Recent Comments

Recent Posts




Thoroughbred Motel, 3411 Two Notch Rd: Early 2000s   31 comments

Posted at 4:30 pm in Uncategorized

One thing to remember about Two Notch Road is that is is also US Highway-1, and that at one time that meant a good bit. Back before Interstates, US-1 carried a lot of the national North/South traffic, and many of those travellers needed some place to sleep. For them, Columbia seemed like a logical place to stop, and Two Notch Road still has a number of the motels that were built for them to park their cars and rest their heads.

It doesn't still have them all, of course. I remember two in particular that are now gone. Dreamland Motel once stood where the Lowes on Two Notch now stands. Since we lived in town, we never stayed there of course, but after long-haul traffic on US-1 started dying down, they decided to earn some some extra money (or perhaps it was just goodwill) by having Red-Cross approved swimming lessons taught in the summer at their pool. I figure that between there and the pool at my cousins' country club, I must have taken Red Cross "Advanced Beginners" four times. My mother would drop my sister and me off at Dreamland for the lesson and go run errands. At least she did the first time, but it developed that for some reason my sister completely refused to get in the pool (and she was a stubborn kid) so I may have finished the lessons there alone. After that, the place was torn down to put up the Spring Valley Theaters. The other motel I recall was the Chat 'n' Rest at the corner of Two Notch and Forest Drive at Providence Hospital. We never had swim lessons there, and in fact never set foot on the property, but I always used to think, riding by, how friendly the name sounded. You might almost imagine the place had a screen porch with rockers.

There are a number of these US-1 motels still hanging in on Two Notch, and I'm sure they are all perfectly legitimate places and I'm not at all saying anything libelous about them. However, as the US-1 traffic died off, and as newer motels were built at all the Interstate exits, you started to read things in the paper and observe things driving down Two Notch at night that might lead you to believe that some of the motels on Two Notch might perhaps rent their rooms on a basis more hourly than daily, and I'm afraid to say that it's in my mind that The Thoroughbred Motel might have been one of those. Whatever the basis of its operation, it finally folded a few years ago, and I can't imagine that whoever buys the property will leave it standing, classic sheetmetal horseheads or no.

UPDATE: Be sure to read the comments. I was wrong and Throughbred was an absolutely legit, family, place!

my grandmother was very proud to run a family motel she would not tolerlate the “working girl’s” walking on her parking lot or let them use her Motel and would chase them across the street

UPDATE 28 Feb 09:

Well, lots of changes here. First, on 29 Jan 2009, we see the place marked off with danger tape:

(By the way -- Note the horse-theme wallpaper inside the office!)

Then on 13 Feb 2009, demolition is well underway:

Finally by 25 Feb 2009 (when I got back into town after a trip), the whole place is gone:

UPDATE 31 March 2009: Added the Yellow Pages ad from the 1970 Southern Bell phonebook.

Written by ted on April 10th, 2008

Tagged with ,

31 Responses to 'Thoroughbred Motel, 3411 Two Notch Rd: Early 2000s'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Thoroughbred Motel, 3411 Two Notch Rd: Early 2000s'.

  1. I know the people who ran the place, and it was because of successive family deaths and their refusal to tolerate the nonsense you imply that the motel closed.
    You owe them an apology.

    Paul Scheiblich

    11 Jul 08 at 6:01 pm

  2. That's fair. I'm glad to be wrong, and do apologize!


    11 Jul 08 at 6:17 pm

  3. ted - Chat 'n' Rest always struck me as a wonderful name. Reminded me of the Shady Rest from "Petticoat Junction."

    There was a large old brick house turned old-fashioned boarding house on Two Notch (near where Harrison Rd. joins it) and the small green sign on the lawn said it was the Dun Roamin' Hotel.


    25 Aug 08 at 12:48 pm

  4. The Thoroughbred Motel was owned by the Mitchell family since the late 50’s, It was my grandparents place my grandmother was very proud to run a family motel she would not tollgate the “working girl’s” walking on her parking lot or let them use her Motel and would chase them across the street I witness this many times after a while they got the message and would cross RT1 on their own and never walk in front of the Motel.

    I am very proud to say that my family was part of Columbia’s history of the small “Mom & Pop” motels that lined Rt1, I miss the fun times we had at the “Motel” and my grandparents very much and all the other relatives I never get to see any more.

    Hay the Thoroughbred Motel wasn’t the Ritz but it was always clean place to rest you head.

    Michael Mitchell


    17 Sep 08 at 9:05 am

  5. Thanks for the memories. Your grandmother sounds like quite a lady! I've posted part of your comment as an update.


    17 Sep 08 at 9:28 am

  6. Two Notch used to be lined with hooker motels that publicly advertised hourly rates. They were mostly toward town near the Midland Shopping area. A lot of them still stand but have been warned against advertising hourly rates.


    5 Apr 09 at 11:23 pm

  7. Yep, but this wasn't one.


    5 Apr 09 at 11:41 pm

  8. Before Two Notch was widen, the motel had a neon sign featuring horses in motion.


    6 Apr 09 at 5:37 pm

  9. Are any of these old motels still standing on Two Notch? I was thinking they were pretty much extinct.

    When I was a kid back in the seventies, there was some place my mom and grandmother dragged me to on Two Notch that had a lot of cement and clay 'yard stuff.' Back behind all the treasures was an old motel that was seperate cabins. At the time, they were just a bunch of collapsing old buildings to me, but now I recognize what they were and am glad I got to see it.

    Anyone remeber where that was?


    5 Oct 11 at 1:24 pm

  10. Mr. Mitchell taught Chemistry at Irmo High School when I was there in the mid 70's. I remember him running the Motel or owned it if I remember correctly.


    5 Oct 11 at 1:35 pm

  11. @tonka -- Some are. The Grand Motel more or less at Two Notch & Beltline is still in business, though I get the impression it's more "efficiencies" than overnight rooms. There is one at Two Notch & Pine Belt, and one on the left side of Two Notch somewhere past Covenant if you're headed towards town. Of those, let's just say The Grand looks the best.

    The one is still standing, but no longer a motel.

    I'm pretty sure in retrospect that the Forest Restaurant was part of a motel that is now apartments.


    5 Oct 11 at 1:50 pm

  12. I remember when I moved to Columbia in 1964 there were motels and motor courts all the way from Sesqui to Taylor on Two Notch Rd. One of the few remaining ones is now an office park in Dentsville. Most were between the old Twilight Drive-in and Taylor. Many had great neon signs.

    You can still see the rements of some in Lugoff on US 1.

    On a related note, there used to be a large number of hotels and motels on Assembly between Senate and Blossom on the West side of the street. There also used to be one where the Strom thurmond Federal building now stands.


    7 Oct 11 at 12:39 am

  13. I lived in the trailer park at the Thoroughbred in late 1989. Mrs. Mitchell was a lovely woman. If it had not been for her, I wold have never baled hay or done any farm work. I wished I'd have stayed in South Carolina. Thank you to the Mitchell family for giving a young man a safe place to live.


    23 Dec 11 at 6:34 am

  14. There were a lot of motels along Two Notch. Mason's is the place I remember best. Mason's was a couple of cuts below the Family Inn visited by the couple in the Amazing Rhythm Aces' song "Third Rate Romance, Low Rent Rendezvous."

    Across from the ice house at Two Notch and Laurel St. A scattered collection of rickety, stand-alone white cabins among mature hardwoods. Each cabin just a bedroom and a bathroom, no phones or TV. Sheets and towels thin enough to see through. The creaky bedsprings and deformed, lumpy mattresses would have probably made sleep difficult. Rooms were clean, if well-used. The doors locked, though several doors I remember looked as if they'd been kicked open on multiple occasions and kept in service with just haphazard "repairs." Most furniture looked as if it had been purchased at the used furniture stores on Two Notch . . . about 40 years earlier.

    In the early '70s, a room could be had for $6 a night (later went up to $7). Rooms rented by the night or week (commercial rates available).

    Though it was probably a class enough tourist motel when it was built on the outskirts of Columbia -- back when two Notch and Laurel was the outskirts of town -- by the '60s and '70s, many passionate hours were spent there. I never heard any rumors of working girls there. However, the "regulars" from the Columbia area took great care turning out of the driveway onto Two Notch, knowing that being involved in an accident while turning out of Mason's Motel would give their spouse carte blanche in divorce court.

    The owner also grew and sold azalea plants -- thousands of them! -- in giant tin cans and buckets around the property. In the springtime, azalea blossoms nearly obscured the place.

    At some point (?late '60s?) they built "the new building," a boring two story beige brick building on the property, closer to how people envisioned a "modern" motel.

    The motel and cabins have long been subsumed by the Providence Medical empire.

    No Name

    5 Feb 12 at 5:04 pm

  15. sounds like this was before the dawn of the Eisenhower interstate system and when US#1 had more people transiting across...


    5 Feb 12 at 5:08 pm

  16. I'm surprized that the Motel at the corner of Two Notch and Beltline is still there..AND OPENED. It has to be at leaste as old as I am..and I'm 53. I remember I think it was either in the 70's or 80's that the Police had to raid the Motel that was near but across the street from the BK Lounge, but dont rembmer the name of it. I dont remember any of the other Motels that were there in the 60's though..


    5 Feb 12 at 5:46 pm

  17. I stayed here for about two weeks when I was 7 and my father had just retired from the Army. We came down from Ohio and our house (over in the Springwood Lake area) was not ready for move-in. I remember it was a nice place with a pool. Two Notch was much different in those days. Uncle Sams store was just across the road and we frequently had dinner at a diner down in Dentsville.

    Randy Mitchell

    12 Jan 13 at 11:02 am

  18. Back in the early 1970's I would come to town to train at Fort Jackson and rented a mobile home at the Thoroughbred. The guys had lots of fun and partying in a casual atmosphere, but we always respected others staying there and never did any damage to the property. One year a huge pile of used tires next door caught on fire. I heard explosions and though it was gunfire. The local firefighters struggled to put it out. I finished my stay there that year. Seeing the demolition made me sad, sort of like discovering an old friend not seen for years had passed away. Rest in Peace, Thoroughbred.


    12 Oct 13 at 9:14 pm

  19. I read No Names post from 2-5-12 for the first time today. It was very well written. I stayed at Masons's on occasions when I was a teen, and remember it as No Name says. @No Name - if you are still around, post another.


    13 Oct 13 at 2:37 pm

  20. I went to school with the granddaughters of the Mitchells that bought the Thoroughbred in the '50s. They lived over on Pinebelt, and the parents of my schoolmates eventually ran the motel themselves. They were extremely religious, so it was ironic that they owned this motel. There is no doubt in my mind that they kept drugs and prostitution as far away from there business as possible. On the other hand, the other motels in the area were crime havens by the '80s.


    13 Oct 13 at 6:12 pm

  21. Think of all of the crabs, mites and bed bugs that were left homeless after the demolition!!!!


    13 Oct 13 at 11:09 pm

  22. I remember in the back part of the hotel was a mobile home park. I lived in one of the trailers for about a year. Mrs.Mitchell was the nicest ladies I have ever met. She brought me food after I came home from having surgery.She had a women named Betty take care of cleaning the trailers when someone left. I loved living there.

    Patty Kelley

    2 Jun 17 at 3:04 pm

  23. Betty was our Grandmother. My sister and I pretty much grew up running around there.


    12 Jan 18 at 9:04 pm

  24. While I was training over the summer of 92 my battle buddy and I were granted a weekend pass. We caught a cab late in the evening on Saturday to one of the bigger hotels. Turns out that hotel had no vacancy. So we pulled out the phone book and started calling one hotel after another and they were all full. It was becoming a dire situation, when one of the employees of that hotel says, "Have you boys tried the Thoroughbred?" "No, Sir," we replied. I recall an indication in his voice that led us to believe that the Thoroughbred was located in a questionable part of town, but we were desperate at that point for a place to sleep. We called and it turns out there was vacancy. We quickly got a cab. The cabby says, "Where to?" We reply, "The Thoroughbred please." He very quickly turns around and gives us another look, as if to say that our kind might not fit in at that part of town. We inquired further. He said that we'd be OK, as long as we locked the door and kept the curtains closed. I don't recall the exact time we arrived, but it was late. We went into the office and looked around; I can still clearly remember the horse wallpaper. Then, to our surprise, the nicest older lady came out and got us a room. She was polite, the room was very clean, and we witnessed no nefarious activity during our stay. I was just telling a friend about staying there when I stumbled upon this site. I was sad to hear what happened. Thanks for a great experience.


    30 Jan 18 at 12:03 pm

  25. James Terry Roach and Ronald Mahaffey stayed at the Thoroughbred Friday Oct 28 1977
    The next day they killed my friends Tommy Taylor 17 and Carlotta Hartness 14 who were students at Wildewood school with me
    Roach was executed in SC on Jan 11 1986
    This has no bearing on the disposition of the Thoroughbred Motel, but the name came up as I was going back through testimony and found this site

    Bill Southworth

    1 Apr 18 at 9:53 pm

  26. I have fond memories of the Thoroughbred Motel. I and my buddy were in training at Fort Jackson and often stayed at this nice motel on many weekends. The lady that ran the motel, after making sure we were decent people, welcomed us like family and even came to Ft Jackson to pick us up if we needed a ride (we usually did since we were trainees). She even put us up in a room usually reserved for family members if necessary. This was 1961 and the lady that ran the motel was wonderful to us. This motel is fondly remembered as was the lady who befriended us like we were family.

    Ernest Wade

    16 Dec 18 at 10:58 pm

  27. That entire area of Two Notch Rd. was an ok place in the early 60's I'm sure, but by the 70's and on, things had changed to the point of being too dangerous. But that happens to a lot of places. Two Notch had quite the reputation for certain things and people by the late 70's and 80's, which is a shame considering what it was just 10 to 20 years earlier. 1961 vs. 2018 are two different times and places.


    17 Dec 18 at 7:27 pm

  28. My most memorable time with that motel was while I was sitting at Norton's across the street getting a car alarm installed, Richland County was having a solicitation sting. All of us were tripping of these guys getting swarmed by the cops, take them away, repeat. You knew they were cops, they were white, nicely (ho) dressed, and pretty clean looking.


    6 Feb 19 at 4:26 pm

  29. I stayed at the Thoroughbred Hotel in 1989 and I rented one of the trailers out back by the week. It had full maid service and was fully furnished. I was traveling with a sales company at the time and the owners and staff were really nice. They always treated me with respect and never bothered me. The maid's husband used to help me at the office from time to time. They where very nice. So I say thanks to Mike and Linda and to the Thoroughbred Hotel for being there for me. Shelby


    13 Nov 19 at 7:27 pm

  30. I stayed at the Thoroughbred Mobil Home Park. It was in 1966. At that time my husband was stationed at Fort Jackson Army Base. We were there for a few months. I enjoyed going in the motel and talking with Mrs. Mitchell. I remember they had a daughter I think her name was Joan???and at that time she had a new GTO. It was yellow in color. Lots of memories there. I wanted so much to go back and see them again. But it never happen. Will always cherish all the memories.


    3 Sep 21 at 7:13 pm

  31. I would like to thank all the people who stayed at my grandparents motel over the years and for the nice comments it was a place thatbi spent a lot of time at as a kid. I'm proud to be a Mitchell that had a part in the history of Columbia South Carolina

    Michael Mitchell Sr grandson....


    6 Apr 23 at 11:48 am

Leave a Reply


Recently Updated Posts