1925: Howard Deering Johnson takes over a drug store with a soda fountain in Quincy’s Wollaston section. Doubles butterfat in ice cream and expands flavors, attracting repeat customers.
1929: Opens first restaurant in downtown Quincy; begins franchising other locations.
1935: Expands during the Great Depression. Johnson lends his name, now made popular by his 28 ice cream flavors, to a restaurant in Orleans in exchange for a fee and an agreement that the owner would buy his food from Johnson.
1940: Reaches 107 restaurants from New England to Florida. Johnson secures a contract to open 24 locations on the new Pennsylvania Turnpike.
1959: Johnson turns the business over to his 26-year-old son, Howard B. Johnson.
1960: The company hires French chef Jacques Pepin to oversee recipe development.
1961: The younger Johnson takes the company public with 605 restaurants, 10 Red Coach Grill restaurants, and 88 motor lodges. Net sales hit $95 million.
1980: Johnson sells the company to Imperial Group, a British conglomerate, for more than $630 million. Sales had dropped from $34 million in 1979 to $14.7 million in 1980.
1985: Imperial sells the company to Marriott, which keeps company-owned restaurants and sells licensed locations and brand name to Prime Motor Inns. Number of HoJo’s declines to 50 by 1991.
1990s and 2000s: The group of franchisees tries a new prototype with healthier options, but it fails.
2016: After Bangor location closes Tuesday, only one will remain -- in Lake George, N.Y.
SOURCES: Hojo.com; Reference for Business; “A History of Howard Johnson’s: How a Massachusetts Soda Fountain Became an American Icon,” by Anthony Sammarco; the Associated Press.