Cactus Motor Lodge

Cactus Motor Lodge Tile with Stand

$27.50 (Tile/Stand) +

$ 8.45 Shipping (USPS)

Cactus Motor Lodge Ceramic Tile

$25.00 (Tile Only) +

$ 8.45 Shipping (USPS)

For 80 years it was a must-stop place on Route 66 in Tucumcari. A classic retro tourist court that once boasted an award winning pool and hospitality second to January 2021, this former beauty queen, who had fallen into despair, and seemed unloved and abandoned, met her fate...With speed and efficiency, it was torn down...over just a few days, what had stood for 80 years and had welcomed Route 66 travelers from around the world, was gone for good. All the debris was hauled away and everything was lost forever.............OR WAS IT???

Like many places along Route 66, the Cactus Motor Lodge in Tucumcari, New Mexico enjoyed its share of famous people stopping by and spreading the word of their of these people you may not know about was famous restauranteur and chef Duncan Hines.

Mr. Hines, before his fame as an icon for tasty baked goods was established, was a well-known purveyor of restaurants and lodging up and down the Route and elsewhere.  He published a series of books "Adventures in Good Eating" and "Lodging for a night" where only a select few locations that met his standards were listed. It was on a stay at the Cactus that he was so impressed that the Motor Lodge was included in his book for travelers all over to see. Unfortunately the Cactus Motor Lodge is gone forever. But now YOU can own a piece of the famed Cactus Motor Lodge for yourself. By purchasing a 4.25" x 4.25" historic tile, you will be helping the Tucumcari Talking Tour to raise funds for its Tucumcari Lights Grant Program. Proceeds from the sale of these vintage tiles will be used towards obtaining, restoring and/or re-illuminating classic signs and other beautification projects in Tucumcari.

Just about every establishment along Route 66 has a story...and the Cactus Motor Lodge has several! One involves the quality tile work of the Perry Family, who built and owned the motel.


The Cactus was widely known along Route 66 for it's beautiful, pre-WW2, ceramic tile work. The tile was done in the bathrooms, (a few even got ceramic tile on the ceilings!), in the kitchenettes,  and detailed with tiny white and gray tiles on some of the floors. Pat Perry also used some of these tiles to indicate the room numbers outside each room, and finally proudly tiled  "Pat Perry" in the walkway cement.


But time and the bulldozers didn't care. Over a few days, the ceramic tile work in the rooms was destroyed, the walkways dug up, and the debris removed. Sadly, Pat probably thought his work and their Cactus Motor Lodge would last forever, to be enjoyed by Route 66 travelers long into the future.


But unfortunately all of Pat's vintage tile work was destroyed, removed,  and lost forever...UNTIL NOW. The Tucumcari Talking Tour has a very limited supply of these 4.25" x 4.25" ceramic tiles that were removed, quite literally, while bulldozers were just yards away working tirelessly to take down the very building from where these tiles were rescued.

Proudly display these tiles on your wall or on a shelf, grab some for yourself or gift them to your favorite Route 66 enthusiast. Here are just a few ways in which you could use these tiles:

Coasters - paint them or leave them as they are, they're beautiful either way

Table Top - buy several and redo an old coffee table or nightstand

Mosaic - smash (carefully) the tiles into mosaic size pieces and apply to a terracotta pot

Plant Stand - upcycle an old foot stool by applying these tiles to the top and use as a plant stand

Succulent Planter - with just a few of these tiles and a silicone-based caulk, create a planter for your succulents

Serving Tray - a few tiles, a section of plywood and a couple of handles and you have yourself a serving tray

Paint Pallet - are you an artest? Mix paints on them. You can have a bunch of different ones for mixing separate paint colors and they are incredibly easy to clean, too.

Click on either of the Buy Now buttons at the top of this page to purchase a genuine, historic Route 66 ceramic tile(s) that once adorned the bathroom walls of the Cactus Motor Lodge guest rooms.