The Desert Inn and Restaurant, an iconic landmark at an otherwise remote intersection in remote Yeehaw Junction, has been a crash scene Sunday ever since a tractor trailer crashed into it in the pre-dawn hours.
Pictures show a jackknifed truck had slammed into the side of it, doing severe damage to the front wall of the diner part of the building and what was once an outdoor eating area.
It sits at the intersection of State Road 60 and U.S. 441 (South Kenansville Road). As of August of 2018, it was closed as a working restaurant and hotel, so it was vacant.
According to Osceola County Fire Rescue, the driver did not sustain serious injury. The truck was hauling oranges or orange juice.
Opening in the late 1800’s, it has an interesting past, considering its location, for a long time a stop for travelers off Florida’s Turnpike (which meets State Road 60 less than a mile to the east). Local cowboys and laborers stopped in for a hearty lunch, and it’s spent time as a trading post, dance hall and, rumor has it, brothel off and on. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994, after which, according to Wikipedia, “the unused rooms above the restaurant were converted into a modest museum that featured a bordello suite with red carpet, lace pillows and a swing.”
This is a developing news story, so check back for updates.