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(NOT) GI Joe Motel | Photo © 2020 Bullet, www.abandonedfl.com

(Not) GI Joe Motel

Location Class:
Built: | Abandoned:
Status: Abandoned
Photojournalist: David Bulit

When I first wrote this article, I was informed that this building used to be the GI Joe Motel, a 10-unit motel located on U.S. 1 in St. Augustine, and the site of an unsolved murder. In actuality, this motel never had a name and was once part of Charlie T’s Truck Stop. Built by Charlie Tice in 1965, the truck stop featured in addition to the motel, a convenience store, a fueling station, and a restaurant. The motel was a place for truck drivers who didn’t want or could not sleep in their trucks. Charlie Tice died on December 20, 2007, at the age of 79, and no time was spared as his longtime business was soon demolished just a couple of months later.

According to Jim Neuenfeldt, a former officer with the St. Johns County Sheriffs Office, the GI Joe Motel was located 10 miles north on U.S. 1 near Gerona Rd where an FPL substation now stands. Owned and operated by Joseph Del Guidice, the motel was a house where Joe and his wife lived, and about six cottages scattered around the property. Joe was found dead at his home at the GI Joe Motel on September 23, 1981, shot from outside right through the Jalousie windows, with a crossbow bolt. Jim Neuenfeldt was the responding offer to the call. No one was ever charged with the murder but it was suspected it was a longtime enemy from New York considering Joe was pretty much a hermit at the motel. Locals didn’t know much about Joe other than he had come to St. Augustine in the 1940s or 50s and built the motel.

On various blogs, videos, and social media, one is led to believe that this was the GI Motel when as you’ve just learned, it wasn’t.


David Bulit is a photographer, author, and historian from Miami, Florida. He has published a number of books on abandoned and forgotten locales throughout the United States and continues to advocate for preserving these historic landmarks. His work has been featured throughout the world in news outlets such as the Miami New Times, the Florida Times-Union, the Orlando Sentinel, NPR, Yahoo News, MSN, the Daily Mail, UK Sun, and many others. You can find more of his work at davidbulit.com as well as amazon.com/author/davidbulit.

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