Howard Johnson's Connection to Nahant


 Hi...I'm Donna Lee Hanlon. I live on Bass Point in Nahant, Massachusetts, with my husband, Ron. My husband's (Ronald E.), step-grandfather was William G. Hallbauer of Lynn and Nahant, Massachusetts, owner of Hallbauer's Ice Cream Store (circa early 1912). We know this because on a recent spring cleaning, I opened an old cedar chest and unearthed an old album which contained two photos of William G. Hallbauer, dated 1900 and 1903, a photo of the Nahant Hallbauer Ice Cream Store, dated 1912 and twenty vintage, hand-colored photographs of early Howard Johnson's Ice Cream stores, located in Massachusetts, during the years 1924 thru 1936. These early photographs, documenting twenty original stores in Massachusetts, are of the very beginnings of the Howard Johnson's Restaurant and Motor Inn chain. They have been tucked away in the cedar chest in the back of a closet for at least fifty years. When I asked my husband about ...

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The Photos

 William Hallbauer, Lynn, 1900

William Hallbauer, Lynn, 1903

 Hallbauer's Ice Cream Store, Nahant, 1912

Howard Johnson's Airplane

Howard Johnson's Ice Cream Stands ...

Dedham - May 6, 1935

Dorchester - 1935

Lynnfield - 1933

Melrose - Sept 28, 1935

Montello - 1934

Nantasket - 1933

North Attleboro - 1934

North Attleboro - 1936

Orleans - June 22, 1935

Pembroke - 1934

Randolph - 1932

Revere Beach - 1933

Rotary Mills - Sept. 22, 1935

Scituate - 1934

Stoughton - 1933-4-5-6

Wallaston Beach - 1934

Walpole - 1933

West Wood - 1934

Whitman - 1934

Wollaston - 1924


 The rest of the story:

... these photographs, he told me that they were his step-grandfather's, William G. Hallbauer of Lynn, Massachusetts, who sold ice cream from a horse and cart at the turn of 19th century. He said he had heard that his grandfather had a sold his ice cream formula to Mr. Howard Johnson and helped with the openings of the twenty stores.

About the three older photographs. One photograph dated 1900, is very faded and the subject is barely visible. I see a young man seated in a horse-drawn ice cream cart with four, big, white spoked-wheels, the front two a bit smaller than the rear. The horse is handsome, with a wee bit of a sway and the man is dressed in a white suit and sporting a white hat, like a milkman's uniform of the time. He has a mustache and blonde or light brown hair. His ears are large. He is seated sideways in the cart with his head and shoulders facing the camera. His expression is one of pride and confidence. Written on the side panel of the white cart are the words, "Cook's (or Gook's) Ice Cream, Lynn."

The second photograph entitled, "Mr. Wm. Hallbauer, Lynn 1903," shows the same man with a dog that looks like an American Pit Bull Terrier, seated next to him on a what looks like the same cart with the same horse. The writing on the panel of the cart has changed. I can barely read the words "Ice Cream." It looks like the name "Hallbauer" is arched over it, but I can't be sure. Under those words are "Frozen Pudding." To the left are, "Wm.G. Hallbauer" "West Neptune St" "Lynn." There is even a telephone number: "1046-4." The cart is parked in front of a two or three-story, light-colored building with a large front porch. The wood clapboards are painted and there is beautiful detailing like the scalloped-edged siding around a large, front, bay window and beautiful thin spindles in the porch railing. There is a sign to the right of the front door. The only words I can make out are "Manicuring," "Shampooing," "Facial & ???" and "TREATMENT" There are four doorbells to the left of the sign.

The third photograph entitled Nahant 1912, shows the same man, as part of the two couples in front of Hallbauer's Ice Cream store.

Sandwiched between West Wood 1934 and Wallaston Beach 1934 was a colored photograph of the airplane "Howard Johnson's" NC488. There are four men and one woman standing under the wing. One man is dressed in a white uniform and hat (like a milkman's uniform) and a blue bowtie, wearing a name tag. Everyone is wearing a hat.

They were in an old album which was in terrible shape. Luckily, there was no mold or musty smell. I took the album to a Antiques & Collectibles evaluation night at the Nahant Town Hall in March 2003. An appraiser from Kaminsky of Beverly, MA, told me that they were hand-colored photographs, in great shape for their age (60 plus years) and a great piece of Americana. He thought they could be worth $700 as a collection or even more, depending on the collector.

An historian from the Nahant Historical Society suggested that I remove the photographs from the album because the old paper was not acid-free and the tape was beginning to cause damage. I removed the photographs from the album, removing the offending tape and as much of the paper as was easily possible. The photographs were mounted (glued) onto cardboard, which was then mounted (glued) onto the black album paper. I put each of the photographs / cards into individual poly bags to protect them from any further deterioration. The vintage Ho Jo store cards measure about 6" x 10" except for the Revere Beach, which is about 8" x 10" and the Howard Johnson's airplane photo which is also about 8" x 10."


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