Unique signage encourages travellers to think twice

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Guttenberg Powersports & Marine owner John Cain (above) uses his portable outdoor sign to draw attention to his business. (Press photo by Caroline Rosacker)

By Caroline Rosacker

Guttenberg Power-sports & Marine, located at 31738 Highway 52, has a unique way of capturing the attention of travelers as they slow down and make their way into Guttenberg.

Business owner John Cain of Guttenberg enjoys greeting locals and visitors to the community with uplifting, thought-provoking and often humorous messages on his portable outdoor sign located on the right side of Highway 52 heading north. 

Interesting signage

As a feature writer, several people have requested I interview the man with the sign along Highway 52. " I got started about six years ago," he recalled. "I saw it online. People were doing stuff like that – it gets people's attention. My wife and daughter have come up with ideas, or I find something online, or people make suggestions."

The outdoor sign was intended to draw attention to the business. "A lot of people don’t know what we do down here. They may not have a boat or a golf cart, but almost everyone has a lawn mower," he commented. "I try to find sayings that will make people stop and think. One of my favorites was, 'Life is like a helicopter – I don't know how to operate a helicopter.'"

Guttenberg Powersports & Marine 

Guttenberg Powersports & Marine's main focus is servicing jet boats,  jet skis, and inboard and outboard motors, but also repairs golf carts, ATV's, UTV's and lawn mowers. "We also winterize, shrink wrap and provide outdoor storage for boats," explained Cain. "We run a deal – if we winterize your boat and shrink wrap it we will store it for the winter months free"

Cain also does minor welding and small engine repair. "I don't profess to know everything, but I am willing to learn when I don't," he noted. 

U-Haul dealer

U-Haul rental is also available through Guttenberg Powersports & Marine. "Renting a U-Haul is really quite economical," he pointed out. "You can take them one way or use them locally. The trailers are really a money saver if you need to move something – costing less than $50 dollars for 24-hour of use."

Shady Park Motel

Although the Shady Park Motel, is no longer standing, in its heyday it was comprised of eight cabins, a restaurant, general store, gas station, and a koi pond with a fountain. The resort was located just south of Cain's current business and was his childhood home growing up. "In the early 70's my parents, Joyce and Dale Cain, purchased the property after the resort was no longer operational," he recalled. "There was a big cement deck that came off the house and underneath that was a root cellar where the previous owners stored food items that required cold storage for the general store and restaurant." 

He went on to say, "There was a cabin underneath the house that my dad opened up and remodeled for extra living space. The resort was well-know for its unique architecture. It was disappointing when most of it was torn down to make way for the new highway." 

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Don't forget to slow down, abide by the speed limit, and take a quick glance at Cain's quirky roadside attraction.

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