Warrensburg’s Breeze Inn: A Great Place to Stay in the 1930s
Before it was arguably known as the best place to get ribs in Warrensburg, The Breeze Inn's beginning started as a small tourist court which the Warrensburg Star-Journal boasted was the most modern and up-to-date in Warrensburg for 1933.
According to the Star-Journal article shared on the Johnson County Missouri Historical Society's Facebook page, Arthur T. King built two tourist cabins on his property south of Warrensburg on Highway 13.
The cabins included an attractively furnished room with a Simmons bed and a Beautyrest mattress, a built-in dresser, a table, and two chairs. The cabins also included a bathroom with hot and cold running water, a toilet, sink, and shower. Each cabin included six screened windows and Mr. King planned on adding gas heaters before the winter.
The article's description of The Breeze Inn didn't stop there. It mentioned how dotted Swiss curtains were hung in the windows, monogrammed linens had been purchased, and how each cabin was fully plastered with its own foundation.
The article also noted that Mr. King named his establishment The Breeze Inn. Perhaps, after the screened windows the article seemed to be impressed by?
Prior to the 1930s, according to Smithsonian Magazine, a motorist's choices of accommodations were stuffy downtown hotels, camping in a field or lakeshore, or staying at a tourist home. In the 1930s, Smithsonian says, "Farmers or businessmen would contract with an oil company, put up a gas pump and throw up a few shacks. Some were prefabricated; others were handmade – rickety, but original."
Tourist courts, which Mr. King's Breeze Inn seemed to be, emerged after that as a classier version of the above-mentioned shacks.
So yes, in April of 1933 The Breeze Inn cabins were a big deal. Perhaps as big a deal as when the Holiday Inn opened at Highway 50 and Highway 13 in September of 1969.
I imagine those traveling through Warrensburg at the time were excited by the prospects of staying at the Breeze Inn. A comfortable place to stay after a day's drive. Much like those who happened upon the Holiday Inn in the 70s felt. These days checking into a box motel that looks like every other box motel, I don't think generates the same excitement.
While The Breeze Inn is gone. And most roadside motels might elicit a feeling in your gut that you're checking into the Bates motel. You can find some nice roadside motels out there. The kind of place that may not impress your kids, but will take you back to your eleven-year-old self on a family road trip.
One of those motels worth checking out is in nearby Eldon. Historic Randles Court is a roadside motel on 4th Street lovingly restored and operated by Jennifer Hart and her family. It has its own great story and is more or less from the same era as The Breeze Inn. In fact, you might find yourself excited as you see the neon sign and pull into the lot.