The Haven Motel (formerly Lein Motel) was one of the early urbex locations that inspired American Urbex. After discovering the location I did a quick Google search and discovered that the diminutive motel once attracted international celebrity. I have occasionally kept tabs on the accelerated decay of the location since moving into the area.
It seems now that the property owners are no longer content with leaving the units to the will of nature. The overgrowth has been cleared and trees converted into mulch. The structures are now fully exposed to the elements. If they are not intentionally knocked down in the short-term, they will certainly fall much faster than when they were under tree cover.
Excerpt from local news source Ft. Atkinson Daily Union:
Lloyd and Myrtle Lein purchased the 28.6-acre farm in December 1929 after 11 years of farming in the Albion area. The Leins continued farming, and the first of the cabins were built in 1931, as well as the filling station that accompanied them.
In 1938 the motel had been expanded to 10 cabins. By the late 1930s, Myrtle Lein was serving lunches at the filling station, and by the mid-1940s there were 20 cabins on the property. Lloyd Lein did all of the construction himself, doing all of the masonry, electrical and plumbing works. Myrtle sewed all of the curtains and awnings for the cabins.
The Lein?Motel was a good stopping point between Chicago and Minneapolis, and cost $1 per night if you brought your own linens; $1.25 if the Leins supplied linens. The motel was one of the first located on Highway 12.
The property sported its own well, and two individual farm “electric plants” that provided electricity. When the power lines were extended from the Star School property one-quarter-mile north of the cabins, Lloyd Lein signed a contract agreeing to pay $3.50 per month for electricity.
In my Haven Motel Flickr set there are photos from past and the most recent visit.
Thanks so much for sharing. This is the place that got me into the hobby; dating back to the early 90’s when I was a kid my family would drive by it several times a year to visit relatives and it always intrigued me. I truly hate to see it go but the decay really has accelerated the last few years. I’d love to see the scrapbook mentioned in the article.
how are you able to get to this?
Do you ever see any happy-ending stories with any of these urbex sites, old places that were restored to their former grandeur?