A Post Card from the Trojan Motor Inn

By Judy Deeter

TROY - This post card shows an aerial view of Troy’s Trojan Motor Inn.  The card is thought to have been created some time in the 1960’s—long before Google aerial maps or photographs from drones.  It was made by Dexter Press, Inc. of West Nyack, New York and published by Ralph Dalton & Associates of Troy.  It has never been mailed; it has no post mark date.

The Trojan Motor Inn was located at 1610 W. Main St. in Troy (where the Goodwill Store stands today). The motel location was sometimes described as at Interstate 75 and Ohio 41.

It opened in 1957 as Troy’s first motel, where for the first time guests could step from the door of their car to the door of their room.  

From the time it opened, it was loved by both out-of-town visitors and local residents.  Its "Helen of Troy" restaurant and Caesar’s Lounge bar (pictured below) were favorite Trojan gathering places.  Wording on the back of the post card says:  “Everything a motel should be:  ultra-modern sound-proof rooms with color TV, air conditioning, telephones, Hi-Fi and wall-to-wall carpeting.  The Helen of Troy Dining Room – Caesar’s Cocktail Lounge – Ohio’s largest motel Swimming Pool- Banquet and Party Rooms.  One of Ohio’s most luxurious vacation spots.”  

In the post card photograph, one can also see two tennis courts at the back of the motel.  Some sources indicate that an addition was added to the motel in 1959.  This may have been the banquet room.

There were two buildings in the complex.  Along with the large main building, there was a smaller building with a group of rooms. Some individuals who remember the motel believe the small building of rooms was for travelers with long stays. Here, local companies housed their out-of-town employees and guests, local organizations held banquets, and residents cooled off in the pool.

Down through the years, the motel changed ownership and name.  The restaurant name changed too. In the early 1970s, the motel became the Imperial House. The Helen of Troy Restaurant is believed to have retained its name until sometime in the 1980s.  Between the 1980s and mid-1990s, the restaurant name changed multiple times. In August 1995, the restaurant became El Sombrero (the same restaurant that exists at its 25A location in Troy today). In the early 1990s, the motel became part of the Days Inn chain of motels, but fire destroyed the motel on the afternoon of November 11, 1996.  The blaze is thought to have been caused by a roofing company making repairs on the roof.  They had been heating tar on the roof at the time the fire started.  

The fire was quite large.  Troy firefighters were assisted by fire companies from Covington, Piqua, Ludlow Falls and Tipp City.

Last year, the family of the late artist Michael McConnell donated drawings he made for the Helen of Troy restaurant menu to The Troy Historical Society.  They can be viewed by contacting the society at (937) 339-5900 or by email at tths@frontier.com.  

Though the motel is long gone, many local residents have fond memories of the good times they had there.