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Johnson County Museum Acquires White Haven Sign


Overland Park, KS – The iconic White Haven Motor Lodge sign on Metcalf Avenue is staying in Johnson County, after the motel finished auctioning off all of its property today.

The Johnson County Museum had the highest bid - $5500. The only other bidder was a museum in Indiana. Johnson County Museum Director Mindi Love says many Kansas Citians have fond memories of the motel and sign, and wanted to see it stay in the community. And she says the sign also has historical significance.

"It's a larger story of the suburbanization of the country," Love says. "And these motor lodges with the auto culture were really important to getting people moving and getting them traveling around the country by car for the first time, and really seeing the culture and the landscape."

Love says the museum will still need to raise money to restore the sign, and is working on moving to a larger facility with enough room to exhibit it. The White Haven Motor Lodge closed last week after 53 years in operation.

Sylvia Maria Gross is storytelling editor at KCUR 89.3. Reach her on Twitter @pubradiosly.
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