Lodging · Rediscovering the All American Motel · Southeast Iowa

Burlington’s Iconic Arrowhead

The history of this property could feel and quickly explained in just minutes of checking in. This is Burlington’s Arrowhead Motel! 2520 Mount Pleasant Street

*Our room here was complementary and the opinions expressed on this article are of our own.

Burlington, IA: Des Moines County

If you’ve taken a lot of road trips, or just a few, chances are is that you’ve rolled into one of America’s classic motels. Whether it was on your radar from the get-go or a shimmering oasis during a late night and or harsh weather, these properties are a vital part of our classic road trip culture and one of Burlington’s motels is a true icon.

The Arrowhead’s welcoming culture starts right when we pull up to the front door of the lobby. One of the owners of the Arrowhead, Jerry Fenton Jr., met us and we immediately knew we were talking with one of Burlington’s best ambassadors. Jerry displayed a paper map and started to highlight some places he knew we’d like. We chose his motel because of its history so he knew that we’d want to see some of Burlington’s beautiful and historic landmarks on our wintery visit.

July 4th, 1933. Independence Day in the middle of the Great Depression and like the rest of the country, Burlington and its citizens were feeling it. It was a time of strife, but it was also a period that produced countless entrepreneurs that rose-up from nothing. Many financially broke created a businesses out of pure desperation. The Torn family, during the Depression, was given lumber in exchange for owed cash and instead of turning it down they turned it into cabins for constant travelers coming into Burlington. It was called The White Mill Tourist Cabins originally, and in the 60’s the property was renamed to what we know it as today. The Arrowhead Motel. I have a feeling that the welcoming care we received was instituted by the Torn’s in the 1930’s.

The room we stayed in was fully furnished with flat screen TVs, a kitchenette, 3 beds in two rooms with all that Native American style decor all over. Clean, comfortable and most importantly on a night like this, very warm. It had modern renovations, but you could tell that it was keeping up with its historical lore.

The Arrowhead offers a nice continental breakfast spread of pastries, Pop-Tarts, breakfast bars, juices, milk and plenty of HOT coffee. Remember those water bottles from earlier? The Arrowhead operators know that travelers and tourists love bottled water and you can use their state of the art reverse osmosis faucet to keep yourselves hydrated and help with less trash getting into our environment. Jerry’s orders!


When was the last time you were handed an actual key when checking in? It’s a small but very significant charm to the Arrowhead and nostalgic motels across America. Thanks for lodging Team Goodvin in Burlington, Arrowhead. We’ll stop again!

Book your stay at the historic Arrowhead Motel website: Arrowhead Motel

Like their Facebook page too: Arrowhead Motel

Thank you to Chelsea at GBP for helping us with planning our trip to Burlington!

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