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Cactus Motor Lodge / RV Park

1316 E. Route 66, Tucumcari, NM

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The Cactus Motor Lodge has crumbled into the dust. It was last called the Cactus RV Park was built in the late 1930s or very early 1940s, by Pat Perry. He added two sections after World War II before selling it in 1952.

The new owner, Norman Wegner, added the manufactured stone to the exterior of the lodge and changed the name to Cactus Motel. Wegner operated the motel until selling to Harry and Jean Schiermeyer in 1972.

The Schiermeyers only stayed about four years before selling the motel to Frank and Elizabeth Kocab in 1976.

The Kocabs sold the motel to Indrajit (Andy) and Sugandhi Patel in 1979. The Patels still owned the property in 2018. At different times the motel had been part of the Friendship Inns and Best Western chain. The long gone 1950s sign shown above originally said MOTEL where it says RV Park.

In 1953 the motel was listed in the Negro Motorist Green Book a travel guide for Black travelers.

x Except for the small (newer)section at the far left in this photo this was the original Cactus Motor Lodge. The original office was located in the front unit in this building. The Cactus Court was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006 and the sign was restored in 2008.

The first expansion of the Motor Lodge included the back section of rooms that ran east and west. See the gap between the single room of the left in this photo, that was a pair of garages that were removed to make room for driveway when the place was converted to an RV park. I'm guessing this building arrived after 1952 because it doesn't have the manufactured stone exterior that was installed on the two older buildings that year.

What I suspect was a second addition to the lodge includes this double bungalow style set of two units separated by garages and a small corner section connecting the two earlier buildings were just stuccoed on the exterior. It seems like most references I've seen include this in the earlier addition of the south wing. I wonder about that timing because the designs don't match and this building doesn't have the manufactured stone applied to the front.

The "new" office and owner/managers quarters was located in the adjacent former dance hall.

Sometime after the motel closed in the 1990's the courtyard was converted to an RV park and the place reopened as the Cactus RV Park. At one time their had been a swimming pool in in the courtyard which was filled in or removed around 1980.

Even though the property was listed on the National Register of Historic Place it was sold in 2018 and torn down to make room for an O'Reilly Auto Parts store. So much for preservation of historic landmarks. The sign was removed and sold to a collector.

Photo(s): 2012, 2019



x About Us We started traveling Historic U.S. Route 66 as a destination in 2009. It's like a 2,400 mile long drive back in time from Chicago to Santa Monica! more
xDid You Know: Many parts of the old 4 lane Route 66 were reverted to a 2 lane road after 66 was realigned to the interstate. In many places the abandoned lanes are still there.