Lincoln Highway: Tourist Court

Ames Tourist Court

(Farwell T. Brown Photographic Archive)

In 1926, the Ames Tourist Court at 318 East Lincoln Way was opened by John Ogle.  It was probably the earliest Iowa tourist court, and the 1932 Hobbs Guide said this was one of the finest tourist facilities on the Lincoln Highway.  Car parking was available inside the room.  The garage door was next to the people door and you drove right into your room.  The name Ames Tourist Court was used until 1958 when its name became Ames Tourist MotelLearn more about this historic tourist court.

Old Tourist Home
Some later postcards show painted on the office front the message: This is John Ogle's idea of a Tourist Camp. This 1928 postcard, however, shows another slogan: I built this camp by the side of the road to be a friend to tourists adapted from the familiar line in the poem The House by the Side of the Road by Sam Walter Foss: Let me live in a house by the side of the road and be a friend to man.
July 17, 1928
This is where we are spending the night on account of the rain.  I don't know what day we will be home.  Claire thinks Saturday.

This above postcard from the early 1950s has printed on the back: Located on Highway 30, two blocks east of Junction 30-69, Ames, Iowa. Open year 'round, with finest accomodations in a restful setting.  Thirty heated rooms and thirty baths.

Ames Daily Tribune, June 5, 1950

JOHN OGLE DIES SUNDAY; RITES WED. - John W. Ogle, 77, longtime resident and business man of Ames and story county, died Sunday at 12:30 a.m. in his home at 711 Wilson.  Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 2 p.m. in the Duckworth funeral home with Rev. Robert Pinnell, pastor of First Methodist church, officiating.  Burial will be in the Ames Municipal cemetery.


Mr. Ogle, who often was consulted for advice and opinions on the business matters, was born oon a farm eight miles east of Danville, Ill., in vermillion county, Sept. 1, 1872.  He was married to Evelyn Nowning Dec. 25, 1902, in Ames.  He farmed south of Ames for 12 years and during that time raised prized horses and hogs, many of which won national honors in shows and exhibitions.

After his retirement from the farm he served as a contractor for the erection of guard rails for the highway commission for tow years.  He next served as streets commissioner for the city of Ames.

In 1925 he built the Ames Tourist Court and sold it 11 years later.  He was a pioneer in central Iowa in that type of business.  One of his principal enjoyments was the judging of livestock at fairs and shows throughout Iowa...