, new conveys better. True, some people might pass by a motel for having an old neon sign, but a well-maintained sign and place will build a good reputation. Below is the sign as I saw it last year.


BTW, Spiny’s Goshen’s Lincoln Highway blog should be an inspiration to towns all along the LH as to how you can document and promote your section of the LH. You’ll find a link to his site added to the right.

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5 Responses to “Goshen motel sign another Lincoln Highway loss”

  1. Glenn Wells Says:

    Actually I would call the old Goshen Motor Inn sign a “transitional” sign because the GOSHEN letters are on back-lit plastic. Such hybrids were common when neon was phasing out and plastic was coming in (circa 1960.)

    As a child looking out the car window, I became aware that neon was “old” and those new plastic signs sparkled. But maintenance has always been the key. Over the years, many of those plastic signs deteriorated, but a well-maintained neon sign is a sight to behold!

  2. Dave Zollinger Says:


    Thanks for the post. Now that I see it I do remember the old sign. Another loss for our community.


  3. brianbutko Says:

    Thanks Glenn. I used neon as a generalization – the neon is just one part but the shape, chaser bulbs, and staggered albeit plastic letters are more of that era. It could be anywhere from mid-1950s to mid-60s but I’ll guess late 50s – styles then come a few years earlier than we generally think.

    To see the neon lit, check out this image on Flickr:
    Goshen Motor Inn
    Too bad the stars were already fading.

    Read the comments too – maintenance cost is the usual culprit but the new one cost $3,500!

  4. RoadDog Says:

    My vote is for the old one. I hate it when this happens. Brings back the memory of the old Chain of Rocks Motel’s sign on Route 66.

    Why go for the unique when you can go for the bland.

  5. Keith Beasley Says:

    To say I love classic neon signs is an understatement.

    When rummaging through the web earlier this year I came across your blog and started digging back to discover the history of the Goshen Inn sign. The shot you had on your blog retained enough data within it – and your photo, combined with some of the responses that painted more of a picture really helped.

    I ended up recreating the sign in photoshop and as a thank you for your inspiration would love to send you a jpg of the work if you’re interested. Just shoot me an email; keith@CEDart.com

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