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Elm Street U-Smile Camp
Elm Street U-Smile Camp
TitleElm Street U-Smile Camp
DescriptionPostcard of Elm Street U-Smile Camp
Historical ArticleElm Street-U-Smile Camp, 1 mile East of Kansas City on U.S. 40, 70 Cottages is the caption on the photographic postcard mailed April 17, 1930, to S.S. Evanson, Callender, Iowa, with a one-cent green stamp.

All cottages appear to be occupied as couples pose at front doors. Across the highway was a gas station. Both the camp and station were owned by Joseph Herman, a local farmer. Herman got the idea for the tourist camp while on a visit to California where motels were springing up.

U-Smile camp was well equipped for the day. Beds were good and a community house had kitchen facilities, and even showers. Water was piped in from a nearby spring, the 500-gallon tank warmed by the sun.

Some such one-room overnight $1 stops in the west called tourist camps required the traveler to bring his own sheets, pillow slips and blankets. This was not too difficult for campers heading west to Yellowstone, because automobile campers usually carried tent, cots, pillows, blankets, a running board ice-box and a trunk filled with food staples. (A Brownie Kodak and a back seat full of children usually completed the picture.)

Highway 40 was not paved at the time U-Smile was built. Many have memories of the agony of being stuck in the mud on old U.S. 40 and being pulled out by a farmer's team of strong horses.

U-Smile's guests pictured on the old postcard are lucky indeed with their safe haven, not having to face a drak night and the possibility of rain on the old highway to Columbia and Jefferson City.

Kansas City Star
August 9, 1991

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectCampgrounds
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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