Roadside Communities: Ring’s Rest, Muirkirk, Maryland, 1930s
Cabins for Rent—Nightly Rates Only
As more people took to the road, clusters of roadside businesses sprang up to accommodate motorists’ needs. By 1925 many tourists stayed in roadside cabins rather than at campsites or hotels. Hotel operators, worried that cabins were undermining their business, warned that the cabins were dens of vice and danger. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover claimed that criminals used tourist cabins as hideouts. Still, motels became more and more popular. But as motorists began to look for consistency along the road, they patronized chain restaurants and motels instead of family-owned businesses.
Ring’s Rest, located about 20 miles north of Washington, D.C., was one of many small tourist courts scattered along Route 1 from Maine to Florida. The Ringe family rented out four wooden cabins and owned a roadside store with gasoline pumps. Miles from the nearest town, the Ringe family lived within earshot of highway traffic but in relative isolation. The only neighboring buildings were a general store, a railroad station, and a roadhouse.
Tourist cabin from Ring’s Rest
Ring’s Rest consisted of four wooden cabins, an outhouse, a bathroom and shower in the Ringe home, a store with gasoline pumps, and a parking area for house trailers. It opened around 1930 as the Lone Pine Inn. The Ringes purchased it in 1934 and it remained in business until the 1960s.
Ford Deluxe Roadster, 1934
By the 1930s motorists who could afford new cars were seeking more attractive, comfortable, and powerful models. Ford Motor Company replaced the plain Model T (1908–27) with the stylish Model A and then the V-8.
Cross over the ramp to the back of the trailer.