Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Pine Towers Motel in Sheffield Lake

1960 Lorain City Directory Listing
While researching the old motels on the western outskirts of Lorain on U.S. 6, I saw in the 1960 City Directory that there had been one in my current town of Sheffield Lake. It was called Pine Towers Motel and was located at 4855 E. Lake Road.

Since that area was outside of Lorain, it was not listed in the older books, which tended to stop at the city limits.

The earliest entry for the 4855 E. Lake Road address that I could find was in the 1940 book. Joseph and Florence Padley were the owners.

By the 1942 book, the address was listed as vacant, and it would remain that way for several years.

It wasn't until the 1952 Directory that the motel showed up in the listings. The manager was Harry Storr, who was also employed as a pharmacist at Shoemaker Drugs in Lorain.

Pre-renovation photo of 4855 E. Lake Road 
Courtesy Lorain County Auditor website
By the early 1960s, Margaret Pelton was the name associated with the Pine Towers Motel. By 1962 the address was no longer listed as a motel, and about that time it became a private residence again with a new owner.

Around 1968, the building became the well-remembered St. Thomas Convent. It continued to appear in the directory as the convent into the 1990s.

The building was sold in the mid-1990s. If I remember correctly, the decision to sell the lakefront property was made in order to generate some much needed revenue for the church. (Here is a link to the St. Thomas website, which includes a nice history of the parish that mentions the convent.)

Today, after an extensive renovation, the building that served as both a motel and a convent is now a beautiful private residence (below).

The view this past snowy weekend
Perhaps someone with a knowledge of Sheffield Lake history will kindly come forward with some information about the home's original owners, and leave a comment.


Rick Kurish said...

"Women Gallant In Pine Towers Effort"

That was the headline in an article in the Chronicle Telegram Newspaper of July 21,1962.

It seems that sometime in 1961 members of the Sheffield Lake Women's Club leased The Pine Towers Motel with an option to buy. The women did many of the needed repairs, and devised ambitious fund raising projects to have the necessary money to purchase the place when the payment option came due.

The upper floors of the Motel were maintained for rental to transients, while the parlor and kitchen were made available to local organizations for a small fee. The motel also had adequate space for the clubs Welfare Council operations, which dispensed clothing and food to the needy. They also had plans drawn up to enlarge the structure by adding an addition to the rear.

However, when the option on the property came due the women were short of the money needed, even though they had accumulated a tidy sum. While the local bankers were sympathetic to their cause, the owner of the property, would not allow an extension of time for payment, so the club had no choice but to abandon their plans, and leave the property.

The article ended with the statement that the property now sits empty, with a "FOR SALE" sign in the front yard.

Dan Brady said...

Wow! Thanks for digging that up, Rick!