This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What ever happened to the Carson Inn?

On the way back for Lafayette recently, I stopped for gas at the BP station just north of the Rensselaer-Remington exit. The gas price was six cents below what the price was in Rensselaer.
This intersection has not been a very good one for businesses. Next to the BP station, which I think is quite new, is another station that is boarded up, though the gas pumps are still in place.
Behind it are the remains of the old Carson Inn, which was once a very nice motel. It closed as the Carson Inn many years ago, and I think at least one attempt was made to reopen it. I asked in the BP station when it had been demolished, and the lady replied that it was a long time ago, three or four years. I wandered back to see what was left.
The parking lots were still there along with their light fixtures.
The building seems to have been built on a concrete slab. There was some brick work that was probably the entrance or lobby.
The strangest thing I saw was a pile of old mattresses. Why were they just left and not taken to a landfill?
I noticed this sign as I left. Interesting spelling.
South of the intersection is a former gas station that has fireworks signs on it. I have never stopped to see if it is still in operation or if it is abandoned. I also remember another gas station at this intersection, on the east side of the road. We used to stop there because it had cheap gas. I could not see any sign of it, though if I had searched through the weeds carefully I might have been able to find some trace of it. It closed about twenty five years ago.

Up the road is Crazy Ds. It was hard to tell if it was open for business or not. I vaguely recall that it opened under a different name.
What is wrong with this intersection? Why have businesses been so unsuccessful here compared to the intersections north and south of it.?


30-year refugee said...

i drove around the LCJ festival this evening when we arrived in rensselaer. lots of activity taking place. i had dinner at pizza king, first time in at least 30 years. i remarked i'd be back in 30 years as i walked out the door.

5 a.m. (approximate) departure sunday for the TRIRI.

Sheila said...

I consider myself pretty observant, and I didn't realize Carson Inn had been demolished! Thanks for the photos!

jeffsgal212 said...

Since that BP reopened (as a station/convenience store), its gas prices are anywhere from .15 - .20 cheaper than in town. I'm not sure which station in town was only .04 more on the day this blog was written...I drive by there twice a day, to and from work, and am amazed that they can be so much less expensive. Today it's .20 less a gallon. I haven't bought gas in town since.

30-year refugee said...

i do remember as a kid that having dinner at the carson inn was a special occasion. that's where you went for a nice dinner.

The Drennans said...

Thanks for this post. I have fond memories of stopping there on trips to Chicago with my folks in the 1970s. It had a nice restaurant/diner and I recall a lovely little fountain water feature in the lobby. Sad to see it gone.

Anonymous said...

On our trips from Indy to Chicago, I made big money as a kid crawling on the floor to look for coins that had rolled under the vending machines.

randy said...

I went to St.Joe's College in the early 70's.The Carson Inn was the place to stay in that area, for parents etc...I haven't been back to visit since then.Am going to do so this week. Was expecting to stay at the Carson Inn. There has to be a real story here. A sad one no doubt

Nick Nixon said...

I recall stopping there for dinner several times during the 1980's on my way to visit my grandparents in Chicago. I'm almost certain during the 80's it operated as a full service Best Western hotel (although it may have OPENED under another chain). The restaurant was somewhat upscale for the area and was certainly the nicest place to dine off I-65 north of The Greater Lafayette area. I know its easy to look fondly at the past, but I remember enjoying dining there with a great staff, white tablecloths, desserts, and the whole bit. The hotel had a lovely fountain water feature in the lobby, interior corridors, and an indoor pool. The restaurant was what I remember most because it offered a variety of steak, shrimp, seafood, etc. It was a treat for me as a kid to stop for dinner there on what always seemed like such a long trip from Kokomo to the north side of Chicago. I stayed there once with my dad while it was Best Western (est. 1985?) and then again about a decade later under the "Carson Inn" name. It certainly wasn't as nice as it once was staying there overnight, not to mention the fabulous restaurant was closed. I'd love to know when the building originally opened and closed for business or any other random facts. Thanks