Editor’s note: This Throwback Thursday was previously published in 2009.
Offering warm beds just a few feet off the Old Coast Highway, Carpinteria Motor Lodges housed coastal travelers as well as local agricultural workers. The lodge, located at 4745 Carpinteria Ave., was purchased by Walter and Alice Kenyon in 1938. The couple lived in a house on the property and rented out the 43 separate cabins, which came with living quarters, kitchenettes and bathrooms.
CVN interviewed Carpinterian Marny Middleton in 2009. Middleton, the Kenyons’ granddaughter, came to know these cabins quite well. Leaving her former Vermont home, she moved into one of the units with her mother and sister shortly after her grandparents purchased the property. Middleton’s sister had been diagnosed with rheumatic fever and was told by her doctor that she would not live through another chilly Vermont winter.
Middleton, who was 14 when she moved to Carpinteria, worked after school and on weekends cleaning the lodge’s cabins. “I made many beds,” she remembers.
During World War II, the Bracero Program brought Mexican laborers into the United States to ease workforce shortages. Middleton recalls that the braceros working for the local lemon association were housed at the Carpinteria Motor Lodge.
Middleton married in 1943 and left the area shortly thereafter. Though she returned later, her connection to the lodge was severed after her grandfather died in the mid-1940s and the property was sold. The lodge was demolished decades ago, and now the property holds Sun Coast Rentals.