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Touch of Joy Beauty & Nail/Unknown Motel, Two Notch Road: September 2008   4 comments

Posted at 10:04 pm in Uncategorized

I had noticed this salon off and on for a number of years. It was what I took to be an office strip mall on Two Notch Road near Very's and across the road from Dentsville Baptist Church. I noticed earlier this month that it had closed up, but when I stopped to take some pictures of it, I found that the "strip mall", Dentsville Office Mall was actually more interesting.

I had never realized it, but it's obvious once you go back into the parking lot for the place that it used to be one of the many US 1 roadside motels in Columbia. The old guest rooms form a "U" shaped court with a two story Office/Lobby in the center. I don't know what it was called as a motel, or exactly when it closed, but you can tell from a couple of these shots something that was confirmed by a gentleman who came out to chat with me: The grassy plot in front is actually the former swimming pool area. Once you know it was a motel, even the main sign looks like it's a 50s design with the panels relabeled.

As you can also see here, some of the guest rooms behind Touch of Joy have been fire damaged in recent years, and the plan is apparently to convert them into a number of self-storage units rather than try to restore the old hotel electrical and plumbing in that area. The rest of the mall seems to be "destination" businesses which don't rely on high street visibility: A tax service, a dental lab and and an alteration shop. It's a nice little bit of history I never noticed before.

Written by ted on September 24th, 2008

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4 Responses to 'Touch of Joy Beauty & Nail/Unknown Motel, Two Notch Road: September 2008'

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  1. This reminds me of another US 1 motel from back in the heyday of auto travel before the interstates were done. Further west on Two Notch is the Oakhill Apartments, which when I was small was the Carolina Motel.

    The owner used to let my grandmother and I come in the air conditioned office to wait for the bus. She even gave me a little figurine I admired on her counter one time.


    25 Sep 08 at 12:19 pm

  2. Thanks Dennis,

    WordPress doesn't use [IMG][/IMG], but the regular html of < img src=""> should work, I think.

    I've changed it and it's a nice pic!


    25 Sep 08 at 12:28 pm

  3. Dennis also sends the following interesting note and pix:

    It's pretty common all along the old US highways to see motels or "tourist courts" that are now urbanized and converted into tiny shopping malls or professional centers with a minimum of make-over. I guess there is a demand for retail space no bigger than a motel room or two or three.

    This one's near the west end of Jackson Blvd. Julia's is a pretty good little German place with a tiny bar, good German beer, waitresses who speak German, and about 6 tables. The other businesses must be doing well because they've been there a long time. Catchy name for the barber shop, eh? Wonder if anyone knows what the motel was originally called.

    You can clearly see where the rooms' doors and windows were, and around the back you'll see window air conditioners sticking out of the wall where each room was. I wonder if all the bathrooms are still intact.


    25 Sep 08 at 1:15 pm

  4. When I moved to Dentsville in the 1960s, there were about 1-2 dozen "mom & pop" motor courts still open or just recently closed on Two Notch Road between Alpine Road and Providence Hospital. Some were nice, one was a Best Western and stayed in business until the 1980s, but the few that remain today are seedy at best.


    26 Sep 08 at 6:05 am

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